I remember very well the day it happened. We were staying in the country and I had gone for a walk alone as I did now and then. Suddenly, as I was passing the school, I heard a German song: the children were having a singing lesson. I stopped to listen, and at that instant a strange feeling came over me, a feeling hard to analyze, but much akin to something I was to know too well later – a disturbing sense of unreality. It seemed to me that I no longer recognized the school, it had become as large as an army barracks; the singing children were prisoners, compelled to sing. It was as though the school and the children’s song were set apart from the rest of the world. At the same time my eye encountered a field of wheat whose limits I could not see. The yellow expanse, dazzling in the sun, connected to the song of the children imprisoned in the smooth stone school-barracks, filled me with such an anxiety that I broke into sobs. I ran home to our garden and began to play “to make things seem as they usually were”, that is, to return to reality. It was the first appearance of those elements which were always present in later sensations and unreality: illimitable vastness, brilliant light and the gloss and smoothness of material things.