Journals: In Germany
Meanwhile my journals continued as prolific as ever.
‘A Cask of Poison in the wine cellar!’ begins one entry;
‘Red wine has a rosy glow and white an aureate; and the bubbles on the surface of other wines are bright and close-meshed. But this wine had no glow, or brightness, and the bubbles that floated to its surface burst silently, and were so large that as they arrived at the surface they were not round but oval and long; and seemed to have risen from under the water a great distance from great depths. When stirred with the long dirty silver spoon that stood in the barrel, the liquid frothed and simmered and bits of impurity, pieces of detritus, floated up to the top. Now there was a glow, sparkling a fascinating brilliance. I picked up the spoon and stirred again and over the edges of the barrel frothed the bright-bubbled liquid and frizzled on the floor by my feet so that I had to jump aside. Engendered by the liquid, rapidly one of the cracks in the paving-stones grew a sickly weed, more yellow than green. As more of the liquid touched it and the bubbles clustered about it grew even faster, twice or thrice as fast, until its leaves hung over me langourously and in the centre of the leaves there bloomed an evil looking blossom, white with false chastity, the bottom of its white petals were already tinged with canker. And then again while I watched the flower swayed amorously, and then just as suddenly as it had sprung up, withered and fell to the ground. Peering into the depths of the barrel I fancied I could see shining strange jewellery and still the bubbles rose.’
In the next section of the journal, I appear to have discovered that the wine has beautifying properties. A voice from the depths tells me; ‘Thou shalt have beauty, and the first thing that thou seest shall fall in love with thee, and thou with it.’
‘Rubbing it first over my face, and my long dark hair, and then I looked into the darkness of the water to see whether I was already beautiful and I beheld my own face and lo at once the charm had worked. Hastily I stripped off my garments and anointed my whole body, regarding myself amorously in the dark water. I anointed my arms, my chest, my thighs and feet. And after each annointment I looked again upon myself and found myself ever more beautiful and leaned even further over the well and spoke fair words to myself.
‘Dusk came, and I could only see a shadow upon the silver-veined water, and sadly I went indoors. Many candles were alight inside, burning from a dozen candelabras, each holding over a hundred candles.’
My journal at that time was kept on the back of shiny Hilter Junge proficiency certificates, of which I had found a large pile in the schloss in Bukeburg. In my bower in the woods above the villa Barkhausen in summer, and in my room in the schloss in winter, my writings continued in a tone of high romanticism and often aspire to a sort of specious wisdom, based however on very little real experience.
‘The surfeiting of desire is less happy than misery full of hope - una miseria di speranza piena.’
‘To seek for perfection in the world is a delusion. Perfection in oneself is the way to achieve perfection.’
I pulled out every single stop on my authorial organ for;
‘As I wandered the crooked hills of pleasure, for a time did evil claim my adolescence and alone I dreamed of executing evil things; until I came to see the overwhelming beauty of the world and instead aimed for nobility of action.’
Often my thoughts returned to Eye Manor;
‘This country life made perfect through many generations; now like a haven found by one who has voyaged far, like a jettied anchorage dancing with small boats and overhung with dark earth walls and trees, found after storm and shipwreck; how well in the heat and bare ugliness of Hitler’s brick barracks do I remember you and now again you are close to me and I think how when I am free the roses will be in bloom, and the apples and pears be ripe for plucking and flies buzz heavily against the windows but flee the coolness within. Eye, though, is a seductive place. How, living there, could one ever go for an active life or even do or think or achieve anything, bound into a sort of lethargy by this perfection of form and image everywhere?
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