Excerpt from “A Soldier of the Great War” by Mark Helprin ~~La Tempesta~~


“They always say about the soldier that he’s detached. That’s true, for he’s been in the eye of the storm, his heart has been broken, and he doesn’t even know it.”

picture-SoldieroftheGreatWar-Helprin“And wrong about the painting. Like everyone else, I backed off. I said, ‘We’ll never know about La Tempesta, it’s a mystery.’ I retreated to the visual elements, the technique, its strange contra-historical power. I thought it was a dream, because it has the lucidity and freedom of a dream, a dream’s unburdening, and a dream-like truth.”
The scholar agreed. “I think it’s a dream, a great dream, with – as you put it – the lucidity, freedom, unburdening, and truth of a dream.”
“No.” Alessandro said. “Though it could be a dream, it isn’t. I know now exactly what it is, and I know the source of its power.”
“Dare you tell?” the scholar asked, only half…

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