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MAGRIS, Claudio



Danube
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Speaking of the capitulation of Bulgaria, an event decisive to the outcome of the First World War and therefore to the end of a civilisation, Count Karolyi writes that while he was living through it he did not realise its importance, because "at that moment, 'that moment' had not yet become 'that moment'". The same is true in fiction for Fabrizio del Dongo, concerning the battle of Waterloo: while he is fighting it, it does not exist. In the pure present, the only dimension, however, in which we live, there is no history. At no single instant is there such a thing as the Fascist period or the October revolution, because in that fraction of a second there is only the mouth swallowing saliva, the movement of a hand, a glance at the window.

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