The Great God Dumps

image by Tony Lovell

The Great God Dumps

A seeming delightfully yet darkly absurd or absurdist  interlude, worthy of Aickman, whereby the Chauchat has now left the sanatorium again (unexplained as a throwaway line), and the Hofrat seems to have coddled a cure for Castorp related to cocci, a prospect of his own departure that is taken languidly by the patient, while others around him, as part of some entropy of soul called Dumps, seem to be trying to shake off such Dumps with obsessive hobbies or games, such as calculating the area of a circle without pi, the taking of photographs, a game of consequences involving the Devil wearing a nightcap or something like that, the speaking of Esperanto (cf some of the poets in ‘Star Kites’) and, most peculiar of all, the playing of cards in games of Patience all over the place. This whole chapter I find weirdly unsettling. Still, I am a ‘delicate child’ myself, but I am now bemused that Peeperkorn is no longer mentioned (even if with a throwaway line) and bemused, too, if not astonished, that the means for Peeperkorn’s end in the previous chapter was a contraption that I have long called Yesterfang without realising it!! Some remarkable prose, obsessively driven, a bit like Proust on speed or some sort of drug for blood clearance so as to get to the bottom of his own streptococci, perhaps!

An EXCERPT from my Review of ‘The Magic Mountain’ by Thomas Mann HERE.

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