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New Left Review I/34, November-December 1965

Michel Butor

Second Thoughts

Standing with your left foot on the grooved brass sill, you try in vain with your right shoulder to push the sliding door a little wider open.

You edge your way in through the narrow opening, then you lift up your suitcase of bottle-green grained leather, the smallish suitcase of a man used to making long journeys, grasping the sticky handle with fingers that are hot from having carried even so light a weight so far, and you feel the muscles and tendons tense not only in your finger-joints, the palm of your hand, your wrist and your arm, but in your shoulder too, all down one side of your back along your vertebrae from neck to loins.

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Michel Butor, ‘Second Thoughts’, NLR I/34: £3

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