Saturday, May 7


To get back to mirrors; some make a large, close thing seem tiny and distant, even if it were that mountain between France and Cerdagna. When you hold a mirror up to it, it suddenly becomes very small, so that even if you gaze at it intensely you can barely see it. Other mirrors show the true dimensions of objects. If you look into a normal mirror you see things as they are, real. I know of others again in which objects burn, but only when you place them right where the sun's rays are all reflected and trained on that point. Then all seems ablaze. Some form many quite different figures: single or doubled and sometimes quadrupled, prone, supine, shortened, lengthened. They make one figure a hundred.

-- Jean de Meung and Guillaume de Lorris Le Roman de la Rose
Translated by Alastair McEwen