She had come from the coast, where she had taken part in that latter-day annual ritual, the resurrection of the dead. I went to look at it once. From all over Europe they come, the white bodies, as if the Last Trumpet had sounded. Nudist beaches are permitted here these days, but just as nakedness used to be taboo in the past, so it is now forbidden to be white. All those bodies torment themselves during the day in order to stand before the mirror in the evening and, for these two weeks in the year, look invulnerable and therefore immortal. Everyone has his own resurrection. I do not say this out of prudishness, but I don’t believe in it - it is a false faith, and during these rites they display their uninteresting genitalia to each other while at the same time pretending not to see them. Fatter or older people ought not to take part, but they do. They are not welcome; they disturb the illusion of paradise - the fat ones because they evoke thoughts of intemperance and therefore of the resulting Dantesque punishments of sickness, death and damnation; the old ones because they shamelessly display precisely that which everyone tries to deny, namely the future. They are like a silent but hysterical sect, all those nameless bodies that lie there burning like Saint Laurence on his roasting grid, as if they wished to be irradiated against the cancer of death or to anticipate their own cremation, whereby the body, as a punishment because it has betrayed them, is pulverized at high speed in a macro-oven, until not a trace of their nameless lives is left.

Cees Nooteboom In the Dutch Mountains, translation Adrienne Dixon October 1, 2008
Posted on October 1, 2008