Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Visible Yet Unwritten Magic Password

We were tickled by this description of a silent yet visible magic word spelled not alphabetically but aesthetically, through the features of a stunning landscape:

"There is here a sort of magic password, as though all the powers of grace and splendour that nature holds concealed had united to give at the same moment, to a spectator unknown to men, one great, decisive proof of the blessings and the glories of the earth. There is here a sort of unparalleled expectation ...; an ecstatic silence which demands a supernatural presence." —Maurice Maeterlinck, Mountain Paths (1919)

Can you guess the landscape in question?

Answer: The "gardens and valleys of the Proven├žal coast during the six or seven weeks when departing spring still mingles its verdure with the first warmth of advancing summer. ... Here, amid this desert, this silence, this emptiness, from the vine-arbours to the terraces and from the terraces to the porches of a thousand abandoned villas, reigns a rivalry of beauty which reaches a poignant agony of intensity, exhausting every energy, form and colour." (The answer is in black text on the black background. Highlight it to view.)

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