Je Maintiendrai

"... Le refus de la politique militante, le privilège absolu concédé à la littérature, la liberté de l'allure, le style comme une éthique, la continuité d'une recherche". Pol Vandromme

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Location: Portugal

Sunday, February 03, 2008

"In the British army a particularly haunting bugle call was once used to sound the retreat at the end of the fighting day. The same call was subsequently adopted for the nightly ritual of the lowering of the flag and the mounting of the guard. It acquired a suitably conclusive tide — 'Last Post'…
Sounded by a solitary bugler, all present standing hushed to atten­tion, the staccato phrasing seems to echo like a plaintive valedictory across the parade grounds of memory. Even as its final cadenza dies away on the breeze, it catches the unwary with a last, long drawn-out note. The flag is lowered and furled and, like a sentence unfinished, the note lingers on the stilled air. Long after the bugler has about-turned and marched away, this tune that has no words troubles the mind, evoking the ghosts of places past.
In the tropical East, where the sun sets at much the same time throughout the year, the evening's 'Last Post' often coincided with the Muslim call to prayer or the gongs and bells of a nearby temple. Together they came to comprise a reassuring recessional at day's end. The scent-laden air, once the sting of its heat had been drawn by the lengthening shadows, seemed at last to stir in moist sympathy with these serenades to silence and repose. Somewhere the flag had been furled and the watch had been set. Peace reigned; empires came off duty. Into crystal glasses tinkled ice cubes while rattan roofing reawoke to the first tut-tuts of the pale nocturnal lizard which Malays call the chik-chak. "You might think', wrote the novelist Somerset Maugham, 'that it was chuckling with amusement at the white men who come and go and leave all things as they were…”

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