roma amor

Albert Speer (1967)

But doesn’t it make sense to do a bit more than just pacing up and down your cell when they’ve locked you up in prison? Even if it is only house arrest? Albert Speer used to measure off the distance of his daily walk through the exercise yard until he’d managed to go all the way around the world (a friend used to write to him with details of the countries he was traversing). Mandela played endless games of mental chess. Couldn’t Ovid have improvised an exile up north? A face-saving reason for the separation from his wife (dead? estranged? or simply indifferent?)

I suppose it’s not all that likely — but who can tell at this distance in time? And who’s in a position to condemn him if that is what he chose to do?

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