105 Greatest Living Authors Present the World's Best Stories, Humor, Drama, Biography, History, Essays, Poetry

By Whit Burnett | Go to book overview

ANDRÉ MAUROIS

As to my own work, I believe that the most representative chapter would be the first and last of I Remember, I Remember.

ANDRÉ MAURIOS


The Kingdom of God

The Kingdom of God is within you

LUKE xvii: 20

I AM FINISHING this book high up in a tower overlooking Manhattan. This morning in the violet haze of dawn I seem to see an Italian city at my feet, bristling with churches and fortresses. In the distance the blue lake in Central Park, surrounded by pale foliage and wrapped in mist, recalls those tiny scenes almost lost in luminous confusion in the background of the paintings of the Primitives. Innumerable cars, yellow, gray and black, glide by even at this early hour, obediently following, on the checker board of the streets, their precise ballet to the rhythm of the red and green lights. The pedestrians, seen from above, are no more than dark or brighter spots. Isolated on this peak I sometimes have the illusion of escaping like a lonely hermit on his column from the vanity and uproar of the city. These heights are favorable to contemplation. Let us take our bearings.

"Here below we are like spectators in a theater," wrote Chateaubriand, "if we turn our heads away for a moment, a whistle shrills, the enchanted palaces vanish and when we bring our eyes back to the stage we find nothing but deserts and unfamiliar actors. . . ." For a long time on the stage of my own life I had seen a familiar setting which I thought was permanent. "A view that cannot be taken away," the architect had said when I bought my house in Neuilly. In this setting of the Bois, of Paris, of France, players whose lines and ability I knew had been enacting for twenty years a drama whose vicissitudes and dénouement I believed I had foreseen. The

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