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GUY

DAVENPORT

The

Aeroplanes

at

Brescia

.afka ber

stood But

on the for his Otto

seawall button

at Riva shoes

He walked clarity. he had spent the morning Brod, with whom racing cyclist. the shore under and strolling discussing along moving pictures lit a cigar villas of the Via Ponale, the voluble pines and yellow air lunch. A wash of sweet and suggested a light beer before from shuttle the lake rattled a circle of gulls. smoking rippled old man A fisherman a small the

sky. stance had an athletic

high

and

early Septem? flaring coat, his easy of a with the limberness

under

the

bor steps building An

who flapped of pigeons, up into a on the har? in a blue apron reclined square pipe. On a staff over a perfectly

two-headed its black, flag with between cords in a net strung poles knotting eagle. A soft bell of the Italians. watched them with the open concern rang in the hills. Austrian out of idea," said Kafka. "It will get the taste of Dallago the broad mouths." His eyes, when they could be seen under brim of a black fedora, seemed large. To the natural abnormally of bone, of his square swarthiness face, rough Italy had already a rose tint. added, Otto noticed, "Good our had begun ora, the south wind blowing up from Sirmione, fort between to scuff the dark blue of the lake. The old Venetian the Cittk Riva into him intrusion reminded the railway station seemed to Kafka to be an of the houses of Riva. Euclidean It plainness of the schloss at Meran that had disturbed him not and the and blind in its casements return but also claim because anx? of this it would in his most The

only for being vacant of the suspicion that ious empty dreams. castle Even

without

inevitably his intuition

of the mute

to stay in his mind as a presence neither welcome nor it was always terrifying to know that there were things explicable, that yet persisted, in the world of all significance like empty heavy would books of the law which mankind in a stubborn reluctance not destroy and yet would not obey. The castle at Riva, the the Rock, was a barracks the new conscripts, but Rocca, housing was a great shell. Suddenly the castle at Meran, the Brunnenburg,

568 he heard think

THE

HUDSON

REVIEW and made Madonnina the What poet a fool, himself and of who had Otto

a telephone ringing instead of the morning but equivocal Otto's polite

in its high rooms, at the Bagni della to Dallago replies with nature.

by rote man's oneness apologized had said later, on their walk. The cubes the of Riva, white of the

remarked, opposite there was truth in the light of Riva that was, the opposite of the half-truths of the cut-glass had no fire in it, no absolute of squared light in just proportions, a dark and glittering richness. which slabs Otto replied that freedom

Kafka and exact, were an architecture, And of Prague. lobes and tendrils as a poet might say, of Prague, sunlight of tall Instead transparency. Prague had weather of

a the light here was pure and empty, creating It is an were incised. The very shadows among objects. older world, he added, and yet one to which the new architecture mud house again, is but the Mediterranean is returning. Concrete to see light sliced as in the openness and glass walls a new yearning of the Aegean The newest style, landscape. love with the oldest of which we are aware. burt will Max he said, is always in The next Wiederge-

come from the engineers. at their pensione, was Brod, whom they had left writing at the cafe, and was holding a newspaper above his head already for them to see. to fly at Brescia!" are going and a waiter he shouted, "They who might have been bringing a seltzer to the Tsar of Bulgaria, looked with uninterrupted over so grave was his progress, dignity a his shoulder at Max, who to him was but a Czech, and probably in the his feet and rattling Bresciana La Sentinella Jew, stamping air. Die Brilder Bleriot! Cobianchi! Wright!" "Aeroplanes! "Due bionde, piacere" Otto said to the waiter, who was relieved that the Czech's friends did not flap their arms and dance on the terrace. Otto said. "Absolutely incredible luck." "Incredible," for Max was as of the moment Kafka laughed as he outright, and their friendship a brooding had always been a postponer, contest ation tween between them. of Franz. the impulses of Max and the circumspect deliber? It was a comedy that popped be? everywhere up had been in Riva a day, Max had spent a month They that he must come to Riva on his vacation, and

convincing

Franz

GUY here was Max dashing he could them

DAVENPORT off on the second

569

said, quickly which none of them sweet Otto

not question had seen. They from

But, as he morning. the call of the flying machines, were well worth giving up the and laid it out on the table.

quiet of Riva. took the newspaper

Max

is just at the other end of the lake," Max explained. "We can take the steamboat to Sal6, and get a local from there. It's three days off, but we'll want to be there at least the day be? in droves, with their cous? will have arrived fore, as Mitteleuropa ins and their aunts. I've even written there in the the Committee "Brescia paragraph. all means," "By chairs, sat Dottore self. "I told them second there is a Committee." Naturally At its head, Franz said, "a Committee." and Mangiafoco Dottore Corvo, Civetta, we are journalists from Prague, and in gilt him? that we

that

require In the last analysis, Kafka sighed, the next There was a steamboat marvelled its paint. at the antiquity

accommodations."

all things

are miracles. it and They boarded and the garishness of

morning. of its machinery

before at the Only six years ago, Max had told them the evening and with cafe under a sky much higher than the skies of Bohemia two Americans had chosen stars twice the size of those of Prague, of from a confusion of elements combination the most plausible theories twelve and constructed a machine that flew. The seconds only, and scarcely five people were of skies an intricate the largest under a fat wheatfield By of stretched canvas sat like of wires and neat oblongs ometry ship of a pharaoh. It was as elegantly laced, of H. G. Wells. Its motor death It looked strutted like a loom mounted and poised as the time its two screw propellers flight lasted there to see it. ge? the

on a sled. machine

popped, weeds to the ground. the lush American bending ears went in the corn. Coyotes' ried to their burrows

whirred, scur? Fieldmice up and their

yellow eyes brightened. Were brothers, inseparable they like the Goncourts, Or were they like Otto and Max, and Wilbur Wright? but essentially brotherhood and simple deference very men?

Orville twins different in

as Indians, nimble but whether from were Ohio, They Otto could not say. or Republicans Socialists, Democrats, taken of the American The editors papers, up with duelling

570 and oratory, paid flew and machine had their other The bowl

THE

HUDSON

REVIEW flight. The

no attention flew before above and

Daedalus

flown

strange Icarus and any word of it appeared. who did not look up from peasants fishermen who were looking the

at all to their

of lentils

above

were a bishop's sons, but, as Otto ex? Wright of an American His flock was one of plained, bishop. dissenters from dissenters, with a white a congregation separated wooden church on a knoll above a brown river, the Susquehanna the sons One could not imagine the dreams of Americans. perhaps. If one flew over this community in an aeroplane over or drifted

way. Brothers

it in a balloon, be school children below plant? there would a tree. Buffalo and horses grazed in grass so green it was said to ing but one story be blue. The earth itself was black. The houses, were set in flower gardens. One might see the good Bishop high, his Bible Wright reading automobile along a road. at a window, or a senator driving his

and Wilbur The Orville had constructed mechanical young bats, Otto said, after the designs of Sir George Cayley and Penaud. For America was the land where the learning of Europe was so to be tested on an anvil. much read Octave speculation They Chanute's beginning, kite had come the hands Machines; Flying they built kites. not the bird. That was da Vinci's from China centuries The kite was error. their The radical

of Benjamin Edison, who, magician such as Otto Lilienthal died weard like Icarus. The Samuel

ago. passsed through who caught for the Franklin, electricity it was said, was soon to visit Prague. Men had mounted kites and rode the wind and knew all studied read They of Eadphotographs of Americans. took They things. the and boldly these

It had

Wrights

Langley; Pierpont they That was the way Muybridge. theories as pelicans swallowed fish, pragmatically, made realities out of ideas. But the morning's

had come up to Riva on the paper, which that the Wrights rather steamboat, might fly in Berlin reported than at Brescia. It hinted of a rivalry between them and the Amer? ican Curtiss, on the flying machine whose improvements were in many ways far in advance of theirs. on the lakeshore were stacked, house above house, as in Villages to the hilltops, a canvas of Cezanne, from the waterfront where the church was the highest of all, ringing its bell. In the old city

GUY

DAVENPORT

57l

kitch? at Prague the alchemists' under the wall he had felt among the alien in the old ghetto ens and the tiny shops of the smiths had been recited wonderment he felt in Italy, as if an incantation and the charm a line who had worked. Had not one of the gulls at Riva spoken The Otto, richly Franz Max, Art know of Latin? wore a cap and belted jacket, of the trembling deck did turns around Max the and

lake was as vast as the sea. obstructed it occurred steamboat.

sat on a folded Nouveau them.

Otto and travelling rug by the wheelhouse. from an to Kafka, might seem like two princes to those who did not for a Russian opera poster wholly a posi? Nome-

for they were modern was illusion, men, he had his degree, of the new age. Max was twenty-five, a novel last year, the Schloss tion, and had published This Was

in the wild Castle Brunnenburg this why the desolate pygge. like a ghost? Camonica hills hung in his memory of the lake at noon. not to feel the emptiness seemed They how deeply they had never let him They had their inwardnesses, see, inviolably private as they were, as all men were. Otto had been born into the new world, conversant bers and their of enviable Mach harmonies and and Ernst Avenarius, with num?

thought those of the

hollow with the curiously minds were like whose as an bright new thought in time. A suburb And of

of antiquity, and Ephesians Milesians as leaves, and as plain as a box. This elemental ax, it the world would wound was naked and innocent; in this wild innocence. Max, too, had his visions

Tel Aviv, and Zion? ago been named Jaffa had just a few months of a Jew? there. Max dreamed Hebrew said to be speaking ists were wise. ish state, irrigated, green, electrical, of was born in the lonely monotony of our century The destiny schoolrooms. those sun fell Italian and schoolrooms Amsterdam were and doubtless The the late same afternoon as of Prague into them Ohio.

after the pupils had gone home, spinning tops and Sicily hung on the way. A map of Calabria and throwing jacks as lyric in its citron as Leoncavallo, on a wall, as polychrome it was ab? which as the chart of the elements hung beside gaiety and white chalk lay in their Sticks of yellow stract and Russian. drawn by them was still on the black? and the geometry troughs, board, which evident, tragic, a wasp rose and and fell, abandoned. testing The all afternoon windows, against the hardness of

572 their

THE

HUDSON

REVIEW

and grandly were as desolate as dusty lucidity, melancholy on the North Sea in October. barn doors looking Here Otto heard of the valence of carbon, here Max saw bright daggers drawn from a bleeding here Franz dreamed of the Great of Wall Caesar, China. Did could men know was see the circle out anything in that. at all? Man was man's teacher. Anyone

and bearded and in Polydna, eighty no doubt, in those thin birch groves dress, peasant walking, under a white sky where the sense of the north is a sharp and dis? tant quiet, an intuition shared with the wolf and the owl of the Tolstoy of the earth. emptiness Somewhere in the Twain smoked His automobiles maple. Taft called Franz three unimaginable an Havana cigar and abreast on roads was at his feet. vastness cocked of America at the forests Howard red Mark new of

at Yasnaya

his head

hacked

dog asleep him on the telephone from time to time to tell a joke. A sailboat passed, an ancient bearded hunter at its tiller. Kafka,

through William Perhaps

like the crane's hunch on Kier? jackdaw. Despair, His degree in back, went along on one's voyages. kegaard's lilting was scarcely three years old, he was rapidly, as Herr Jurisprudence Canello assured an expert in workingmen's com? him, becoming and the literary cafes of Prague to which he insurance, pensation did not go were open to him, both the Expressionist and those devoted to the zithers and roses of Rilke. Had not Uncle who had been awarded so many med? Alfred, elder brother Alfred risen to be manager als, his mother's Lowy, of the Spanish railways? The Spanish railways! And Uncle general was in the Congo, bending over a ledger to be sure, but he Joseph could look up and there was the jungle. But then Uncle Rudolf was a book-keeper at a brewery, and Uncle a country Siegfried doctor. And his cousin Bruno was editing Krasnopolski. There were odysseys in which the Sirens are silent. Without stories the intricacy and strange? paper, he conceived ness of which might have earned a nod of approval from Dickens, the Pentateuch and Tolstoy of England. Before paper, his imagi? nation withdrew like a snail whose horns had been touched. If the space of the mind and Samarkands aqueducts inward could and be externalized oxen within walls and lived which in, its the Ro-

GUY tnan legions had never

DAVENPORT he would at be a teller

573 of parables, from learn

found,

graceless perhaps, more experienced wear law a shawl their of unvitiated

especially

and parablists of archaic needlework, tradition, and to which

first, but he would He would from experience. would know the law, the real of fami? herbs, and the histories stock of tales he might add his like tell of mice, He like Bunyan. Chinese, the Jews

lies and own,

if fate his sight. He would and of a man climbing a mountain, Babrius, would tell of the ships of the dead, and of the of the other half of the world, and of their wall. "What silence!" said Max. From The milling Brescia Prague,

migrations, hardened

"I was listening to the Sirens," said Franz. with many Sal6 they went by train, along garlic and a cock that crowed all the way, to Brescia. station outside was like was Kafka very night. didn't have lanterns. a horse cage wondered The train that

hampers the

of

as it

people slid into

throwing

the dashing through after cage of chickens was out fell out of a window. outside,

passed. Every passenger to a halt. An Austrian anyone to the People saw Papal her court.

market in poultry into a panic as it of his seat before the train hissed A woman asked if a gentleman and courier hand to hand overhead.

brother-in-law A hat

on. They off stuck getting people getting were out? each other not to get lost, and suddenly they promised and Kafka side the train. Otto backwards, sideways, emerged Max frontwards, with his necktie across his face. Panels vistas of light of Brescia rose carved the color above were in the blackness of the station and were disclosed Red shut? shoes of honey, almonds, There turreted palaces. salmon. green button

from passed in the doors with

smokestacks

ters everywhere. Now that they and black his fedora new

Prague, sober, as if he had come to plead skirts, seemed inappropriately The a case at law rather than to see the air show at Montechiari. land

in Italy proper, Kafka's had been so smartly its pinched frock coat with which

high

in contemporary waist and flaring

his hands he reminded of Pinocchio, himself, and, rubbing in the generous of the street, he re? and blinking light together of to Otto and Max that here they were in the country marked Leonardo da Vinci.

574 A hat other out sat on and the both

THE

HUDSON A cane

REVIEW carried in the Each seemed of the crook of an the the

sidewalk. carried fell

arm hooked

a cane

in the crook

of an arm.

grand in Rome. Max who

moment

together. of an opera about

Everything the arrival

pulled to be

barbarians

some quickness that was beyond Otto and Franz, through stood to de? more than merely hesitant stunned together cide the direction in which to move, had already they ought a newspaper. Under a headline in stout poster bought type the of their in prose was proclaimed significance journey as Max remarked, in wore a waxed moustache. Papers were not read in coffee houses but on the sidewalks, the pages Italy smacked with the backs of hands, the felicities of the paragraphs read aloud to total strangers. which, in Brescia," a Max read to them once they had found at a caffi on the Corso Vittorio "we have a mul? Emanuele, titude the likes of which we have never seen before, no, not even at the great automobile races. There from Venice, are visitors table Liguria, piazzi America. room the swarm and even Naples. Piedmont, Rome, Tuscany, with distinguished men from France, England, Our hotels are filled, as well as every available corner Our and "Here whole

spare of private for which the rates rise residences, and magnificently. are scarcely There means to daily enough the hordes to the circuito aereo. The restaurant at the transport can easily offer superb aerodrome fare to two thousand people, and but more Here "The order than two thousand Franz whistled must certainly an air of Rossini. bring disaster." called to keep stands

Max read militia," at the lunch counters.

on, "has already At the humbler

been

refreshment

some fifty thousand Sentinella Bresciana

La Thus people press daily all day long." for the ninth of September 1909. that it would not They took a fiacre to the Committee, hoping fall to pieces under them before they arrived. The driver, who for some reason was radiantly to turn seemed happy, alternately left and right at every corner. Once they went up a street which they were certain them of stairs Gendarmes The Committee was in a they had seen before. in white gloves rattled their long swords and to concierges in grey smocks who pointed to the there were officials in celluloid collars who

palace. directed heads

where

GUY directed them to enormous

DAVENPORT rooms where other

575

officials, bowing frail sheets of paper on which they wrote their slightly, gave names and addresses and occupations. Max proudly listed himself as novelist and critic, Kafka wickedly and Otto, wrote journalist, them to himself, humming engineer. Pinocchio down a hall with a gendarme hard on his clattering heels was lost to sight when Kafka stuck his head around a door to see. In a green were spread tie welcomed the room out name had them into which from on a desk they were summoned which a bald official of the Societa Aerea and in a notebook their papers in a fuchsia d'ltalia. copied outside, awhile, He it

in the name

found down.

of an albergo

Max

a corner when just cleared they came and a gendarme and pulled his moustaches awhile, hopped before giving full chase. The landlord functionary His fingers lips. He money, wished

Pinocchio

of the inn, when they got there, was a copy of the of the Committee, that he did not affect a tie. except beside his face as he talked, spit flew from his wiggled his elbows, bowed he knew that as men in some in all that from the waist, and put their of the world and of affairs they recess under his coat tails. they discovered had ever seen. that More?

rubbed which

By their room over,

to pay in advance, each other asking was the dirtiest was

seriousness any of them hole in the

a large round middle of the floor, could see card players in the room below, and through they would later climb. which, Max observed, through Sparafucile of the old forum. Light lay flat and ancient upon the colonnade In the temple of Hercules, now green-shuttered and rusty with there which lichen, The was a winged Nike writing upon a shield. and streets of Brescia were pages from a book on squares One might write a novel in which every line met in a perspective. room, an empty Random figures room could in an empty in an empty building not be avoided. draw? Perspective in empty piazze or mounting women with baskets, Gypsies in the against long Italian the evening. afternoons! Lamps came long with In on there

single novel. ings

gratuitous figures placed men with canes, steps, faceless dogs. What Prague endurance the city there was

stirred

about

576 in windows. Smoke

THE rose

HUDSON from

REVIEW

In Italy Bells chimed. chimneys. shadows in the faces of statues, windows darkened, eyes hollowed moved across squares and slid up the walls of buildings. The night was a mistake, it was fate, sbaglio e fato antico la notte. Da Vinci like had put water in globes to magnify the light of his lamps, Edison They with slept his mirrors. And the Italians abed did in the afternoon, they were went up and talked. They half sleep at night. At the morning. ran in stairs. They not

down night they the street, like Pinocchio trying his legs. The old Tarocchi tables, the trey of cups beside lay on marble Ana stone jug as Roman as a bust of Cinna. And the Elementi alitici of Tully Here propriety. derstood. film order of an that were Italy's moved Levi-Civita them lay beside was a country where Zeno's monotonous with the sameness slowness was with motion like

unquestionable could be un? frames of a

the

impossible. equally anarchist were both

and of sleep, so that accident The shape of a glass and the speech millennia decided ago, and upon a rhythm gen?

from emerged daily, with all other Italic gestures, erated in the ovens and olive presses of Etruria. In Vienna, in Berlin, the new smelled of frivolity decay, as old yellows the old onions nardo Milan, lacking as the the Italian Gracchi

and the old of

a comedy woman beside

of things. A poster on a wall continuity in pepper announced and summer greens with the curious and title Elettricita Sessuale, it in her black shawl and with a basket of Leofrom off to she

of the dirigible might easily step into the gondola da Vinci, which was expected to arrive at any moment Enrico and sail Forlanini, by the engineer piloted about the

market, Rinaldo, who, gossiping nephew priest's had just learned at the baker's, was now the mayor of Nebraska. A galantuomo in pomade and cream shoes cleaned his ears with the nail of his little and tomatoes.

across from him on finger while they dined After coffee and cigars they went to bed sausages a soldierly with Max said that they must indifference. agree them to remember the hole in the floor, through which among with a knife they could now see a great red pizza being quartered was surely a gift of the Khan to Marco that, as Kafka observed, Polo, as each of them over the years would tend to doubt his sanity in remembering it. Before they went to sleep Otto had a laughing he refused to explain, and Pinocchio ran down fit, which the

GUY street with

DAVENPORT

577

after them, after him and three gendarmes Mangiafoco and a woman as best they their narrated window, just under could understand affairs of one of the late em? her, the family in a field of flowers night of Ionic columns in Sicily, which was also Riva, as dreams are invariably double. There were brown rocks alive with lizards, a moth on a wall, a a stitch of bees. The were Virgilian, pigeons, pines and black. and had the im? He was distressingly lonely that he was supposed to see certain of statues, possibly dreamed that

perors. Kafka

gyre of shelved, pression statesmen

and poets, blotched and rav? wonderfully by lichens the sun. But they were not there. Then Goethe came from aged by a column behind and arbitrari? and recited with infinite freedom ness a poem he could not understand. foot, eating a mullein. The Committee had suggested that they an order. What it down and had There was take a rabbit the train at his to the

they

aerodrome, decidedly Max laid line road

to Montechiari

that, Italy being agreed Italy, this was little gain over chaos they could find, as a principle, there they would scramble. The was the local to Mantua and ran beside the they

had the illusion, once aboard, stand? between two cars, that heaving platform in all its ingenuity was moving along with them. There were automobiles in their dust, trembling with speed, bouncing their goggled drivers a strange above the wild dignity keeping of their machines. agitation ing the world There the the bucca Circus were and out behind horses that paced as if to carriages rocking drum of the Praetorium, to drawing Heliogabalus Maximus. on which one could see There were bicycles of Jules Verne, Antinoos mathematicians, their berets, and Victory in a plaid cap, Heidel? whose faces were Basques dusty sou? at Samoth-

all the way, so that on the swaying and

characters berg

English under squares perfect tane flared as if he were

duellists,

a priest whose in the fleet bringing

race. No aeroplanes were in the air when they arrived. The way to the aerodrome was like a gathering of the Tartar tribes at an English Booths and tents, all topped garden party. in all directions, of people, with flags, rose above a crowd flowing carriages, horses, and automobiles.

578 A heron to the Red

THE of a German A

HUDSON flashed with

REVIEW and the way pointed The was selling leg than his fingers were

his monocle a wooden

hangars. Flag to a priest whose purse was deeper a dwarf whose descended Lanchester long. From a bright yellow bosom were like the craw of a pigeon. His clothes protruded black and pearl, with elaborately and facings. buttoned panels watched

Socialist

as Mongol Gypsies haughty royalty stood in a line, a gendarme whose very eyes seemed waxed. Above the bumble of voices they could hear a band the overture to I Vespri

by

its clashing a and suddenly Siciliani, way through clatter of cavalry parted its way through a brave dis? the crowds, and scarlet coats. array of silken horses, tossing plumes, An old woman with a milky eye offered them bouquets of tiny

white flowers. in pointed Beside a French shoes stood journalist a peasant in a great coat that had seen Marshal Ney. The hangars were like large puppet their stage cur? theatres, tains drawn, Otto explained, to keep all the inventions from pry? Some and they stood, were out, however, ing eyes. aeroplanes rather guiltily, and allowed the strangeness of the insect machines to astonish small," The Berlin, his feet Herald them more than a Frenchman Brothers but here said from they had anticipated. behind them. not there. "They are too

were indeed Wright was their rival Curtiss on a benzine They looked tin.

at him in utter awe. Kafka ap? his professional which was like that of an nonchalance, preciated acrobat who is soon to be before everybody's eyes, but who for the has nothing moment better to occupy him than a newspaper. He was satisfyingly an American. Then they saw Bleriot. A man with and legs spread. from the door which the two engine and calm, Twice of his eyes stood with philosophical he broke his meditative stance folded arms on over wig? screw? is and strutted

propped Tribune.

were in They in a folding chair, sitting He was reading The New York

mechanics

gling, driver

kept the other brush. is most

to the engine of an aeroplane hangar were working. The mechanic bending back an empty its fingers hand, reaching mechanic put into it a wrench "Because or

or wire

"That his airship,

certainly the one in which

Otto said. Bleriot," he flew the channel."

that

GUY Max "That remembered

DAVENPORT the anecdote of the

579 father

and son on horseback know?"

later, at dinner, who came upon

is Cezanne," said the son. the father asked. "Because," ing a Cezanne." It was indeed Bl?riot. He wore a snug cap with ear flaps that tied under His the chin, like the caps of the medieval popes. nose was cinquecento, a beak befitting a bird man. He kept dart? standing XI on tiptoe, was a yellow and watching the fingers of the

a painter at work in a field. in the world do you "How the son replied, "he is paint?

ing forward, mechanic. The stretched

B16riot canvas,

and

wires.

letters of military grey: the information that its motor zani. and Its power

of enamelled wood, dragonfly its side ran its name in square Along offered ANTOINETTE 25 CV. Otto had been built Anby Alessandro where its wings, wheels,

was clearly in its shoulders, from each other, each in a propeller sprang at right angles Yet for all its brave yellow and nautical different wire-work, plane. it was alarmingly small, scarcely more than a mosquito magnified to the size of a bicycle. Near wrist them a tall man with thick chestnut hair held his left as if it might be in pain. It was the intensity of his eyes that from Kafka's attention more than his tall leanness which, caught the evidence and the mechanic. the aeronaut This about, marked the age of the bird man and of the magician Who knows but what one of these preoccupied This hair was a crane and the tension of the The ma? faces

was chine.

might very fin? was an Air

to Marinetti himself? belong wildness of his curly brown gers seemed talking

of a man.

to speak of man's strange to a short man in a mechanic's From his mouth flew the words

necessity blue smock Kite

in his long to fly. He and with

eye-patch. Flying Upper zum Drachensteigenlassen. Hohere the Then Station, Luftstazion small man raised his square hands and cocked his head in a ques? tion. Glossop, was the answer, followed by the green word Derby? shire. Further another along aeroplane it an aviator Before walked frantic gestures. his shoulders an Italian and was being backwards, rolled directing who per from its

hangar. move with Otto

every was fa-

squared both obviously

and approached a man a reporter. "Informazione,

580 vore" used round he said with

THE

HUDSON

REVIEW and The Franz had thought eyes he grew

only upon and bright. "Per esempioV "Chi "E. Ruggiero. "Ask him,"

a flamboyance Max of Prague. the waiters

reporter's

e il aviatore

cola, prego?" Francese" "if he knows hair." e capigliatura ricciaS" who that tall man is with

Franz said, the deep eyes and chestnut "E quest' uomo di occhi The Nothing hay which society world's the reporter seemed

penetrante did not know.

to the bales of wandered ready to fly. They where the flying field from the grandstand separated like the sat in tiers under a flag-hung It all looked canopy. most crowded Countess Impressionist Carlotta Primoli painting. Bonaparte of young In a wicker ladies chair a blue in sat under

heavy She was the center parasol. blue and pink. Were the three Bourbon and now the Violante? scattered hills To with herms move and

of a flock

veiled

here, Massimilla, Anatolia, princesses from the long steps of the Villa Medici, from the tall trees the first leaves of autumn, termini of their walled Roman to gardens they were

and noseless invited

of Brescia, was it simply an outing to which and sabres? Yet D'Annunmale cousins all moustaches by who

zio was said to be here, della Contemplazione

had published this year a Fedra and a Kafka of titles which reminded Morte, they not heard that he was taking

and had wreathes, mortuary lessons from Bleriot? flying saw Puccini. He was They that protected the grandstand. drunkard's. The blocked profile from

of straw on the barricade leaning His face was long and his nose a gentian eyes was in bas? he had

of a lady with a perfect chin and Kafka's view by the top hat of a sets, and then, as Max was trying to show him that all suit walking on his hands, he discovered been

gentleman a boy in a sailor the while

of the interior of high grass, the mouse's world. thinking Bleriot was going to fly. Arms waved. Mechanics their slapped in the swing with a nonchalant Bleriot, pivot up, was pockets. suddenly in his a kind machine, of upright he was to the lever by which holding tiller. Mechanics were everywhere. One

guide,

GUY wondered frantically if they knew

DAVENPORT they were or doing B16riot looked it. He sky was away looked still from

581 if they were toward the in all direc?

what

grandstand tions, as if to assure the cardinal ways had. Kafka realized of his Bleriot Channel rivers from lete's coat was that

their dignity. preserving did not see but obviously himself still that the directions with stretched

there, and that him as they al? under the lapels as far as

a shiver

somewhere was the

deep

nothing extraordinary concerned. He had seen of feet below He had beneath him stream

thousands and cities window.

a train

him; as casually as one the athlete's sureness in the awful

happening crawl of the wrinkling he had seen farms and watches and of the the fields

ath? ex? he

offhandedness.

was human traordinary or alien to the moment. might do was superfluous it with both A mechanic was at the propeller, grasping and standing on one leg for leverage. He pulled downward a fierceness. didn't

only Perhaps there real calm in

light action. Nothing

hands with

its wings but the propeller The machine waggled took over, and this time it spun, Another mechanic budge. and froze in another One after another kicked, position. they the propeller. The engine and whined, dying in its best spun spit and screwdrivers, a can of oil, and efforts. They brought spanners work on the engine. One could feel the excitement in the began wilt. Talk sprang up. Otto did not take his eyes off the trim yellow machine. beautifully and worse than stubborn, was stubborn, The propeller for it whirrs as often as it refused stalled after a few hopeful to spin at was wearing heroic indifference all. Bl?riot's even thin, though grandstand the most ladies could be made to understand Italian that comely oil can was brought was in the engine. A long-beaked the fault mechanic. Another took it from from the hangar by a running in the engine. it here and there A mechanic poked a part for the engine. what was probably A part like it brought taken out, and compared was unscrewed, critically by three me? The Princess who talked softly, as if in a dream. Laetitia chanics, him and them with purple watched Savoia Bonaparte eyes, as well bred as if she were at the opera. down. Leblanc him. Otto climbed Bleriot swung up to replace his hands in sympathetic He remarked and closed help. opened

582 that Bleriot He had was

THE crashed not rain who

HUDSON some

REVIEW

Channel.

flight an English the coast. The ling reporter them with out Otto

times before he flew the eighty to be discouraged. In the Channel had all but swamped him just as he reached a man identified for Otto was signal? Rougier it as he ran toward them, He opened Otto with a smile of ancient he handed page. The Then with the was the took it back reporter air of a corporal de? he gave the page back and developing the name around of the man Ble-

had

his notebook.

tearing

courtesy. and frowned livering hastened riot's

a page, which frowned over at it himself.

a dispatch to a field-marshal, for something new away,

aeroplane. Otto gave the page to Franz. "There's asked about," he said. "He wrote it down Kafka meticulous titles thin silver looked men at the used

you

of learned

"Who?"

pencil Max said.

name. kind It read, to jot down fractions and the abbreviated and page, probably a volume, number, journals, with fine lead, Ludwig Wittgenstein. ducked grasped under the a

for the giornalista" in light pencil, the

the propeller was spinning. Bleriot Suddenly and vaulted into his seat. The mechanics wing plane, Their cheeks. for it was beginning to roll forward clothes Bleriot's moustache rippled. The with

aero?

trembling wings. blew flat against his

on a higher and quickly ward. and another

its voice and the propeller whirred engine deepened note. He was going to fly. Everyone exchanged glances looked back at Bleriot. The aeroplane waddled for? like

to slide rather than roll, and darted one way a goose on a frozen river. Kafka was appalled by and failure of grace before its desperation he reflected that the on the ground. most agile birds are clownish there was Surely tear itself to pieces before it got into the air. danger that it would it was making a long curve to the left, hopping and sliding. its wings and flew up, bouncing it wagged once in the air while no one breathed. Now Then He flew out toward the sun. Then that he was they realized a long turn and would fly over them. A slash of light flared making on his wings when they dipped. As he passed overhead he seemed to be a man busy at a desk, now this lever, now that, and all with studied composure. pulling

It seemed

GUY

DAVENPORT

583

Kafka to was the ability to pay attention Heroism, reflected, three things at once. It was not after all a machine his white for the grave Leonardo, beard streaming and on over his shoulder, his mind on Pythagoras Cesare Borgia teaching for Pinocchio to extend ard would have He built had not been heard to fly. It was rather the very contraption wiz? the scope of his mischief. A random Civetta of an artificer who from

since his graduation it as Gepetto carved Pinocchio, the image was latent in the material, not have and would known what to do with it, being too arthritic to try it himself. The fox and the cat would of not have stolen it, being incapable trouble into it, to see what Pinocchio it, and enticed stealing Bologna. because would have built would Now come there of it. in circles Calderara around them like the on an enormous the bee. was a rumor crowd. Bleriot it up show. in hummed German.

it, an old Dottore from by his friends

They picked way to the air There were distressed faces everywhere. He was flying his He was hurt when he crashed. He was not hurt when he Wright. crashed. The Wright was ruined. could be repaired The Wright of hours. He would still fly, if they He was the only Italian who was to fly, and now watch only foreigners fly at their own air show. He head. The band, which had been playing idle waltzes, struck up "La z. tribute to Bleriot, who was obviously Marseillaise," going to fly over the grandstand. Women and waved cowered their kerchiefs. Officers not look windsock threw down. him salutes. They could see him plainly. He did would turn up, most certainly, with in a matter all had patience. the Italians must

going through had crashed

a gloriously

bandaged

He was going to land, they heard, only to go up again. The red on its mast filled and rippled to the west. A man in a

that the wind was just so, and that Curtiss grey fedora remarked was going to put down the Herald Tribune and fly. Bleriot was for the sheer fun of it. Now they flying for practise, they supposed, were all to fly for the Grand Prix de Brescia. There was a stir on the grandstand. women. Gabriele Officers and who husbands was were explaining a cream it to the suit

D'Annunzio,

wearing

lounge

584 striped Count in lime and

THE a hot

HUDSON rose

REVIEW his He at devoirs twirled him to his and

grinned poet's D'Annunzio and frequently over his shoulder. looked nodded, waved his arms, spread his open hand on his chest, and talked like a herald in Sophocles. how thin and short he was, Kafka noticed and how accurately he resembled a rat. at all was looking From nowhere Everyone up. Zodiac had appeared, and was drifting majestically the dirigible toward the Digni? open.

the chairman Oldofredi, above his head. finger

cravat, was paying of the Committee. The Count

national anthem. The band began a confused grandstand. fied Germans and stared, their mouths backwards leaned Two boys leapt up and down as if on springs. Ladies and gentlemen under their hastened to the bales of hay.

Photogra? black cloths. The violent, flag Republican phers went ran up a staff and as soon of the Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika out into the of stars rippled as its red stripes and blue reticulation than they had heard Lombard air there was a roar more sonorous on the first kick. The man him? caught of his machine the fuselage on standing pulling His throat was wrapped with a scarf which gauntlets. long-cuffed streamed over his shoulder in the wash of the spinning propeller. He mounted, settled himself, and with a toss of his head signalled propeller self was beside the mechanics He natural air. His was to stand the across away. field before that his preter? they realized to take him immediately into the going the ground with a dreamy The laziness. all day. Curtiss's had

was composure wheels cleared

which all afternoon was suddenly im? they had watched prospect and there was a wood on a knoll which had not no? mense, they ticed flew over either. Curtiss the wood, lost to view. They watched the wood and then they realized that he was intently, now behind them. His machine has arisen from behind some of his wings all at once, like a wildly peculiarly strange And while his trim biplane it was ship in harbor. they watched above the wood again, small and melancholy. This time already turned to watch the farmhouses. Because everyone they were wait? the trip seemed the second time, but there he was, as ing, longer looked familiar and suddenly as before, up out of nowhere. farmhouses. Then he was above them. The underside

GUY He could made not five see, flights over

DAVENPORT the wood time flown that and around the most a circuit

585 they Before

returning he was down, word went the Prix de Brescia. He

each around had

over

farmhouses.

he had

minutes

fifty and twenty-four seconds. He had won 30,000 lire. The grandstand stood and clapped from his as Curtiss climbed machine. His wife was standing with a group of men, who ushered her forward. The blood was draining back into her face, and she was trying to smile. The man named was again Wittgenstein it as if it were in pain. massaging was definitely They heard that Calderara was a wreck. Wright Curtiss was scarcely The down when three engines. of gold. Dust gier was now runners He seemed holding injured, his left and wrist, his

kilometres

won certainly in forty-nine

that

machines

all started

their

was coming haze with a touch on, a brown evening blew against dust. The crowd became restless. Rouin the air, curled more between up to do than two at both great wings ends to bear manage, on a sled the smaller pulling wings. and

of which to have

he could

he was managing levers. But apparently like beautifully, pushing a man for whom writing with both hands at once is natural. was in the air again, too. Leblanc's Bleriot looked monoplane redder in the air than it had on the ground. The could crowd was obviously to the train in time got "It is clear," Otto was saying, "that is true. The others, among aeroplane given the power to fly long distances There can be no movement possible. night tect itself which the aeroplane from an aeroplane cannot with moving take only away, to get seats on the train, which a small part of them. By running, they to pry themselves aboard. what once the Wrights claim, it is perfected and make war completely im?

will

of troops even in the dark of see, and what army could pro? bombs?"

was still in the air when the train began to move. Rougier la! His craft droned above them like a wasp at the end of a Ancora at harvest time, drunk with its own existence and long afternoon with "Franz!" of the world. the fat goodness Max said before he considered know." what he was saying,

"Why are there tears in your eyes?" Kafka said. "I don't "I don't know,"