Cassiel: Do you recall our first visit here?
Damiel: History had not yet begun.
We let both mornings and evenings go by, and we waited. It was a long time before the river found its bed, and the stagnant water began to flow. Valley of the primeval river. One day, I still remember, the glacier melted, and the icebergs drifted in the north. A tree passed by, still green, with an empty bird's nest. Over a myriad of years, only the fish had leapt. Then came the moment when the swarm of bees drowned.
Cassiel: Some time later, the two stags fought on this bank. Then the cloud of flies and the antlers, like branches, flowing down the river. All that ever grew again was the grass growing over the bodies of wild cats, of wild boar, and buffalos. Do you remember, one morning how, out of the savanna, its forehead smeared with grass, appeared the biped, our image, so long awaited. And its first word was a shout. Was it "Ah" or "Oh" or was it merely a groan? We were at last able to laugh for the first time and through this man's shout and the call of his followers, we learned to speak.
Damiel: a long story. The sun, the lightning, the thunder above in the sky, and below, on earth, the firesides, the leaps, the round dance, the signs, the writing. Then one of them broke through the circle and ran straight ahead. As long as he ran straight ahead, swerving perhaps from joy, he seemed free, and we could laugh with him. But then, suddenly, he ran in a zigzag and stones flew. With his flight began another story: the story of wars. It is still going on.
Cassiel: But the first story, too, that of the grass, the sun, of the leaps, and the shouts, that still goes on. Do you remember how one day the highway was built, which the next day saw the Napoleonic retreat, and was then paved? Today it is covered with grass and sunk like a Roman way, its tank tracks too.
Damiel: But we weren't even spectators. We've always been too few.
Cassiel: you really want...?
Damiel: yes. To conquer history for myself. What my timeless downward look has taught me, I want to transmute to sustain a glance, a short shout, a sour smell. I've been on the outside long enough. Absent long enough. Long enough out of the world. Let me enter the history of the world. If only to hold an apple in my hand. Look, those feathers. Look, there on the water, already vanished. Look, the tire marks on the asphalt, and the cigarette butt rolling. The primeval river has dried up, and only today's puddle still quivers. Do away with the world behind the world!