Saturday, March 26, 2005

20 Million and a few days reading

The paths upward remain sheer and the pages of the Mountain have been rife with activity. Joachim passed away and Hans' reaction wasn't approached, not with any emphasis. Instead a rumination on time was interjected as the last chapter of the novel unfolds. MM is often placed in the same panthoen with Ulysses and Rememberence of Things Past. While I claim that it is a literary creation of, indeed, the highest rank, it is not a device of creative liberty that Joyce and Proust achieved. Indeed Mann appears as a heir to Tolstoy, James, and Flaubert. The text continues with the return of Chavchet, the object of Castorp's febrile desire, somehow she is the East and Illness and Hans and Europe are predestined for confrontation if not interpretation.

My nightime reading of Applebaum's Gulag has progressed and I must admit to find her narrative rather toothless. An author is allegedly immune from criticism when lodged in such hallowed material, alas I find her tepid as a writer. Seeking comparative merit I picked up a copy of Conquest's The Great Terror from the library. The first few paragraphs contained more soul than five chapters of Applebaum.


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