"And not only in time are we expanded. In space, too, we stretch out far over what is visible. We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there. We go to ourselves, travel to ourselves, when the monotonous beat of the wheels brings us to a place where we have covered a stretch of our life, no matter how brief it may have been.

Otherwise, why should it be a magical moment, a moment of silent drama when the train comes to a complete halt with a final jolt? It is becuse from the first steps we take on the strange and not strange platform, we resume a life we had interrupted and left (...) What could be more exciting than resuming an interrupted life with all its promises?

It is an error, a nonsencical act of violence, when we concentrate on the here and now with the conviction of thus grasping the essential. What matters is to move surely and calmly, with the appropriate humor and the appropriate melancholy in the temporally and spatially extended internal landscape that we are. Why do we feel sorry for people who can't travel? Because, unable to expand externally, they are not able to expand internally either, they can't multiply and so they are deprived of the possibility of undertaking expansive excursions in themselves and dscovering who and what else they could have become."

[in Night Train to Lisbon,
Pascal Mercier]