- Never in his life had Alessandro had to squint in starlight, but now the stars were so bright that at times he had to cover his eyes, and when they burned too brilliantly for keeping still, they sometimes shot across the sky in short bursts. Though these quiet illuminations vanished almost as soon as they had started, they lingered in the eye’s inexact memory of their luminescent paths. Perhaps had they been stronger and more constant, and hung in a dull white line, Alessandro’s heart would not have risen each time he saw them. They were less than little puffs of smoke, their tracks thinner than a hair, the bursts of light mainly a matter of memory.
- A Soldier of The Great War (1991)