Paul Castelnau – Reims (1918).
‘There is too much pain and gloom among us and everything looms larger under the shadow of death. Joan of Arc, so full of voices and hopes, went to prison and to the stake: we ourselves will have our days of sorrow and the day of our death lurks in wait for us like a thief. We too thirst after consolation. It is true that the light of God shines for us all, but we stray off into our daily wretchedness which is like the ashes in a cold room, like a November fog. Now one day when I was pitifully bemoaning these woes, a friend told me not to forget the cathedral in Rheims and suddenly I saw it again, so large in my memory that it seemed to me projected outside myself into a light that was ever new. I saw it as the highest, most marvelous consolation left among us by God, and I thought that as long as it lasted, even if in ruins, we would still have a mother for whom to die.’
– Georges Bataille, Notre-Dame de Rheims.