“Shall we talk syllogistically, Nash, or just talk? Causality is an attempt to mesmerise the world into some sort of significance. We cannot bear its indifference.” Tears came into his eyes, comico-pathetic tears, left over from laughter turned sour. “I know you are sick of your job, and just about as ill as I am, if I am ill.” He blew out a windy lip and gave me a cunning sidelong glance. “You sound as if you have been playing with R.N.A. It’s dangerous, Charlock. You will miss a step and go sprawling among the archetypal symbols. We’ll have to reserve you a room in Paulhaus.” That was the firm’s private mental asylum. “It is true” I said “that I wake up with tears pouring down my face, sometimes of laughter, sometimes of plain tears.”
“There, you see?” he said triumphantly. He crossed and uncrossed his legs. “You had better take some action smartly, go on a rest cure, write another scientific book.”
“I am off to Tahiti. Gauguin was here.”
“Inventors are a happy laughing breed.” I stifled a sob and yawned instead. “Nash, is your laughter a cry for help?”
“Everyone’s is. When do you go?”
“Tonight. Let me give you lunch.”
“Very well.”

Lawrence Durrell, TUNC.


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