narrow, jb painting

 

            With the last remnant of the little money he had inherited on his father’s death, George Webber now went to Europe. In the fury and hunger which lashed him across the earth, he believed that he would change his skies, that peace, wisdom, certitude, and power would come to him in some strange land. But loneliness fed upon his heart forever as he scoured the earth, and he awoke one morning in a foreign land to think of home, and the hoof and the wheel came down the streets of memory again, and instantly the old wild longing to return came back to him. 

            So was he driven across the seas and back again. He knew strange countries, countless things and people, sucked as from an orange the juice out of new lives, new cities, new events. He worked, toiled, sweated, cursed, whored, brawled, got drunk, traveled, spent all his money – and then came back with greater fury and unrest than ever before to hurl the shoulder of his strength against the world, desiring everything, attempting much, completing little.

             And forever, in this fury of his soul, this unresting frenzy of his flesh, he lived alone, thought and felt alone among the manswarm of the earth. And in these wanderings, this loneliness, he came to know, to love, to join no other person’s life into his own. But now at last the time for that had come. 

The Web And The Rock – Thomas Wolfe (1938)

 

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