The huge black clock hand is still at rest but is on the point of making its once-a-minute gesture; that resilient jolt will set a world in motion. The clock face will slowly turn away, full of despair, contempt, and boredom, as one by one the iron pillars will start walking past, bearing away the vault of the station like blind atlantes; the platform will begin to move past, carrying off on an unknown journey cigarette butts, used tickets, flecks of sunlight and spittle; a luggage handcart will glide by, its wheels motionless; it will be followed by a news stall hung with seductive magazine covers --- photographs of naked, pearl-gray beauties; and people, people, people on the moving platform, themselves moving their feet, yet standing still, striding forward, yet retreating as in an agonizing dream full of incredible effort, nausea, a cottony weakness in one's calves ...

The entire old burg in its rosy autumn morning mist moved as well: the great stone [statue] in the square, the dark cathedral, the shop signs --- top hat, a fish, the copper basin of a barber. There was no stopping the world now.

--- From Mary, Vladimir Nabokov
As quoted by Martin Amis
TLS 23 & 30 December 2011
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