There are some works so luminous that they fill us with shame for the meager life to which we are resigned, that they implore us to lead another, wiser, fuller life; works so powerful that they give us strength, and force us to new undertakings. A book can play this role.
She is in love, she craves sugar, eats a dried apricot, another. All at once she is really tired. She will not wait any longer for Romain and goes to bed. She is not guilty because, she keeps telling herself, thrilled, she had no say in it. She falls asleep immediately.
But, you see, what I like about you is not that you feel foreign. And I don't think you ever did feel entirely foreign. But I like the fact that something about you still resists, refuses to become familiar, remains invincibly foreign. And it means that when I'm with you, I'm always rubbing up against a foreign element, something mysterious, irreducible, ever present, and full of happiness…It makes the way you walk and some of the things you do feel foreign to me for a moment. Your voice, on the end of the phone, from time to time: foreign. Your perfume, its vetiver fragrance, your own delicate smell: both foreign. Your subtly sinuous thought processes are so foreign to my own meanderings, and yet clearer and sharper. Of course you are not a foreigner, but how I value this foreignness in you. Perhaps keeping that foreign element is the secret.