Friday, August 20, 2010

"Each forest outline, each pond, the course of each river had glided itself through the hands of Arachne the weaver, the deaf mute, for whom, so Echo said, her loom was a window trellised with threads, looking into a garishly bright and soundless world...

Echo alone would have been capable of understanding her explanation and of translating for the Roman how her tapestry was of value to the deaf-mute woman only as long as it was still growing, stretched on the frame of her loom's beams and shafts. Once completed, whatever landed in this moldy room would be pulled out again only when a smelter or a farmer wanted to decorate his sooty walls with a beautiful landscape gave her a sheep in trade, whereupon Arachne would simply cut the ropes binding its legs and let it run wild on the stony terraces of the cliffs."
from "the Last World" by Christoph Ransmayr