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  • Bertrand Badré

The magic mountain

With the lockdown coming to an end, it’s like coming down from the “magic mountain”. I am been overwhelmed again by a flavor that has never left me alone: the combination of the infectious disease, the ambiguous relationship to time and space, the reconstituted microcosm of pre-war Europe, the many discussions on what and which ideas should prevail now and after .... before the outbreak of the war and its tragic conclusion. Not to forget Davos now the symbol of a global order under attack! Till today I have not been able to detach myself from the irony of Mann. And have imagined more than once each character: Castorp the “pure fool” in his quest of the holy grail. The tolerant humanism of Settembrini. The radical and totalitarian Naphta. The sense of duty of the loyal Ziemssen. The dyonisian figure of Peeperkorn. And of course the feline eyes of Clawdia Chauchat. And the meaning of a famous Russian kiss .... Time to abandon the mountain and its dreams and re-engage the world and its reality. Then our next chapter will not echo the unhappy end of Mann. “Time drowns in the unmeasured monotony of space. Where uniformity reigns, movement from point to point is no longer movement; and where movement is no longer movement, there is no time.”


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