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Werfel and Hulda are walking on the way to the camp of the pioneers up the hill. Hulda is walking in a sustained rhythm, and Werfel is barely keeping pace with her.

WERFEL   (short of breath:) Wait, wait! Where are you going?! Please, don't run so fast!

HULDA   What's the matter with you? You're only 33 years old!

WERFEL   Oh! You know my age?

HULDA   I know a lot more than that. You'd be surprised. I was a great admirer of your early poetry. You were the idol of my youth.

WERFEL   Your youth? How old are you now?

HULDA   Almost 23.

WERFEL   Oh! What a decrepit old lady!

HULDA   If you want to crack jokes, you'd better return to the broken car, and join your frustrated grumbling woman.

WERFEL   Alma is not a frustrated woman.

HULDA   But she is. And how! Who wouldn't be, in her place, after what Mahler did to her? Her destiny is the typical fate of creative women in our time: she was given a glimpse of her potential, and then violently robbed of her vocation. All she's been able to do ever since is to take revenge on creative men who follow their calling and shape our times. In my mind she is the epitome of our Zeitgeist.

WERFEL   How do you know all about her? Was she also the idol of your youth?

HULDA   I knew Kokoschka and Gropius.

WERFEL   Did you have affairs with them?

HULDA   Are you interested in gossip?

WERFEL   Sure!

HULDA   I'm not.

WERFEL   Would you mind telling me your plans as far as I'm concerned?

HULDA   I wouldn't have proposed to accompany you, if I didn't feel you were standing at a crossroads in your life.

WERFEL   I am, am I?

HULDA   I've read every work you ever published. You were a very promising poet, and since you became Alma's plaything, you've become a very successful writer. But the unique sound of your true voice remains unexpressed.

WERFEL   If you're insinuating that Alma is distracting me from my vocation, I want you to know that she is the best thing that ever happened to me!

HULDA   Or the worst catastrophe. It all depends. As long as you stick to her, she will keep you fettered within the borders of European provincial culture.

WERFEL   Oh! Those are very broad boundaries.

HULDA   But are they your boundaries?

WERFEL   You mean, I have to break my ties with German culture, and come to your Eretz Israel? To start a new existence? No, thank you. The German language is my language. The European culture is my culture. Pluck me out of it, and I'm a dead man.

HULDA   Stick to it, and you're a dead writer.

WERFEL   But I have obligations, I have relationships! For instance: I have a strong relationship with Alma.

HULDA   I've been watching you for the last couple of days. All you have with her is a substitute relationship, a fetish.

WERFEL   One thing I know for sure: I have a sexual relationship with her. That at least is beyond any doubt!

HULDA   I haven't had the privilege of watching you have sex with her, but I wonder if it isn't just another fetish.

WERFEL   “Just another fetish”? - I know that I perform marvellously well. Both of us do. We have never encountered any problems of malfunction. Whenever there is a demand from one partner, the other is there to supply it, and the goods are delivered with extreme punctuality of timing, quantity and quality to the total satisfaction of both parties involved.

HULDA   And you always know when to stop? Just at the right moment…?

WERFEL   On the contrary! The truth is: we can't stop. We are both screaming for help! “That's murder”, she yells at me, “carry on! Slaughter me!” But I can't stop no matter what. We are both so voluptuous! Sometimes it becomes painful... But I don't spare her. In the beginning of our relationship - she was already seven months pregnant - it wasn't clear if it was my baby or Walter Gropius's - but I couldn't care less - I lashed and smashed at her like a steam-hammer -- in the morning the room looked like a slaughterhouse - the poor baby was born so damaged that it didn't last ten months, the poor thing my little Martin, my son! - You call that just another fetish?

HULDA   When nothing is real, the only concrete thing that remains beyond doubt is pain. Physical pain. Therefore the best service you can provide one another is to inflict pain, torture and humiliation. And this is the rotten stuff that you are doomed to ruminate on, over, as long as you insist on writing only within the limits of the declining Occidental civilization.

WERFEL   You propose that I come and stay with you?

HULDA   No, I invite you to set out with us on a journey.

WERFEL   A journey? Where to?

HULDA   There is no „where“. We have no goal. It's the journey that counts. The way is the goal.

WERFEL   Yes, but every way must lead somewhere!

HULDA   No! This is your limited way of thinking. We are on the way.

WERFEL   Always on the way?

HULDA   Yes. Always on the way. - When we left Europe, we opened up everything. You see, we are living temporarily on that mountain. We work during the day, and at night we sit together and discuss our future. We don't know yet what form of life we're going to create for ourselves. We know that it's going to be different from anything that's ever existed, but we don't know yet what it will look like. We don't even know what form we will give to relationships between the sexes. We know that we don't want the master--slave relationship of couples, but we don't know yet what's going to replace it. All choices lie open before us. I invite you to join us. To be part of our adventure.

WERFEL   I'll be frank with you: it scares me.

HULDA   Why? Why?! Give yourself the chance to become a child again.

WERFEL   A child?! What exactly do you mean by that?

HULDA   A child doesn't know the names of things. (She touches Werfel's face:) A child touches things for the first time. Like I'm touching you now. It's not »An Author« I'm touching or »A Man«. What is it? It's flesh. No. It's naked matter. It's nakedness. Darkness. What do you feel?

WERFEL   I feel so strange.

HULDA   Hush. Don't talk.

WERFEL   I don't know what's happening to me. I'm sweating all over. Is it the climate?

HULDA   No, it's the excitement.

WERFEL   I feel so stupid! I'm trying to think of something to say -

HULDA   Stop thinking for a while. Let yourself be.

WERFEL   ,You were trembling, so I thought you were afraid -

HULDA   I'm trembling from the nice feeling. What should I be afraid of?

WERFEL   I thought you were afraid I would lose control -

HULDA   On the contrary: lose control.

WERFEL   You mean -

HULDA   I mean nothing. Don't be so tense. It's not an operation.

WERFEL   I am not tense.

HULDA   You are tense as a coil. . Let yourself go. Stop trying so hard. .

WERFEL   I… it's strange, but I… I've never felt so close… so close to my real self. I have almost… a feeling of happiness. Yes…! A feeling of happiness! I know that you're right. You must be. The future lies here… it lies here, I can even smell it… the Orient… How is it possible? I'm holding you in my arms, and I can feel… I can feel… that somnolent monster… whose hair is dipped in the Mediterranean…, its feet are paddling the Pacific Ocean…, while it's heart is beating here… in Canaan… where God first spoke to Man... where he invited them… to take part in your adventure... in your adventure… in…

HULDA   This is your salvation! This is your salvation! There is no possible salvation in the world without a return! The return of life to its origin, to its roots! We're members of a dispersed People! Dispersed all over the globe! Stay with us, Franz,! Franz, stay with us. And you will find your voice. The voice which has been never heard before! The unborn voice. The voice of a child…!

WERFEL   Yes, yes, I'm staying, I will. I will do it, yes!! I will stay! I will stay with you! I'll stay! I'll stay!!