I am delighted that you see the translation discussion as helpful, __________. It was entertaining to consider it. I am actually happy that you were bugged by that phrase “false representation,” as I think you should have been.
Yeah, the business about some sort of liaison between Norton and Johns is actually too simple an explanation of her reaction. But the issue surely did get me scratching around in Part I again.
On a slightly related note. When Morini and Espinoza visit Johns and Morini asks him why he cut off his hand, Johns ultimately answers the question by leaning over and whispering something into Morini's ear. [p. 91] Later, Morini tells Norton that he believes he knows why Johns cut off his hand. [p. 97] I cannot believe, however, that the reason Morini gives Norton is the same reason that Johns whispered in his ear. Mystery upon mystery.
Back to Norton's husband by the way. The passage you quote is certainly apt. But then consider this similar passage, which comes later:
. . . for Norton made frequent and rather tasteless references to her ex-husband as a lurking threat, ascribed to him the vices and defects of a monster, a horribly violent monster but one who never materialized, a monster all evocation and no action, although with her words Norton managed to give substance to a being who neither Espinoza nor Pelletier had ever seen, as if her ex existed only in their dreams, until Pelletier, sharper than Espinoza, understood that Norton's unthinking diatribe, that endless list of grievances, was more than anything a punishment inflicted on herself, perhaps for the shame of having fallen in love with such a cretin and married him. Pelletier, of course, was wrong. [Emphasis mine.]
If Pelletier was wrong, what is the right interpretation?
Morini is a fan of Sherlock Holmes, too, by the way. [p. 96]