Kebad Kenya, translated by Malcolm R. Green.
Taken from Hans Henny Jahnn, The Living Are Few, The Dead Many, Atlas Press, 2012.
In the midst of this attenuated slowness he still perceived a thing or two. He had not lost his sense of touch. On the contrary, this sense appeared to become more subtle and to spin itself around him like a web of stuff more delicate than hair. His hearing seemed to have become clouded with deafness. Whether deafness in him or silence without, it hardly mattered. Even if it were imperative to establish this, the means were denied him because he could not move but only think, slowly, with remarkable slowness. His eyes likewise seemed to lapse into blindness. The darkness was not bound by the opening and closing of his lids. It seemed simpler to leave them permanently open – although it was fairly incomprehensible why he chose precisely this alternative. Whether the cause of the surrounding blackness was blindness within or darkness without, was a question that paralleled that of his hearing. Kebad Kenya would certainly have held himself for dead and as victor over his opponent, the masculine angel of death, had this spider's web of finest perceptions not been cast over him. He felt himself swell up. It did not unsetlle him in the least. He expanded. It was contrary to reason. Gradually he filled the coffin right into its furthermost corners, and assumed the shape of a large, rectangular prism. He was afraid of bursting the grave, the coffin, the masonry.