. . . but they have no interest in real combat, when the great masters struggle against that something, that something that terrifies us all, that something that cows us and spurs us on, amid blood and mortal wounds and stench.

20 May 2010


And then there was the tourist Vogel, a man with so much optimism, so much faith in the innate goodness of mankind, that he is nearly unbearable. Also, a great believer in masturbation.

Vogel saves young Hans Reiter's life on one of the two occasions that Hans nearly drowns. Vogel had initially mistaken Hans for seaweed. When he recollects this later, it perplexes him to no end. Page 646.

And then: in what sense can a boy resemble seaweed? And then: can a boy and seaweed have anything in common?


Good question.

Can a boy and seaweed have anything in common?

Laminaria digitata

1 comment:

  1. Reminds me somewhat of Ondaatje and his male organ/seahorse comparison. What is it about literary writers and their urge to bring all that sea wrack and ruin ashore anyway? Fortunately, as something of a literary man yourself, you've chosen to take Teiresias' advice to Odyesseus and have thereby reduced the risk of an accidental beach-related metaphor to near zero.