This is how Hebdomeros begins:

And then began the tour of that strange building situated in a street that looked forbidding, although it was distinguished and not gloomy. As seen from the street the building was reminiscent of a German consulate in Melbourne. Its ground floor was entirely taken up with large stores. Although it was neither Sunday nor a holiday, the stores were closed, endowing this part of the street with an air of tedium and melancholy, a certain desolation, that particular atmosphere which pervades Anglo Saxon towns on Sundays. A slight smell of docks hung in the air; the indefinable and highly suggestive smell that emanates from dockside warehouses in ports. The German consulate-at-Melbourne look was a purely personal association on the part of Hebdomeros and when he mentioned it to his friends they smiled and found the comparison amusing, but they didn't dwell on the point, and immediately spoke of something else, which led Hebdomeros to decide that they had probably not grasped the meaning of what he had said. And he reflected on the difficulty of making yourself understood once you begin to develop at a certain height or depth. It's odd, Hebdomeros repeated to himself, the idea that something had escaped me would keep me awake, but most people can see, hear or read things which are totally obscure to them without feeling upset.

And this is how it ends:

And then once more came the desert and the night. Again, everything slept in immobility and silence. All at once, Hebdomeros saw that this woman had his father's eyes; and he understood. She spoke of immortality, in the great starless night.
'Oh, Hebdomeros,' she said. 'I am Immortality. Names have their gender, or rather their sex, as you once said with much finesse, and verbs, alas, are declined. Have you ever thought of my death? Have you ever thought about the death of my death? Have you ever thought about my life? One day, oh brother....'
But she spoke no more. Seated on the fragment of a broken column, she gently placed one hand on his shoulder and with the other took hold of the hero's right hand. Hebdomeros, his elbow leaning on the ruined column, and his chin leaning on his hand, thought no longer....His thought, encountering the pure sound of the voice he had just heard, yielded slowly and finally abandoned itself altogether. It abandoned itself to the caressing waves, floated towards strange and unknown shores. It floated in a warmth like that of the setting sun, smiling, as it sets, towards the cerulean solitudes.
However, between the sky and the vast extent of the seas, green islands, marvelous islands, passed slowly by, as the ships of a squadron pass before the flagship, while long strings of sublime birds, white and immaculate, flew by, singing. [1]


  1. de Chirico, Giorgio, Hebdomeros, Paj Publications, New York, 1988, translated from the French by Margaret Crosland
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