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ALISON GLENNY

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The Flaneur

In one street, a gallery containing a collection of gonflables. In another, silhouettes of balloonists, aerialists, circus performers. The words the omnipotence of dream, and the disinterested play of language are written along the base of the wall in thin gold letters.

Walking past the window of a bookshop she glimpses An Alphabet of Pensive Language. Next to it is The Risks of Sleep Explained. She recalls the German writer who, under the influence of hashish, described curtains as interpreters of the language of the wind.

The night before she dreamed of being lost in fog and then emerging at a street corner into the light. Our dreams, she thinks – that vast library of which even the catalogue of titles is obscure. A man walks towards her out of the darkness, tips his hat and vanishes into the mist.

 

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