Queasiness of Second-Hand Armchairs

At first it was really hard for me to lay my head back in this armchair, for in its green covering there is a kind of smeary gray hollow into which all heads seem to fit.

I have squirmed uncomfortably in those armchairs that too readily recall previous occupants. It takes a while before an armchair becomes a place of comfort.

For quite a long time I took the precaution of putting a handkerchief behind my head, but now I’m too tired to; I have discovered that it works without it and that the small indentation is made precisely for my head, as if to measure.

From The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge; an elusive work that requires several readings to unwrap its silky-sheer layers. Even then, there are unfathomed depths of immense beauty. The influence on Sartre’s Nausea is clear.

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