Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
matière qui n'était désormais plus qu'humaine, infiniment poignante.
[169-70; Now, what was behind the fog, he had the feeling, was so close
that he began to be upset at not being able to make it out. He realized, too,
that he was effortlessly striding back and forth, at the rapid pace of days
gone by; at a single bound he would clear a lofty obstacle: Ungava was
coming back to him. Or he was speeding toward the great desert in all its
incredible splendour. Suddenly there passed over him so blissful a tremor
of delight that he stood stock-still, awaiting the image that was breaking
through the fog, gliding toward him like a loved one. The resplendent
mountain was before him. But his mountain, in very truth. Freshly con-
ceived, refashioned in its dimensions, in its facets and masses, wholly his,
his own creation; a mathematics and a poem of the mind. At last he under-
stood what the master had meant when he said that a work of God is not
a work of art. The mountain of his imagination had almost nothing in
common with the mountain in Ungava. Or at least what he had been able
to capture of the latter he had, at his own inner fires, softened, melted,
cleansed, to cast it anew, in his own fashion, making of it a new raw mate-
rial, henceforth entirely human, infinitely poignant. (184-5)]
The creative moment is a privileged moment: that is, one of time recap-
tured. Not unlike his discovery of his past self, which, like the mountain
here, moves towards him ('l'Ungava revenait vers lui') as he moves to-
wards it ('ou lui vers le grand désert'), Pierre's experience is one of un-
qualified joy ('un frémissement si heureux'). Whereas the mountain had
eluded him in the outside world, he finds it within himself ('son propre
feu intérieur'). Having been haunted by memories of the past, he now
turns memory itself into a primary creative tool; based on nature yet
freed from its constraints, memory distils ('coulé'), transforms ('fondu'),
moulds ('mouler'), and humanizes ('plus qu'humaine'). Again the adjec-
tive 'humaine' seems to place the matter of identity on a universal, not
national, plane. Pierre's image, like a mathematician's intuition or a writ-
er's insight, has moved beyond nature towards the ideal ('un calcul, un
poème de la pensée'), which he can now transcribe on canvas:
Pierre se mit à jeter hâtivement de légères petites touches de couleurs,
autour desquelles devait s'harmoniser l'ensemble des plans et des jeux
lumineux, complexe écheveau de coloris, d'ombre et de clarté; tout cela
jailli pourtant en une seconde d'illumination. Il tremblait de crainte que
lui soit ravi le moindre détail du songe passionnant. Il était injuste que
l'homme, eût-il le temps de réfléchir, ne puisse matérialiser sa pensée dans
Search WWH ::

Custom Search