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Shall a man be dead within your heart before his rotten flesh be wholly dead within the ground, and before the producing fats and syrup cease to give life to his growing hair? Shall a man so soon be done with that which still provides a nest for working maggotry or shall a brother leave a brother's memory before the worms have left his tissue?

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And then he would hear again the voice of his dead brother, and remember with a sense of black horror, dream-like disbelief, that Ben was dead, and yet could not believe that Ben had ever died, -or that he had had a brother, lost a friend. Ben would come back to him in these moments with a blazing and intolerable reality, until he heard his quiet living voice again, saw his fierce scowling eyes of bitter grey, his scornful, proud and lively face, and always when Ben came back to him it was like this: he saw his brother in a single image, in some brief forgotten moment of the past, remembered him by a word, a gesture, a forgotten act; and certainly all that could ever be known of Ben's life was collected in that blazing image of lost time and the forgotten moment. And suddenly he would be there in a strange land, staring upward from his bed in darkness, hearing his brother's voice again, and living in the far and bitter miracle of time.
And always now, when Ben came back to him, he came within the frame and limits of a single image, one of those instant blazing images which from this time would haunt his memory and which more and more, as a kind of distillation--a reward for all the savage struggles of his --Faustian soul with the protean and brain-maddening forms of life--were to collect and -m--wconcentrate the whole material of experience and memory, in which the process of ten thousand days and nights could in an instant be resumed.

Thomas Wolfe, "Of Time and the River: A Legend of Man's Hunger in His Youth"

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