Hans is going back to normal life within the boundaries of the Sanatorium.
Hans and Joachim have an appointment for an X Ray session. Hans who thinks he is now “part of the family of the Moribundi” and deserves respect, is now confronted with a hierarchy of illness. The sicker you are, the more respect you deserve. “… people who were slightly ill, did not count for much…”.
People at his table have not missed him with two exceptions: Settembrini and maybe Clawdia
Hans “infatuation” for Clawdia has grown in the three weeks he was alone in bed. He has day-dreamed about her a lot and Settembrini has interrupted one of these “dreams” which made H blush. H has completely fallen for her.
“… we sympathize with the qualms of conscience that accompanied the terrifying bliss of these visions and images…” Masturbatory imagery and sexual fantasies?
Hans is ready for more “…overt actions and blind adventures…” but Joachim’s coolness towards Marusja sets an example of discipline and restraint. Without that Hans would already have “borrowed a (phallic) pencil”
Hans gets more info about Clawdia from “cupido” Frau Engelhart. There is competition: A gentleman caller, a sick man from
and even… Hofrat Behrens. Jealousy sets in. Behrens paints her portrait! – over-energetic
garrulous widower and a narrow-eyed pussy footing young lady – how funny! Mannheim
Behrens is the most dangerous competitor for Hans knows that the doctor is his superior in age, character and position.
Clawdia is also sitting in the waiting room for the X-Rays, close to Hans. Clawdia speaks to Joachim, not to Hans. There are opportunities for small talk which Hans does not use. Hans fantasizes that she speaks to Joachim and not to him because between her and J there is no “savage, profound, terrible secret” . How cute !
Hans keeps on fantasizing over her: the slender outline of the whole leg, her very agreeable size, relatively long legs ( gasp ), not at all broad in the hips, small breasts of a young girl pressed together from both sides… ( gasp again )
In the X- Ray room:
Hans asks permission from Joachim to look at what he is not supposed to look at.
Hans chokes up when he sees J honour-loving beating hearth
“Yes Yes I see it”, Hans is remembering an old aunt who had sights of people as skeletons as a premonition of their death.
Hans is deeply moved
When Hans sees an X ray of his own hand he “sees his own grave” and for the first time of his life understands that he too will die. Hans takes conscience of his own mortality
Cicerone = guide
Dioscury boys, Castor and Pollux , twins