“The farmer asked if I was feeling well. I heard his voice, faint as a whisper, snatched away by the wind. I am a guest of Don Eduardo, I said, and the farmer looked at me as though I was made, and I felt anxious and unwell as I racked my brain to figure out why he didn’t recognise the name. Had I travelled to the wrong place? But how many manors could there e out here, far from anywhere, which was known to house the richest and most influential man in the state? I felt a sudden sense of vertigo, as though I had come to the edge of an unexpected abyss, and not only an abyss but one filled with rotting corpses, effluvia, partially digested food, and hospital refuse. I staggered and almost fell, and I remember asking again if I could see the Don. And then I don’t remember anything.”
It appears that the above hallucinatory extract was written the night before Pavel Holz collapsed in his home and was taken to the city hospital, where it soon became apparent that he had an infection of the lung, which had caused a deprivation of oxygen to his brain, leading to what medical terminology refers to as a syncope, but ordinary people – you and I, my dear – call fainting.
At any rate, this illness shifted Holz from sloth and excuses, which had inspired his dissipated life up until that point, to a period of intensity and extreme effort, all of which culminated in the seven volume masterpiece, Finding and Finding, at least one volume of which, usually the third, which is general considered the greatest, can be found in every Polish household and which speaks especially clearly to young people who have just discovered the importance of love.
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The above piece of writing comprises part of my fragments project, some of which are available on this website. I intend to add new fragments piecemeal, not in any particular order, and as the occasion take me.