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Anatelostaxus's avatar

Can you identify this literary fragment ?

Asked by Anatelostaxus (1418 points ) September 4th, 2012

I found the text in a language I’m quite sure the original doesn’t belong to. The way I’ve translated it reads as follows:

(First two phrases):
My Mother begged me that under no circumstance should I die before her. I promised this to her, and my desire to put an end to it and throw myself on a winter’s evening into the Seine, or into the sparkling/foaming waters of some wild coast, is transformed into a feverish glance at the surface of the waters, the boundary between life and death, the door forbidden to me due to the promise given to my mother.

(Last phrase):
The history of my head was connected to that of my body, as the stars to space, the sun with helium and ships with oceans.

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3 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

Sounds like it could be Proust. Remembrance of Things Past, perhaps.

I’m guessing it’s a French author because of the reference to the Seine. I’m thinking Proust or some other equally overwrought author because of the sort of existential fever of the subject matter.

gailcalled's avatar

Terrific guess, @wundayatta.

gambitking's avatar

It’s “Pelham”, By Edward Bulwer Lytton

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