There is still only one miracle, only one: the Taj Mahal. . . . [It] has the fascination not of a work of art but of a natural and eternal beauty like the sea, the sky, like the highest, most immaculate mountain peaks. It had the color of the granular ice on certain glaciers today as I contemplated it for the last time. Then, as evening approached, it changed to pink and azure, to green, to the ardent violet of steel just before it is tempred. And the bronze- green cypresses, the cobalt sky, and the enclosed waters that repeated the miracle — it is all imprinted inside my eyelids, as when one looks at something blindingly bright.
—Guido Gozzano (1883—1916), Journey Toward the Cradle of Mankind, translated by David Marinelli, 1996.