No, what numbed these fields, peopled with bad dreams was not the oppressive grip of a plague but rather an ailing retreat, a sort of sad widowhood. Man had started to subdue these vacant expanses, then had grown weary of eating into it, and now even the desire to preserve what had been claimed had perished. He had established everywhere an ebb, a sorrowful withdrawal. His cuttings into the forest, which were seen at long intervals, had lost their hard edges, their distinct notches: now a thick brushwood had driven its sabbath into the broad daylight of the glades, hiding the naked trunks as high as their lowest branches.

No, what numbed these fields, peopled with bad...
Julien Gracq

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