Translated by Florence Simmonds
t look very unhappy. They all tell the same story ... The war has not changed them much. One can recognise them all."
Are you sure that you recognise them? You have just been looking at them, are you sure that you have seen them?
Under their bandages are wounds you cannot imagine. Below the wounds, in the depths of the mutilated flesh, a soul, strange and furtive, is stirring in feverish exaltation, a soul which does not readily reveal itself, which expresses itself artlessly, but which I would fain make you understand.
In these days, when nothing retains its former semblance, all these men are no longer those you so lately knew. Suffering has roused them from the sleep of gentle life, and every day fills them with a terrible intoxication. They are now something more than themselves; those we loved were merely happy shadows.
Let us lose none of their humble words, let us note their slightest gestures, and tell me, tell me that we will think of them together, now and later, when we
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