Sunday, November 20, 2011

MM Part 7: Vingt et un

Hans has « lost » Clawdia but has to witness each day how she and PP enjoy themselves together. He is jealous.

It is Clawdia, who opens the conversation again with Hans. “…and your cousin, monsieur?”
Hans first words to Clawdia is “Dead”. Joachim is dead. When Hans start speaking nonsense, only the reader can follow the ramble.

Hans uses Mme Chauchat’s first name. ( Who is the uneducated savage now ?)
CC does not accept it.
HC confesses that he has been waiting for her. “Fool !”. 
CC still does not like Settembrini and his Mediterranean arrogance 

Pieter Peeperkorn joins the couple. They are three now, like “ménage à trios” or like the “Christian Trinity”?

PP is the great himself and is immediately open and sympathetic to Hans. He does not see in the young man someone ordinary or unassuming but someone “promising”.

PP organizes an “evening” of drinks food and game. Let us enjoy ourselves. Again he gathers 12 people around the table for a game of 21. ( numerology again ). As they sit around the table with PP toasting, the scene resembles the Eucharist or a Bacchanale

Peeperkorn has seated Hans between him and Clawdia.

Everthing goes well until food that is served is (according to PP) a gimcrackery, cheap, tasteless. PP explodes in fury ! Clawdia calms him down and PP makes an effortless transition from rage to composure…

PP keeps his pleasures holy, simple, directly from the hand of God…drink, eat. Smoking is already too sophisticated, decadent? Cocaine – Hashish – Opium is too much. But PP does not reprove, does not judge.

“The unforgivable Sin lies in…” Hans takes over the answer, but we don’t know what in the eyes of PP is the “unforgivable Sin”.

“Demands”, Life’s holy, feminine demands upon our manly honor and vigor…”

HC likens PP to the God Bacchus. That would make Clawdia, Ariadne ? will she help our Perseus out of the Labyrinth?

“Life is a woman sprawled…” 

The defeat of feeling in the face of Live, that is the inadequacy for which there is no pardon, no pity…. Impotency is the unforgivable sin…

Hans babbling nearly infuriates PP in a comic scene. 

PP refers to the sleep at Gethsemane. The sleep of the last night.
Matthew 26:45 “Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, Are you still sleeping and resting?... Behold, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners”. 

The party starts all over again ! 

When the rumor goes that Behrens approaches, the party breaks up and HC and CC accompany PP to his room.

“Kiss one another!” Hans refusal makes him suspicious…