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The Hearth

Once there was a flock of birds, perhaps white owls, but their wings were tinted when they crossed the beacon which warned pilots of the stones of Suzerain. A hearth was built on the small beach, between the ice and the granite. Three young girls, one crouching, the others standing, fed the fire so that it would entirely consume the cadaver of a little black goat, and it wasn’t without affection that they shielded the flames or stirred the ashes.

The night framed the light, the wind sharpened the cold. One gains a subtle vision, at times, after he has walked a long while in winter, and the pensive reading of fragments from Heraclitus unlocks the door to singular images.


André Pieyre de Mandiargues (1909-1991) was a French writer whose most popular book, The Motorcycle (1963), was adapted into the film A Girl on a Motorcycle which starred Marianne Faithfull.

Translated by John Biguenet