W.hen I look out the window at my desk on the third floor in Aix, I see the roofs from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in the foreground, covered with reddish-brown tiles, halved clay pipes, laid in the style of the south, i.e. the lower ones with the open cavity to the top, above, offset, brick with the cavity to the bottom; the roofers speak of the “monk and nun roof”. On the left of the picture I can see a mighty plane tree, on the right the slender Gothic tower of the Maltese Church and in the background, about fifteen kilometers away, the Montagne Sainte-Victoire. She is my constant companion. She never gets out of my mind.
Peter Handke thought the massif resembled a whale, Jean Giono saw it as a Flying Dutchman, and the mountain is often compared to a dinosaur, probably because there are plenty of traces of the dinosaur age around it. Such comparisons can hardly hold their own on closer inspection against the face, even if they come from Nobel Prize winners. My daughter, when she was little, simply spoke of the “strange thing” you saw through my window. “Strange” because, in their children’s opinion, the mountain didn’t look like a mountain should look like, that is, cone-shaped, very high and tapering towards the summit.
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