There stood the middays and the sicknesses and the exhaled breath and the smoke of years, and the sweat that breaks out under armpits and makes clothes feel heavy, and the stale breath of mouths, and the fusel odour of sweltering feet. There stood the tang of urine and the burn of soot and the grey reek of potatoes, and the heavy smooth stench of ageing grease.
The sweet, lingering smell of neglected infants was there, and the fearsmell of children who go to school, and the sultriness out of the beds of nubile youths.'
The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge, Rainer Maria Rilke
‘Dipping his head he would glance sideways at the old oak panelling; and nearer things he fingered as though sight were not intimate enough a contact, his hand caressed the arm of his chair, because he remembered the black gleam of it, stole out and touched the recollected salt-cellar.’
‘“He’s fallen down those three steps from the hall”, I whispered. “They’re new…”’