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Metaphysical hunger and distaste in the notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge by Rainer Maria Rilke, Hunger… Frimer, Victoria 1974

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METAPHYSICAL HUNGER AND D I S T A S T E in THE NOTEBOOKS OF MALTE LAURIDS BRIGGE BY RAINER M A R I A R I L K E , HUNGER BY KNUT HAMSUN AND NAUSEA BY J E A N - P A U L  SARTRE  by  VICTORIA B.A.,  Uniyersity  FRIMER of Toronto,  1966  A THESIS SUBMITTED I N P A R T I A L FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS  FOR THE DEGREE OF  MASTER OF ARTS  in  the  Programme of  Comparative  We a c c e p t  this  thesis  required  standard  Literature  as  conforming to  THE U N I V E R S I T Y OF B R I T I S H April,  1974  COLUMBIA  the  In p r e s e n t i n g an the  this  thesis in partial  advanced degree at the Library  University  s h a l l make i t f r e e l y  f u l f i l m e n t of the  of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree  a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and  I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r extensive for  s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s may  by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s .  be  thesis for financial  written  permission.  Department  g r a n t e d by  gain  s h a l l not  of  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h V a n c o u v e r 8, C a n a d a  the  Head o f my  Columbia  be  that  thesis  Department  copying or  for  study.  copying of t h i s  I t i s understood that  of t h i s  requirements  or  publication  allowed without  my  ABSTRACT  I n many w o r k s o f modern in  terms  fiction  of a s p i r i t u a l hunger of distaste  spiritual  deprivation or hunger.  the  c r o p up as  image o f modern urban  blamed for  the h e r o ' s  Rilke's  sense  presentation  Laurids Brigge centres of  s p i r i t u a l as w e l l  the  that  daydreaming,  of this  presented  contributes  large,  i n terms  fundamentally  In a l l three distaste  motivated perceptions the protagonist) ment w h i c h b e g i n s estrangement  from  a great  i n short  writing  of  this  of  projected unconsciously  of  deal  towards  the  Malte  during a  period  emphasis  establishing  the  or s p i r i t u a l hunger  towards  is  introversion,  "Tonio Kroeger" portrait  of  temperament. Nausea  current  the  two r e s p e c t i v e  heroes  psychological reactions  to  a  city.  I have  focussed  on the  themes  of hunger  and  to e x p l a i n the mariner i n w h i c h t h e s e p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y become  confused w i t h one another  and i n t h e i r  confusion reflect  w i t h an estrangement  ( i n the  the process  from s o c i e t y and ends  mind of  of an with  estrangean  self.  While l i t t l e reference approach  is  The R i l k e a n h e r o ' s  predisposition  anonymous  and attempted  feelings  consciously or  f e e l i n g o f anomie  of their  novels  of distaste  self-observation  as n a t i o n a l e x i l e .  of artistic  to  p r o b l e m i n The Notebooks  In Hamsun's Hunger and Sartre's are  and i s  adjuncts  and  estrangement.  of a character  a s p e c i f i c type  presented  Concurrently images  The metaphor  of  and c r e a t i v i t y ,  of alienation is  inevitable  society  the modern hero's  consequence  the  on a young man's  on c h i l d h o o d memories premise  theme  or starvation.  metaphors  onto  the  study  is  made  reflects  to p s y c h o l o g i c a l theory,  i n d i r e c t l y my r e a d i n g  o f D r . Edmund B e r g l e r . i  o f the  the  particular  psychoanalytical  TABLE OF CONTENTS  Introd-action  page  1  The  page  13  page  43  page  60  page  74  • page  79  EmBrace o f the Leper  Le Tietrx  CThe  The  Oia  Crab  Saltimbanqtie  Clown)  i n the Cafe  Conclusion  Selected  :  ,  Bibliography  i i  INTRODUCTION  1  2  Hunger, a somewhat metaphor  the  primal instinct  disguised entity.  faction with reality, but  distaste  it  is  for  the  an unreachable  path  of  'hunger,'  a disgust  dissertation  functions  opposite.  This hunger,  both by i t s  connection with a distaste  both  attitudes the of  towards  the  action of the a profound  inner  I n one  instance,  novel)  is not  This  strange  defeating  novels  struggle  what  fact  actions,  between  is desired  necessarily  often  after  they  events, aimed  is  at  expresses which  symbiotic the  only  arena  only symbolic of in their  reveal the  conscious  consciously  desired  emerges  are not  material world, but  or stories,  of  battles.  and distaste  entire  (including  a hunger  Yet reality  a  dissatis-  some i d e a l c o n d i t i o n t o  for reality.  of hunger  as  for  course  and i t s  as  apparently  symbolic and r e a l ,  undefined nature  i n w h i c h the h e r o may w i n o r l o s e h i s The f e e l i n g s  the  complements  undefined yearning for  is barred  the  a metaphor  In  study  functions  material universe  given world of reality  goal.  as  in this  it  Distaste,  w i t h the  o n l y an apparent  the modern hero's the  In this  for u n f u l f i l l e d s p i r i t u a l needs.  opposite manifestation  food);  of s u r v i v a l , appears  relation  topographic  and unconscious  ( s u c h as  effects forces.  food in  Hamsun's  i n the  unconscious  of the  hero.  repeated  observation  of the  hero's  following extravagant  to  avowals of v i c t o r y  selfover  'fate'. On o n e emerge life  as  level, therefore,  symbolic focal points  clashes  appearance  metaphors  of  with consciousness 'hunger'  and  s u c h as hunger  and  distaste  of a l i t e r a r y p e r s o n a l i t y whose on a d a i l y b a s i s .  'distaste',  that  is  The often  of two  unconscious  simultaneous  apparently  3  contradictory Often  too,  and/or  feelings,  this  struggle  of  the  the  insect,  of his  existence  conflict is  hero begins  pauper  of this  'struggle'.  expressed  to  unconscious.  B r i g g e w i t h the  through  projection  identify bodily with  Gregor Samsa  outcast,  some  identifies  Harry H a l l e r w i t h the  wolf  steppes.  The a m b i v a l e n c e Roquentin,  characteristic  Hamsun's hero)  a character  who i s  of hunger  the  create  desire  Harry,  the  creator  to  Steppenwolf,  and d i s t a s t e .  attractive  i n the  this  of original ideas,  means  Steppenwolf,  our understanding  In Steppenwolf, image of one's  through  'hunger'  represents  ego-ideal.  For  becoming a s o l i d i n t e l l e c t u a l , by approval,  ego-ideal.  Like  the  a  l o v e , and  quality of Harry's daily life  image of h i s  Nausea and The Notebooks  to  a man s u r r o u n d e d  the  (Brigge,  c l e a r l y i l l u s t r a t e d by Hesse's  oneself  Unfortunately, however, the  is  of these hungry heroes  i n many ways a c c e s s i b l e  the metaphors  to  the  or inner  i n t r o j e c t i o n wherein the  symbolic representative with  confirms  runs  heroes  of  of Malte Laurids Brigge, Steppenwolf  praise.  counter Hunger, lives  the •  life  of a failed intellectual, innovator,  In the moments 'golden track,' this  of his the  deepest  sorrow Harry catches  symbol of h i s waking dreams.  v i s i o n , Steppenwolf gradually  reminder fragile cally  of the  lapsed  goals w h i c h he has  ambivalent  is  combination of s t r i v i n g towards  dreams  which fills  by the  represented  is  superb  family  a glimpse of  by hunger  and at  "the  and  golden  is  by  The i m p l i e d  disturbs  the paradoxi-  distaste track".  It  once p u s h i n g away from  h i s w r i t i n g w i t h a b r o o d i n g and anxious  world mirrored in these novels  the  of his misery lies  vision of  man.  I n i t i a l l y soothed  achieve  The source  when he this  confronted  feelings  case,  into melancholy.  f a i l e d to  e q u i l i b r i u m of h i s moods.  i n the  and i n h i s  lacking in plenitude.  quality.  Unaware  that  his The he  4 i s p r o j e c t i n g h i s own  s p i r i t u a l vacuums onto the image of the modern  c i t y , the h e r o becomes c o n v i n c e d  t h a t h i s hunger can n e v e r be  H i s p r o j e c t i o n s of d r e a r i n e s s and d e s o l a t i o n l e a v e him isolated. extravagant The  He  profoundly  remains i n a s t a t e of s p i r i t u a l i n e r t i a , h o v e r i n g  w i s h e s and an i n e x t i n g u i s h a b l e n e v e r f u l f i l l e d  co-existence  requited.  between  hunger.  of a m e t a p h o r i c hunger and d i s t a s t e i n The  Note-  books of M a l t e L a u r i d s B r i g g e , Hunger and Nausea forms a u n i f y i n g r e c u r r i n g thematic  pattern.  The  and  i m p o r t a n c e of t h i s phenomenon may  be  u n d e r s t o o d i n terms of the consequences of the d e s t i n i e s of the h e r o e s . I n a l l t h r e e w o r k s , the movement towards the f u l f i l l m e n t of a g o a l (usually symbolized  by some form of hunger) becomes an i l l u s o r y one.  It  i s e i t h e r superceded o r , more f r e q u e n t l y , i r o n i c a l l y u n d e r c u t by some action expressing his  own  wishes.  the h e r o ' s f u n d a m e n t a l d i s t a s t e f o r the a t t a i n m e n t T h i s b e h a v i o r a l p a t t e r n can b e s t be compared w i t h  paradoxical philosophy  of D o s t o e v s k y ' s Underground  of the  Man:^  1 W h i l e o t h e r works of l i t e r a t u r e and l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m have o f f e r e d i m p o r t a n t i n s i g h t s , my c h i e f i n d e b t e d n e s s i s t o the w r i t i n g o f Dr. Edmund B e r g l e r , a p s y c h o a n a l y s t i n t h e F r e u d i a n s c h o o l who e x p l o r e d f u r t h e r the w o r k i n g s of the u n c o n s c i o u s . O r i g i n a l l y i n t e r e s t e d i n r e a d i n g and u n d e r s t a n d i n g p s y c h o l o g y f o r i t s own s a k e , I g r a d u a l l y saw how i t might be p o s s i b l e t o i n t e g r a t e c e r t a i n b a s i c p s y c h o l o g i c a l p r i n c i p l e s i n t o the p r o c e s s of l i t e r a r y analysis. Every l i t e r a r y c h a r a c t e r i s d e s c r i b e d i n terms of symbols and a c t i o n s , each of w h i c h m i r r o r s b o t h c o n s c i o u s and u n c o n s c i o u s aims. When t h e s e two are i n c o n f l i c t , t h i s c o n f l i c t i s w r i t t e n i n t o the appearance and/ or b e h a v i o u r of the l i t e r a r y c h a r a c t e r . The w r i t e r , i n s o f a r as he i s a good o r ' g r e a t ' a r t i s t , has an i n t u i t i v e u n d e r s t a n d i n g of p h y s i c a l s i g n s and symptoms by w h i c h any c h a r a c t e r p o t e n t i a l l y r e v e a l s h i s t r u e nature. Perhaps the most d e c i s i v e p s y c h o l o g i c a l p a t t e r n w h i c h l i e s at the base of some of the most d i v e r s e and d r a m a t i c c o n f l i c t s d e p i c t e d i n l i t e r a t u r e , i s the p a r a d o x i c a l " p l e a s u r e - i n - d i s p l e a s u r e " p r i n c i p l e . The " p l e a s u r e - i n - d i s p l e a s u r e " p r i n c i p l e was f i r s t p o s t u l a t e d by Dr. B e r g l e r , and may be u n d e r s t o o d as a s y n t h e s i s of the F r e u d i a n 'Eros', 'Thanatos' d u a l i t y . B e r g l e r b e l i e v e s t h a t the u n c o n s c i o u s h a s , i n some i n s t a n c e s , a way of l i b i d i n i z i n g d i s p l e a s u r e or s u f f e r i n g , so t h a t on the  5  Man l i k e s to make roads and c r e a t e , t h a t i s a f a c t beyond dispute. Buy why has he such a p a s s i o n a t e l o v e f o r d e s t r u c t i o n and chaos a l s o ? May i t not be t h a t he loves chaos and d e s t r u c t i o n ( t h e r e can be no d i s p u t i n g that he does sometimes l o v e i t ) because he i s i n s t i n c t i v e l y a f r a i d of o b t a i n i n g h i s o b j e c t and c o m p l e t i n g the e d i f i c e he i s c o n s t r u c t i n g ? Who k n o w s , p e r h a p s h e o n l y l o v e s t h a t e d i f i c e f r o m a d i s t a n c e and i s by no means i n l o v e w i t h i t at c l o s e q u a r t e r s . . . (207) Although the  duality of  'hunger'  discomfiture borne by the there exists result  food.  analogy  to  the  eating hostile  by the  by Franz Kafka heroes is  responsible  a more the  Hunger and  readily  desire  to  opposing drive  s i m i l a r to they  those  of the  depicted  obtain  to  refuse  self-engineered  i n the  and  of n u t r i t i o n .  real  or  this  same are  striking  novels.  The  respectively of A Hunger  die of starvation.  Melville. In each  and symbolizes a protest society,  the  Nausea,  novels which  and B a r t l e b y The S c r i v e n e r by Herman of these tales  for  observable  provide a valuable  chief characters  and s p e c i f i c a l l y , a g a i n s t source  tales  the  dissertation,  is  o f The N o t e b o o k s ,  psychological processes  enacted  starvation  'distaste'  hunger,  'distaste',  themes are  in this  Both of the the  and  Since the  themes are Artist  antinomy between  'food'  discussed  heroes  i n two contemporary  of the  symbolic  and  the  H e r e we can s e e ,  large  and  perhaps  case,  against  purportedly with  greater  unconscious l e v e l of the p e r s o n a l i t y conscious suffering i s regarded as an i r r e s i s t i b l e a t t r a c t i o n , a p o w e r f u l s o u r c e o f u n c o n s c i o u s pleasure. When the c o n s c i o u s s e c t o r o f t h e p e r s o n a l i t y o b j e c t s , a s t r u g g l e ensues, the observable r e s u l t of w h i c h i s ambivalence, e m o t i o n a l , i n t e l l e c t u a l or symbolic. In the a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l n o v e l s , t h i s ambivalence centers on 'hunger' and ' d i s t a s t e ' . 'Hunger' represents a symbolic statement by which the hero expresses h i s conscious wishes to a t t a i n h i s aims. I n some cases, the question of consuming r e a l food is incorporated into this general scheme. The r e a l hunger of Hamsun's hero p r o v i d e s an example of t h i s . In the m a j o r i t y of instances, the s i g n i f i c a n c e of hunger i s the symbolic unconscious statement: "I want to get". Distaste expresses the opposite feeling translated into "I refuse" food, reality, pleasure, etc. The u n d e r l y i n g u n c o n s c i o u s m o t i v a t i o n o f w a n t i n g to be r e f u s e d (because of the extravagant amount o f u n c o n s c i o u s p l e a s u r e t h i s w i s h represents) i s comprehensible o n l y i n terms of the f a n t a s t i c and d i a b o l i c a l l y c l e v e r " p l e a s u r e - i n - d i s p l e a s u r e " p r i n c i p l e e x p l o i t e d by the unconscious of man.  i  6  c l a r i t y than i n the l o n g e r and more complex n o v e l s , how  the s t a t e of  hunger i n A Hunger A r t i s t and B a r t l e b y e x p r e s s e s t h e c o n t r a r y emotion of d i s t a s t e .  Because of t h e i r c o n s c i o u s d e c i s i o n t o f a s t , the  'heroes'  demonstrate t h e i r d i s a p p r o v a l of a s o c i e t y which e a t s as i t l i v e s , w i t h o u t any a e s t h e t i c d i s c r i m i n a t i o n .  The hunger a r t i s t and B a r t l e b y  b o t h h a r b o u r a r t i s t i c a s p i r a t i o n s and thus f i n d themselves opposed t o what they r e g a r d as a p h i l i s t i n e s o c i e t y .  tacitly  I n the t a l e o f  the hunger a r t i s t , t h e r e i s a c o n t i n u o u s tone of i r o n y r e s u l t i n g the two d i s t i n c t l y s e p a r a t e modes of a p p r e h e n s i o n : and s o c i e t y ' s .  from  the hunger a r t i s t ' s  I n e f f e c t , the hunger a r t i s t c o n s i d e r s h i m s e l f v i c t i m i z e d  by an u n r e l i a b l e and u n s y m p a t h e t i c  environment.  he l o o k e d up i n t o the eyes of t h e l a d i e s who  Such remarks as  were a p p a r e n t l y so  "and friendly  b u t i n r e a l i t y so c r u e l " and, " t h i s s u f f e r i n g m a r t y r w h i c h i n d e e d was,  although i n q u i t e another sense" i l l u s t r a t e t h i s p o i n t .  he  After  such e v i d e n c e , i t becomes p l a i n t h a t the hunger a r t i s t ' s f a s t i s a chosen means of escape from a w o r l d w h i c h a l l e g e d l y r e f u s e d t o s u p p l y him w i t h the s p e c i a l food he r e q u i r e d .  H i s d e c i s i o n t o c r e a t e an a r t  t h r o u g h t h e a c t of f a s t i n g m e r e l y adds t o the i r o n i c r e p u d i a t i o n o f s o c i a l l y a c c e p t a b l e v a l u e s by the hunger a r t i s t .  He  demonstrates  h i s s u p e r i o r i t y t o h i s s p e c t a t o r s and j a i l e r s by making something the ' n o t h i n g ' s o c i e t y has g i v e n In B a r t l e b y The  him.  S c r i v e n e r , the a i l i n g s p i r i t of the h e r o i s a l s o  e x p r e s s e d t h r o u g h the v a g a r i e s of an u n h e a l t h y a p p e t i t e . suppressed  Indeed  i s the l i v i n g s o u l o f B a r t l e b y t h a t he d e v e l o p s a mad  f o r c l e r k s h i p , an o c c u p a t i o n which  so appetite  can, at b e s t , be d e s c r i b e d as  ' r e g u l a r ' and by any d i s c r i m i n a t i n g s t a n d a r d s , ' i n s i p i d ' . own  out o f  As B a r t l e b y ' s  employer q u i t e r e a d i l y a d m i t s , " I t i s a v e r y d u l l , wearisome and  7  lethargic  affair,  ments,  would  that  it  the  Bartleby written  a  document  examine a  crimpy  the  the  did  an  pause  man who  finds  his  in  to  feed an  his  actions.  give  alms  to  that  suffered,  the his  artist towards  renouncing  the  before  As  to  (8)  from out  to  be  the of  ' s e l f  his with  Bartleby's  body,  and h i s  but soul  an his I  ended  of  an  himself  soon  point  however,  on,  the  of  "I  either  food  ever  friend innate  or  and and  did  "At  long  the  not  to"  out  of  incurable  disorder:  pain  him;  reach."  (18)  because  renunciation  of  it  for  any  an  l i f e Bartleby kind  ruled  over  "The I  was h i s  directed l i f e  a  further  Bartleby of  for  by  That  dimensions  originally  of  expresses,  distaste  diversions  There  hunger  remarked,  only  famishing  spirit  employer  not  first  documents.  own d e a t h .  expanding  could not  a  his  ardour  t a c k l e any  a profound is  endowed  the  carried  to  prefer  not  of  apparent  w i l l  have  Bartleby  if  o n my  with  closely  indeed  oasis. As  credit  down  pages,  something  writing.  gorge  distaste  as  with  of  s e l f - d e s t r u c t i o n w h i c h was but  sat  hundred  tempera-  cannot  unfortunately  mirage  experienced p h y s i c a l hunger  world  five  was  artist,  body  I  contentedly  dwindling  c o n f l i c t whose  v i c t i m of  the  refrain  hunger  example  a mechanical act  a rapidly  sanguine  which M e l v i l l e hints.  Quite  this  some  B a r t l e b y who may  Byron  quantity  repeated of  say  therefore,  seemed  and  himself  inner  was  drive  he  consequence  scrivener  hunger  copying  turns  His  of  to  For  have  of,  i n s t i n c t s at  digestion."  fasting  The  symbolized all  copy,  earth.  itself. refused  to  copying  the  appetite  wanderer  appears,  of  does  of  would  Nonetheless  extraordinary  for  volumes  on  task  desert  renunciation  as  capacious  something  tasks  hand."  complementary  Bartleby  was n o  law  that,  intolerable.  to  a thirsty  for  altogether  imagine  Byron,  approached of  readily  poet,  in  the  be  can  mettlesome  possessed with  I  might soul and  the  irresistible against  itself.  8  Yet is not  despite  b l a c k and w h i t e .  possess lends  a spark  to  that  brought  about  Steppenwolf's young  self-annihilating  hero characters  a strong note  of pathos.  lives  Indeed,  and  the  i n B a r t l e b y and i n A Hunger A r t i s t supports  is  by his  problem of the modern  and i d e a l i s m w h i c h complicates t h e i r  the p r o t a g o n i s t ' s  i n Steppenwolf)  the  apparently  of defeat  of narration  supposition  facts,  These  of genius  t h e i r moment  very style  case  a l l of these  very talent  (as  somehow i n v o l v e d i n the  is  explicitly  eventual  feeling of world distaste.  the  the  destitution  In the words  of  landlord,  H a l l e r ' s s i c k n e s s o f s o u l , as I now know, i s n o t the e c c e n t r i c i t y of a s i n g l e i n d i v i d u a l , but of the times themselves, the neurosis of that generation to which H a l l e r b e l o n g s , a s i c k n e s s , i t seems, t h a t by no means attacks the weak and w o r t h l e s s o n l y , b u t r a t h e r those who are strongest i n s p i r i t and r i c h e s t i n g i f t s . (22) It would appear  that  according to  psychology,  s p e c i f i c a l l y the  possibility  of a hero's  source  will  instinct  expressed  protagonists  is  become the  is used  i n the  distaste,  so the  thralls  of their  own d e m o n i c s p i r i t w h i c h has  dreams  only to  reality.  be  found i n the  Kafka  are  represented  by the  and others  tempted  as  foul  the  and even  the  Just  as  the  s e r v i c e of the  the  life-  renunciatory the  instincts.  end of a struggle  with  him and wooed h i m w i t h h i s before  i n s e c t who not  the  empty  The demonic  altered  form,  may  powers  l o n g ago was known to  In his  own  cupboards  g e n e r a l i z e d phenomenon  of The Metamorphosis.  the man, Gregor Samsa.  theory,  self-destructive  The l i t e r a r y paradigm of t h i s tale  modern  a r t i s t i c sensitivities of  leave him broken and deserted  of  target  a very p l a u s i b l e one.  In the modern a l i e n a t e d h e r o we meet man at his  of  'pleasure-in-displeasure'  of hunger  through  interpretation  strengths becoming the  of his weaknesses  sustaining  the  Gregor  himself  9  discovers  also  t h a t the food he once enjoyed  l o n g e r t a s t e d even p a s s a b l y i n t e r e s t i n g . Gregor  gradually begins  t ostarve.  a r e c l o s e d t o h i m now t h a t h e has The  present physical b a r r i e r  o f p l e a s u r e was  always  sister  and  sees  As the t a l e  devolved  e l s e , no  progresses,  into his final  nourishment  insect  s y m b o l i z e s a once m e r e l y  a life-style  d e f e r r e d t osecond  the t h r e s h o l d o f o b l i v i o n , Gregor  everyone  The s o u r c e s o f p o s s i b l e  cruelly  question o f unpleasant p r i o r i t i e s ,  like  richly  i n which  the  orthird place. responds  annoying fulfillment  Now, o n  t othe music o f h i s  i n i t t h e doorway t o t h e p l e a s u r e s p a s t and  of which he i s s o p a t h e t i c a l l y  form.  present  bereft.  G r e g o r c r a w l e d a l i t t l e f a r t h e r f o r w a r d and l o w e r e d h i s head t o the ground s o t h a t i t might b e p o s s i b l e f o r h i s e y e s t o m e e t h e r s . Was h e a n a n i m a l , t h a t m u s i c h a d s u c h a n e f f e c t u p o n h i m ? He f e l t a s i f t h e w a y w e r e o p e n i n g b e f o r e h i m t o the unknown nourishment he oraved. He was d e t e r m i n e d t o p u s h f o r w a r d t i l l h e r e a c h e d h i s s i s t e r , t o p u l l a t h e r s k i r t a n d s o t o l e t h e r know t h a t s h e w a s t o come i n t o h i s r o o m w i t h h e r v i o l i n , f o r n o one h e r e a p p r e c i a t e d h e r p l a y i n g as he would a p p r e c i a t e i t . (76-77) The  e p i c s a n d n o v e l s o f t h e W e s t e r n l i t e r a r y h e r i t a g e h a v e f o r many  c e n t u r i e s occupied themselves  w i t h the e x c e p t i o n a l l y p o w e r f u l magnetism  of  b e e n s u g g e s t e d , may b e i n t e r p r e t e d a s  'temptation  the  O d y s s e u s who h a d  h a v e h i s e a r s s t u f f e d w i t h c o t t o n l e s t h e jump  at the s i r e n ' s  with  as has  'pleasure-in-displeasure' principle.  b o u n d and  his  which,  1  call,  is a classic  own s e l f - d e s t r u c t i v e the promise  impulses.  Because these impulses  In the n i n e t e e n t h century r e a l i s t i c w r i t e r s the v a r i e t y  overboard  i m a g e o f man s t r u g g l i n g  o f p l e a s u r e , t h e y have an enormous  o f consequences o f responding  t o be .  to  master  are  allied  potency.  l i k e B a l z a c documented  t otemptation.  Raphael  Le Peau de C h a g r i n v a c i l l a t e s between a m o d e r a t e , i n d u s t r i o u s  in  l i f e and  10 a fantastic  one i n w h i c h the  face of pleasure. Perdues Luc ien  mask o f death  This basic  theme  is  the heroes  of latter-day  and less  by h i s  literature.  the  actual  literature  of  doubtfully  called heroes and are  at  individual  credoes  withstand either  at  of Odysseus i s  the  endow the p r o t a g o n i s t s  inner or outer  hunger.  eventually refuses  Some, l i k e  their  quarter  however,  the heroes  languish next  of Jean  to  invert  the  of  sense perception  becomes  the  language  and basic  unwilling guest  at  'gut  universe  the  to  narrasuit  a good, and of good  of ethical polemics into reaction'.  and  and the  M a l t e L a u r i d s B r i g g e , the hero o f Hunger, the  and make o f e v i l  of  to a cold w a l l  Genet's novels,  the  and,  either  an  and language  The modern l i t e r a r y  dinner of life  finding  live.  evil.  transpose  a  century  appetites  Roquentin,  becomes  Bartleby, through  t h e i r own e c c e n t r i c like  to  and p e s s i m i s t i c resignation about  t i v e v o i c e i n C h a r l e s B a u d e l a i r e ' s poems  Others,  idealistic  This moral vacuum  e v e r y t h i n g i n c l u d i n g the w i l l  Not a l l modern heroes,  are  with sufficient strength  obstacles.  the  of  their  m o r a l c l i m a t e s u r r o u n d i n g them n o r  l i n k e d to an unappeasable  there.  of  and  In scanning  a l l sense  remnant  food which might sustain him through another  die  of the hero,  large.  lost  by  heroism  main protagonists  they have  i n channeling the  combination of personal weakness  life,  gifted  rarely repeated  In the modern n o v e l ,  century,  a l l since  a loss  N e i t h e r the  the  Illusions  of the handsome,  deeds i n the w o r l d at  early twentieth  energies.  closely  again i n Les  i n c r e a s i n g l y defined by the p o t e n t i a l strength  direction  beautiful  Rubempre.  The o v e r m a s t e r i n g m o r a l s t r e n g t h  less  repeated  which ends w i t h the eventual moral f a l l de  becomes  lurks behind the  hero  starves  11  himself,  or,  acceptance  of the  projected  for  Rilke  is the  delight means  as  Existence is pain,  Schopenhauer would have (131)  and j o y .  The heroes  towards  and poets  character,  of  that  the person  this  disease  the  do n o t the  actually  characters of  fusion and awareness  B r i g g e , comes  In w r i t i n g about  attacks."  (60)  awareness  mentioned  simultaneous appear  of good  and  his  the  intimate  personalities  of this  intricate  scathingly close in his of the  'disease',  The d i f f i c u l t y  of his personality.  under  in  tragic  of modern l i t e r a t u r e  reader's  lies precisely in its  healthy sectors displeasure  in its  " i t has no p a r t i c u l a r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s ; it  pain;  and j o y l i e s not  experience  to uncovering the machinations  displeasure principle. observes  denial of  introversion i n these l i t e r a r y  of heightening  self-observation  of  displeasure,  The p r o p e n s i t y  Rilke's  them p a i n ,  and N i e t z s c h e the  and  duality,  i t , but  While a l l modern heroes  evil,  effect  absence  pain  deeply i n v o l v e d i n the  the  i n the  "Happiness  For the  with Rilke  pleasure  exaggerates  Erich Heller in writing  very affirmation.  to be the most  has  and  from i t s  situation which brings  share  the  abundant  as  the  suffering  guest.  a  of suffering that  transfiguration."  far  an e x t e n s i o n o f  Schopenhauer,  denial of existence.  non-existence,  thus  The r i t u a l i n c l u d e s  of behaviour dramatizes  i t was f o r  his  of so r a d i c a l an acceptance  springs  transcend  precede  and N i e t z s c h e i n The D i s i n h e r i t e d Mind says,  fruit  the  His pattern  of an anorexic dinner  them i s n o t ,  it  r i t u a l which must  smallest morsel of food.  meal.  reactions  about  an e l a b o r a t e  v i e w i n w h i c h the w o r l d becomes  unpalatable the  creates  it  own  pleasure-inhe  accurately  takes  on  those  in ridding himself  a l l i a n c e w i t h the  seemingly  The c o h a b i t a t i o n of pleasure  roof of a single personality results  of  and  in either  an  12 unusual  a l l o y , o r the v i c t o r y  of the s t r o n g e s t f o r c e .  autobiographical f i c t i o n s discussed here, of p a i n and p l e a s u r e , expressed distaste.  In t h e t h r e e  the common r e s u l t  i s an a l l o y  o f t e n as t h e c o - e x i s t e n c e o f hunger and  B r i g g e , f o r example, manages to t r a n s c e n d  h i s f e a r s , but  he pays the p r i c e o f a t t a c h i n g h i m s e l f , i n a mood of j o y o u s e x a l t a t i o n , to p e r s o n s whose v e r y b e i n g symbolizes suffering.  the mark o f h i s i n t e n s e former  H. the unnamed hero of Hunger d e p a r t s  from  Christiania,  the s i t e o f h i s t r u l y g r e a t hunger, w i t h most o f h i s i l l u s i o n s The  p r e s e r v a t i o n of h i s h a p p i n e s s depends w h o l l y  intact.  on an o p p o r t u n i t y t o  q u i t a s i t u a t i o n which t e s t e d h i s s t r e n g t h s and weaknesses to the h i l t . L a s t l y we l o o k a t Roquentin whose f i n a l d e c i s i o n t o t r a n s c e n d h i s oppressive  e x i s t e n c e means i r o n i c a l l y ,  the d e t a i l s through a r t .  of h i s l i f e  t h a t he w i l l have t o r e f o c u s on  once more i n o r d e r  to j u s t i f y h i s existence  True t o t h e t r a g i c c h a r a c t e r o f the modern h e r o ,  Roquentin d i e s once he has accomplished  this  task.  THE E M B R A C E OF THE  LEPER:  B R I G G E ' S HUNGER AND D I S T A S T E  13  ' I h a v e a l w a y s w a n t e d y o u t o a d m i r e my f a s t i n g ' , s a i d the hunger a r t i s t . 'We d o a d m i r e i t ' s a i d t h e o v e r s e e r affably. 'But you shouldn't admire i t , ' said t h e hunger artist. ' W e l l , t h e n we d o n ' t a d m i r e i t , ' s a i d t h e o v e r s e e r , ' b u t why s h o u l d n ' t we a d m i r e i t ? ' 'Because I have to f a s t . I can't help i t , ' s a i d the hunger a r t i s t . 'What a f e l l o w y o u a r e ' , s a i d t h eo v e r s e e r , 'and why c a n ' t you help i t ? ' 'Because,' said t h e hunger artist, lifting h i s head a l i t t l e and speaking, w i t h h i s l i p s pursed, as i f f o r a k i s s , r i g h t i n t o t h eo v e r s e e r ' s e a r , s o t h a t n o s y l l a b l e m i g h t b e l o s t , ' b e c a u s e I couldn't find the food I liked. If I had found i t , believe me I should have made no fuss and stuffed myself like you or anyone else, ' 3  A Hunger Artist —Franz Kafka  "I s e ea cleft pomegranate." " T h e s w i n e h e a r d b r o u g h t i t me t h e o t h e r e v e n i n g , w h e n h e hadn't been i n for three days." "Yes, i t i s a wild pomegranate." "I know; i t i s almost unbearably sour; and yet I f e e l that i f I w e r e t h i r s t y e n o u g h , I s h o u l d s e t my t e e t h i n i t . " "Ah! Then now I can t e l l y o u : i t was t h a t t h i r s t that I was s e e k i n g i n t h e d e s e r t . " "A t h i r s t which that sour f r u i t alone can quench..." "No; but a fruit that makes one love one 's thirst." The Return of the —Andre Gide  Prodigal  15  The Kafka hunger Brigge's  artistry  distaste  by changing  to  'the  object  of  a process  artist  on the  other  the  t h a t is  with  food,  as  life  reality. grandeur the  to  and,  i n a manner  liked,  attempting  life  says, is  terms  w i t h the  reminiscent  or accepted,  one  related  the  is  format  to  this  against  the  a of  of  life  aim of  both  of  spiritual  Christian martyrs,  of distaste  him.  to  whether purist  embraces  In this  that  of  way,  sated  he had r e a l l y  hero  of  found  Kafka's  o f The N o t e b o o k s may make one  l i e not  Parisian emigre. to  attributes,  incompatibility  becomes  of the  hero's  i n Paris, but  end of h i s D a n i s h c h i l d h o o d and  tempted  present  intangible horror  however,  consists  substitute.  Brigge's beginnings  as  loathsome'  and h i s t o r i c a l  It  of the  u n l i k e the  terrible  artist  of an already  force.  a chronological tracing  Notebooks mark the his  fearful,  is never wholly clear,  a very dissimilar  however,  hunger  Brigge struggles  symbolic space  The patchwork q u i l t of  of the  w h i c h was  which had p r e v i o u s l y disgusted  from the  It  food he  story,  object  eccentric  life.  food.  in overcoming a  E v e n t u a l l y he evolves h i m s e l f i n t o a r o l e  Brigge moves  the  'art'  to  closely connected with his perception  come t o  very experience  hunger.  'the  aversion  a profound and seemingly innate  which is  and art  The  of a l l its  an overwhelming, often  his  of his  consists  and refinement  and by i n f e r e n c e ,  mounting fear  hand  loved,'  of perfection  i t s e l f as  an art  valuation of  tendency which, stripped manifests  makes  conclude  apparently  From certain that  Clearly,  i n Denmark.  His  the beginning  things  a good deal  painful shift  journey.  wary  which Brigge  of Brigge's  in living  of  patterns.  disaffection He  16  seems by  to suffer  from a precocious  force of circumstance,  himself his  'culture  elegant  and secure  i n a shoddy P a r i s i a n rooming house whose  loneliness.  father  f r o m an  form of  The most  'cause'  the  initially  reader  loss  o f the  as  finds  defect  death  of  aggravates Brigge's  Ulsgaard estate—is  of a l i e n a t i o n which, because believes  Uprooted,  l i f e he  every  elegaic of memories—the  concommitant w i t h the  persuasive  shock'.  a  very  Brigge believes  it,  well.  E v e n b e f o r e my f a t h e r ' s d e a t h U l s g a a r d was no l o n g e r i n our died i n town, i n a f l a t that t o me. I was a l r e a d y abroad too late.  everything had changed. possession. My f a t h e r seemed h o s t i l e and strange at the time and r e t u r n e d  . . . N o w the M a s t e r - o f - t h e - H u n t was dead, and not he alone. Now the h e a r t had been p i e r c e d , our h e a r t , the heart of our race. Now i t was a l l o v e r . This, then, was the s h a t t e r i n g o f the h e l m : "Today Brigge and nevermore," something said w i t h i n me." (140) The p e r s o n a l unhappiness Brigge's perception  this  implies is  o f h i m s e l f as  an a r t i s t .  h i s home and f a m i l y , he has which has at  fact  as  images  that  f o r an a r t w o r k  lived  This distance  B r i g g e ' s mind o f the  this  seemingly secure  gradually emerge,  grotesque  life.  towards  In the  of the  whose imaginative  iterated  In spite lost  of  of a  and  day-  consciousness  relationships  impressions  the  B r i g g e was  abstraction  reminiscences  of  to  childhood  by a slowly emerging  nature  identity  the broken pieces  aristocratic household, propensity  losing  His response,  use  we d i s c o v e r t h e p o w e r f u l stamp  artistic personality  of his  longing for his  i s enhanced  domain.  to  compounding his  a nostalgic i n the  part  mythology.  begin afresh',  removed from i t by h i s  dreaming. in  'to  Brigge feels  w o r l d , w h i l e he already  is  by  In addition to  an i m p o r t a n t  robbed h i m o f an a r t i s t i c  several points,  serve  lost  only deepened  in  childhood which melancholy,  began  to a l t e r  the  17  shape  o f the w o r l d i nB r i g g e ' s mind. It  heart  i s naive  I did not  beginning fact, by  tobelieve  t h i n k . . . i t was  life  t h estance  Brigge takes  t o another—but  i s one w h i c h has  p a s s i v i t y and fear  understanding  his  w i t h t h ec i t y landscape  projects  a private  a need  way t h i n g s  are.  personality  I nhis  objective  t o articulate  i t says.  been  movement  him  infancy.  f r o m one mode o f  b y t h er o l e  o f inner  strange  and  passionate  around him,  H i s time and place  correlatives.  o f t h eemerging  a long-standing  Past  and  i s a n i n t r i c a t e web o f s i c k n e s s t h etwo h e 'confesses'  Brigge  provide present  personality  distaste  with t h e  Acutely self-conscious, he recognizes  t o separate  I n  forced upon  from earliest  and t h ep o p u l a c e  system o f symbolism.  foggy reveries  i t stask o f  i n c i t e s h i m toward a new way o f  role i nsociety.  struggle  which has  dating  a change n e c e s s i t a t e d  (unconscious)  are mingled under  p r e c i s e l y what  i ncircumstance—the  him w i t h t h eappropriate  " o f my own  an individual heart...at  o f i n t e r n a l events  t h eoutward change  attempt  B r i g g e ' s memorandum,  from the b e g i n n i n g " , means  t h elong series  Not  that  that  and h e a l t h .  his  I n an  a l l .  And now t h i s i l l n e s s t o o , w h i c h has always a f f e c t e d me so strangely. I am s u r e i t i s u n d e r e s t i m a t e d . Just as t h ei m p o r t a n c e o f o t h e r d i s e a s e s i s e x a g g e r a t e d . This disease has n o p a r t i c u l a r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s ; i t takes o n those o f t h e person i t attacks. With a s o m n a m b u l i c c e r t a i n t y i t d r a g s o u to f e a c h h i s d e e p e s t danger, that seemed p a s t , and sets i t before h i m again quite near, quite imminent.... And with whatever comes there rises a whole tangle of insane memories which hangs about i t like wet seaweed on some sunken thing.1 ( 6 0 ) 3  The image o f 'wet seaweed o n some s u n k e n t h i n g ' for a lurking undecipherable subterranean influence whi impossible t o identify precisely because o f i t si n t e g r a to t h eseaweed w h i c h hangs about i t and p a r t i a l l y h i d e s This poetic e n t i t y i s being compared w i t h t h e ' i l l n e s s ' 1  i s a metaphor ch i s nearly l connection i t from view. o f Brigge,  18  Brigge's repetition of  the  eventual  d e c i s i o n to break w i t h his  and c o n c l u s i o n of  p r o d i g a l son at  can see  that  the  version  of the  the  rupture  legend was  the  then  act  foreshadowed  from h i s  first  customary  experience  lies  Brigge later  the  germ of the in his  Viewed objectively,  the  a repetition  what  child,  centre  city of exile, entire  of entering  a dining h a l l to partake  the  confines  of the  child's sensitive  with  a l l the  horror  of a gothic  occurred "how  experienced  himself  removed  disruptive  which the  older  Paris.  'incident'  act  one  (although  Malte,  of this  feeling of distaste  legend  Brigge's  realization of  love" i s  In the  There remains whole i n only that large h a l l , i dinner every evening at t h i s room hy day; I do had windows or on what ever the f a m i l y entered the ponderous branched m i n u t e s one f o r g o t the  i n the  i n an i n c i d e n t w h i c h  the  symbolic  In retrospect,  time Malte Laurids Brigge f e l t  surroundings.  suffered  a l l contained  The p r o d i g a l s o n ' s  i n t e n d e d nevev to  of the  and the  described symbolically by  prodigal son a c t i v e l y reverses  passively)  are  c l o s e o f The N o t e b o o k s ,  which is  during Malte's childhood. much he had  this  past  i n v o l v e d the  of the  spirit,  routine  evening meal.  the  situation  is  Within replete  tale. my h e a r t , so i t seems t o me, n w h i c h we u s e d to g a t h e r f o r seven o'clock. I never saw not even remember whether i t they looked out; always, whenthe candles were burning i n c a n d l e s t i c k s , and i n a few time of day and a l l t h a t one  had seen outside. T h i s l o f t y a n d , as I s u s p e c t , v a u l t e d chamber was s t ronge r than e v e r y t h i n g e l s e .  equally dim i n i t s essence and contour. A c c o r d i n g to B r i g g e the i l l n e s s i s composed of the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the person i t attacks. Like the seaweed w h i c h derives i t s present shape from the o u t l i n e s of the "sunken t h i n g , " the i l l n e s s i s i n g e n i o u s l y d i s g u i s e d by the most characteristic traits of its host. A t h i r d component of the metaphor i s the memories of c h i l d h o o d w h i c h B r i g g e l a b o r i o u s l y drags to the surface o f consciousness w i t h the zealousness and anguish of a s p i r i t s t r u g g l i n g t o f r e e i t s e l f o f i t s own demons.  19  With i t s darkening height, with i t s never quite c l a r i f i e d c o r n e r s , i t sucked all images out of one  without giving  one any definite  substitute  for them.  One s a t t h e r e a s i f d i s s o l v e d ; e n t i r e l y w i t h o u t w i l l , withcmt consciousness, without desire, without defence. One w a s l i k e a -vacant s p o t . I remember that a t f i r s t t h i s a n n i h i l a t i n g s t a t e a l m o s t c a u s e d me n a u s e a ; i t brought on a kind o f seasickness which I only overcame by s t r e t c h i n g o n t m y l e g u n t i l I touched w i t h my foot t h e k n e e o f m y f a t h e r w h o s a t o p p o s i t e m e . (4) ( i t a l i c s , mine] One o f t h e c e n t r a l i m a g e s , is  that  o f the vampire.  •vaulted us  I t i s through  that  mysterious  a n d awesome  victimization in h i s adult spontaneously  stage o f this  powers.  It i s this  sense o f powerlessness and  to other  and self-assertive  i s expressed  through  rooms  and other  occasions  emerged  characteristics.  the metaphors  derive from those  developed a feeling o f distaste  The first  a n d images  experiences  of  distaste.  toward which  commingled w i t h horror.  o f TheNotebooks informs us that  this  realm o f  Initially  distaste  composed o f a memory c o l l a g e , a l a r g e p o r t i o n o f w h i c h i s t h e  childhood home, b u t an e q u a l l y large present  place  originating emotion.  through  i n very early days,  What c o m p l i c a t e s t h i s  i s that  portion o f which i s Brigge's  of exile, the city of Paris.  receiving i s a projection,  it,  gives  i n c h i l d h o o d , g r a d u a l l y come i n t o c o n f l i c t w i t h M a l t e  The g o t h i c v a m p i r e images  author  out o f one"that Brigge  Thepassivity and the fantasy which  Laurid's more creative  is  allusions to the "lofty...  o f h i s f a m i l y , eventually succumbed t o i t s  that Brigge transfers life.  o f The Notebooks  the s p i r i t o f t h e house was a malevolent one  and that h e , as d i dmost  the  i n the text  chamber" which "sucked a l limages  to understand  Brigge  implicit  What t h e reader  time and space,  i n which horror  i s actually  of a feeling  formed the predominant  a n d , from a l i t e r a r y aspect,  overlapping with the realm o f horror,  grotesque  enriches 'distaste,'  20 is  the  equally powerful realm of  suggesting  the  of B r i g g e are  filled  w i t h the  latter  'beautiful'  Brigge's  of  "the  ine-xtricably  situated  delicate  on the  contours  realm appears  s o u l which has  whole  sublime.  For instance,  brooding vampire-like reality which drains  spirit  of  the  tangle  not  of insane  very  threshold  of a radiant to be  been  of  joy.  memories,"  by the  the  the  life-  experiences  Although  an e x p r e s s i o n  tainted  images  of  the  that  part  unwholesome  two are  in  effect  effect  combined.^  The B r i g g e o f U r n e k l o s t e r The B r i g g e of e a r l y  Paris  days  days was projects  afraid this  that he might fear  to  the  disintegrate.  world  I n one o f the Sonnets to Orpheus R i l k e e x p r e s s e s a theme w h i c h i s as c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y B r i g g e a n as i t i s R i l k e a n . T h i s theme i s t h a t b y a c t i v e l y g r a s p i n g h i s f a t e man may g a i n m a s t e r y o v e r h i s l i f e i n a s p i r i t u a l sense, even i f p h y s i c a l l y he appears to be c o n t r o l l e d o r v i c t i m i z e d . The act of w r i t i n g an a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l f i c t i o n i s p r e c i s e l y such an act o f s p i r i t u a l s e l f - a s s e r t i o n . In an a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l f i c t i o n the author has the p r i v i l e g e of r e c r e a t i n g h i m s e l f , and thus a c t i v e l y r e p a i r i n g a fate over w h i c h p r e v i o u s l y he had l i t t l e or no c o n t r o l . z  T h i s p a s s a g e comes f r o m E r i c h H e l l e r ' s The D i s i n h e r i t e d M i n d , from h i s essay on N i e t z s c h e and R i l k e . The poem i s t r a n s l a t e d into English by J . B. Leishman. Meide den i r r t u m , dass es entbehrungen gebe Fur den geschenen entschluss, diesen: zu sein! Seidener faden, kamst du h i n e i n ins gewebe. Welchem der b i l d e r du auch im innern geeint b i s t ( S e i es s e l b s t e i n moment aus dem l e b e n d e r p e i n ) , F u h l , dass der ganze, der rumliche teppich gemeint Do n o t b e l i e v e y o u w i l l b e d e p r i v e d of something by your r e s o l u t i o n : t o be. S i l k e n thread, you have entered the weaving. With whatever pattern you are inwardly blended (And be i t a scene from the s t o r y of Agony), feel that the whole, the praiseworthy carpet i s  ist. *>  meant.  A l t h o u g h I r e a d M r . H e l l e r ' s e x c e l l e n t b o o k a f t e r m o s t o f my own w o r k w a s c o m p l e t e d I am i n d e b t e d t o h i m f o r h i s g r e a t i n s i g h t a n d f o r t h e s e n s e o f c o n f i r m a t i o n h i s e s s a y o n N i e t z s c h e a n d R i l k e g a v e me on the q u e s t i o n o f " s u f f e r i n g and j o y " i n the p h i l o s o p h y o f N i e t z s c h e and Rilke.  21  outside.  His description of  oppressive  awareness  the  of external  city street  is  disease  decay:  and  filled  with  an  S o , t h e n p e o p l e do come h e r e i n o r d e r t o l i v e ; I w o u l d sooner have thought one d i e d h e r e . I have been out. I saw: hospitals. I saw a man who s w a y e d and s a n k to the ground. P e o p l e g a t h e r e d r o u n d h i m so I was spared the rest. I saw a pregnant woman. She was pushing h e r s e l f cumbrously along a h i g h warm w a l l , g r o p i n g f o r i t now and a g a i n as i f to c o n v i n c e h e r s e l f i t was s t i l l t h e r e . Y e s , i t was s t i l l there. And behind it? I l o o k e d o n my m a p : Maison d'Accouchement. Good. They w i l l d e l i v e r her - They know how. Further on, rue Saint-Jacques, a b i g b u i l d i n g w i t h a cupola. The map s a i d : "Val-de'Grace, Hopital Militaire." I didn't r e a l l y need this information, but i t can't do any harm. The s t r e e t began to s m e l l from a l l sides. A s m e l l , of the grease of pommesfrites, of fear. A l l c i t i e s s m e l l i n summer. (13) The content, that  either  as  opposed to  the memories  of P a r i s pose  the  of the  a viable threat  that  suggest  is  years.  The c h i e f importance  therefore  B r i g g e has  In the  a desire  idealized portrait the  rootless  city,  to Brigge's existence.  been  consumed w i t h fear  of B r i g g e ' s change  poet  it  to  life)  he  the  What i t  from his  attitude,  we d i s c o v e r t h a t  kind  diminish and elevate  left  i n the  the  object  has  h im ; he v a c i l l a t e s i n h i s  forgets  the h o r r o r when he  versa.  Objects  i n the  lies  Rather  rubble  thinks  of this the  in  Paris,  (in effect,  i n Denmark.  As a result  that he  earliest  in circumstance  of life  spirit. same  does  releases.  excavating remembrances  demolishes his  suggest  streets  B r i g g e a n w o r l d f u n c t i o n as  alien  paradoxical  dual ability  pleasure  being  which  recollections  of the  an  than  o f an  he wishes h i m s e l f back i n that very a n c e s t r a l house  effectually  not  solitary, single-room existence  to return  of that  o f The Notebooks does  ancestral mansion or the  imaginative process  While Brigge lives his he expresses  tone,  so  and  catalysts  to  of  vicecontrary  22  but c o - e x i s t i n g is  emotions.  the house or home.  contained w i t h i n i t s  The most n o t a b l e  F o r example,  of  these c a t a l y t i c  objects  the a n c e s t r a l home i n Denmark  n o b l e p r e c i n c t s a g r o t e s q u e nightmare w o r l d of  which B r i g g e was o n l y one more member i n a numerous and b i z a r r e family.  In P a r i s , b o t h the r o m a n t i c e l e g a n c e and the f e a r f u l  are d u p l i c a t e d .  When the d a r k e r g o t h i c a s p e c t  of r e a l i t y t h r e a t e n s  overwhelm B r i g g e ' s s e n s e s , he escapes i n t o f a n t a s i e s e l e g a n t and i d y l l i c his  quest  images.  It i s  for poetic equivalents  images which come from the altogether  into his being.  for this  t o the  to  f i l l e d with  reason that B r i g g e , i n  c i t y experience,  c o u n t r y and d e s i r e s He c l a i m s t h a t  grotesque  leans  on  t o i n c o r p o r a t e them  living  i n a c o u n t r y house  would have made him an i d e a l man, an i d e a l p o e t . 3  However, t h i s  roseate  v i s i o n of p a s t o r a l l i f e b e t r a y s B r i g g e ' s g r e a t a t t r a c t i o n t o the  dark,  chaotic side  the  of e x p e r i e n c e ,  the i m a g i s t i c complement of which i s  modern c i t y o f P a r i s i n which he The r e v e r i e  of  living  resides'.  i n an a n c e s t r a l house  is,  in fact,  a  momentary means of escape from the P a r i s i a n w o r l d which has become t o o much f o r h i m .  L i k e t h e g r e a t d i n i n g chamber i n Denmark, P a r i s was  " s u c k i n g a l l images" out of him and g i v i n g no s u b s t i t u t e that  is,  3  no acceptable  substitute.  Brigge's vision is  f o r them,  at t h i s moment  Oh, what a happy f a t e , to s i t i n the q u i e t room o f an a n c e s t r a l h o u s e , among many c a l m , s e d e n t a r y t h i n q s , and o u t s i d e i n the a i r y , l i g h t green g a r d e n , t o h e a r t h e f i r s t wrens t r y i n g t h e i r s k i l l , and i n the d i s t a n c e the v i l l a g e c l o c k . . . a n d I would have had an a r m c h a i r and f l o w e r s and dogs and a s t o u t s t i c k f o r the s t o n y r o a d s . And n o t h i n g more. Only a book bound i n y e l l o w i s h , i v o r y - c o l o u r e d l e a t h e r , w i t h an o l d f l o w e r y d e s i g n on the f l y - l e a f : i n t h a t I would have w r i t t e n . I would have w r i t t e n a g r e a t d e a l , f o r I would have had many thoughts and many p e o p l e ' s memories. ( 4 4 )  23  replete with "therefuse, The paupers  of Paris  helplessness His  husks  o f humanity that  come t o c r e a t e  the vampire s p i r i t s .  slightly refuse with  a n dwe s e e that  o f humanity" stems  vision  the relationship  o f Brigge's fear  metamorphoses  o f t h e paupers  and "the  from a deep a n d t e r r i f y i n g i d e n t i f i c a t i o n  are the objective equivalent  o f himself;  physical  unarticulated  t h e seaweed.  Here  deprivation i s i n t r i c a t e l y connected with psychic as well T h epaupers  nature  symbolizing i n their  of  o f h i s inner  the undefined thing beneath  as b o d i l y d e f o r m i t y . 'distaste',  by which they reject rejected  by i t .  Kafkaesque hunger life  of Urnekloster.  them. The paupers  turn  out."  parallel to h i s childish relationship  Soon however, part  h a s spewed  t h e same s e n s e o f d r e a d a n d  w i t h i n him as d i dthe haunting presences  r e l a t i o n t o them i s a t f i r s t  with  fate  and food.  the ordered, These people  artist,  a r e the  human embodiment own p e r s o n  of  the very  the process  healthy, w e l l - f e d world and a r ei n are the correlatives  refusing andrefused,  o fthe  desiring and abhorring  4  4 Thepaupers  who p o p u l a t e B r i g g e ' s n o v e l ( s e e p p . o f The Notebooks o f MLB) e l i c i t two r e a c t i o n s from B r i g g e . On t h e o n ehand h e i s drawn towards them as t h o u g h b y some i r r e s i s t i b l e a t t r a c t i o n ; o n t h e o t h e r h a n d , h e i s t e r r i f i e d b y t h e c l a i m s o f i n t i m a c y w h i c h i t seems they might b e making on h i m . T h egroup o f paupers a n d o u t c a s t s a r e people who o n a m a t e r i a l or p s y c h o l o g i c a l l e v e l have severed their connections w i t h s o c i e t y . E i t h e r b e c a u s e o f a l i f e o f d e n i a l or b e c a u s e t h e y r e f u s e d t o a c c e p t what l i f e o f f e r e d , t h e outcasts have i n i t i a t e d an ongoing pattern o f l i f e i n which their physical strangeness plays a major role i n keeping them away from t h e more n o r m a l segment o f s o c i e t y . I n this way they resemble K a f k a ' s hunger a r t i s t whose i n t e n t i o n a l r e f u s a l t o e a t i s part o f an o v e r a l l r e f u s a l t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h e l i f e a n d customs o f his society. Oneo f t h e i n e v i t a b l e s i d e - e f f e c t s o f h i s s t a r v a t i o n i s t h a t h e comes t o b e r e g a r d e d a s a n e x t e n s i o n o f b o t h p a u p e r a n d o u t c a s t by h i s curious audience i . e . a freak. Steppenwolf, Gregor the insect, H t h e beggar,and Roquentin t h e crab, a l l p a r t i c i p a t e i n p a r a l l e l forms of s o c i a l estrangement. 42-43,  andoutcasts  5 0 , 5 4 , 5 9 , 6 2 , 6 8 , 7 3 , 1 5 8 , 179  24  M o i s t w i t h the s p i t t l e o f d e s t i n y , they are s t u c k t o a w a l l , a l a m p - p o s t , an a d v e r t i s e m e n t p i l l a r , o r they t r i c k l e s l o w l y down the a l l e y , w i t h a d a r k , d i r t y t r a d e b e h i n d them. What i n the w o r l d d i d t h a t woman want w i t h -me, who had c r a w l e d out o f some h o l e , c a r r y i n g the drawer o f a n i g h t - s t a n d w i t h a few b u t t o n s and n e e d l e s r o l l i n g about i n i t ? Why d i d she keep w a l k i n g b e s i d e me and w a t c h i n g me? As i f she were t r y i n g t o r e c o g n i z e me w i t h her b l e a r e d e y e s , t h a t l o o k e d as though some d i s e a s e d p e r s o n had s p a t green s l i m e i n t o the b l o o d y l i d s ? And how came t h a t l i t t l e grey woman to s t a n d t h a t t i m e f o r a whole q u a r t e r o f an hour by my s i d e b e f o r e a shop-window, showing me an o l d p e n c i l t h a t came p u s h i n g i n f i n i t e l y s l o w l y out o f h e r m i s e r a b l e , c l e n c h e d hands? I p r e t e n d e d t o l o o k a t the d i s p l a y i n the window and not n o t i c e a n y t h i n g . B u t she knew I had seen h e r , she knew I s t o o d t h e r e w o n d e r i n g what she was r e a l l y d o i n g . For I u n d e r s t o o d t h a t the p e n c i l i n i t s e l f was o f no consequence: I felt i t was a sign for the  initiated,  was  i n d i c a t i n g t o me t h a t I s h o u l d go somewhere o r do  a sign  the  outcast  know;  I g u e s s e d she  something. And the strangest part was that I could not rid myself of the feeling that there actually existed a certain compact to which this sign belonged, and that this scene was in truth something I should have expected.  ( i t a l i c s mine)  I quote h e r e from The Notebooks o f M a l t e L a u r i d s B r i g g e t o i l l u s t r a t e and u n d e r l i n e t h a t (a) a p r o c e s s o f estrangement i s t a k i n g p l a c e and t h a t (b) t h i s p r o c e s s i s n o n e t h e l e s s r e s i s t e d , t o some e x t e n t , by M a l t e who wants t o m a i n t a i n h i s g o o d w i l l towards the o u t c a s t without however becoming  exactly  like  him.  I went i n , t h e n , and a t f i r s t o n l y n o t i c e d t h a t the t a b l e at w h i c h I u s u a l l y s a t was o c c u p i e d by someone e l s e . I bowed i n the d i r e c t i o n o f the l i t t l e c o u n t e r , o r d e r e d and s a t down a t the n e x t t a b l e . But t h e n I f e l t him, a l t h o u g h he d i d not s t i r . I t was p r e c i s e l y t h i s i m m o b i l i t y o f h i s t h a t I f e l t , and I u n d e r s t o o d i t a l l a t once. The c o n n e c t i o n between us was e s t a b l i s h e d , and I knew t h a t he was s t i f f with terror. I knew t h a t t e r r o r had p a r a l y s e d h i m , t e r r o r a t something t h a t was h a p p e n i n g i n s i d e him. Perhaps one o f h i s b l o o d - v e s s e l s h a d b u r s t ; p e r h a p s , j u s t a t t h i s moment, some p o i s o n t h a t he h a d l o n g dreaded was p e n e t r a t i n g the v e n t r i c l e o f h i s h e a r t ; perhaps a g r e a t a b s c e s s h a d r i s e n i n h i s b r a i n l i k e a sun t h a t was c h a n g i n g the w o r l d f o r him. W i t h an i n d e s c r i b a b l e e f f o r t I c o m p e l l e d m y s e l f t o l o o k i n h i s d i r e c t i o n , f o r I s t i l l hoped i t was a l l i m a g i n a t i o n . But then I sprang up and r u s h e d o u t ; f o r I had made no mistake. He s a t t h e r e i n a t h i c k , b l a c k w i n t e r c o a t , h i s g r e y , s t r a i n e d f a c e p l u n g e d deep i n t o a w o o l l e n n e c k c l o t h .  25  To e s c a p e with  them,  feels  from this  Brigge flees  safe.  There  building,  contain  aspect  the  of  continue  to  to  the  the books, the  one b u i l d i n g i n the  guarded by the heavy w a l l s of  The d r a i n i n g , o r as M a l t e c a l l s  it,  reality.  Nonetheless,  equal  i f not more p o w e r f u l than,  a private  projection  effect  His choice of words  he e n t e r s  the  l i b r a r y from which the  clarifies  his  positive, but  ways  of poems, akin to  libraries  the  the  'tabula  effect  of the  i n describing the real paupers  as y e t n a i v e ,  and  onto  of these projections  upon B r i g g e .  world  vampire-like and  process  to,  which the  ' n i c e ' homes.  a  'real'  r e l i e f he  to  It  of  force world feels  when  excluded, the  This world is  the Underground Man's C r y s t a l Palace.  rasa'  has  remain  attachment  he  the  drained  'sucking'  the  'compact'  city in which  o f U r n e k l o s t e r and P a r i s have  from him. is  inadmissible intuition of a  imagistic sustenance  'houses'  drain  as y e t  'pretty' in  some  represents  H i s m o u t h was c l o s e d as i f i t h a d f a l l e n s h u t w i t h g r e a t f o r c e , but i t was not p o s s i b l e to say whether h i s eyes s t i l l saw: m i s t y , smoke-grey spectacle lenses covered them, trembling slightly. H i s n o s t r i l s were distended, and the long h a i r over h i s wasted temples, out of which everything had been t a k e n , w i l t e d as i f i n too i n t e n s e a h e a t . His ears were l o n g , y e l l o w , w i t h large shadows behind them. Yes, he knew t h a t he was now w i t h d r a w i n g from e v e r y t h i n g : not m e r e l y from human b e i n g s . A moment more and e v e r y t h i n g w i l l have l o s t i t s meaning, and that table and the cup, and the c h a i r to w h i c h he c l i n g s , a l l the near and the commonplace, w i l l have become u n i n t e l l i g i b l e , strange and heavy. So he sat there and w a i t e d u n t i l i t s h o u l d have happened. And defended h i m s e l f no longer. And I s t i l l defend m y s e l f . I defend myself, although I k n o w my h e a r t i s a l r e a d y h a n g i n g o u t a n d t h a t I c a n n o t live a n y l o n g e r , e v e n i f my t o r m e n t o r s w e r e t o l e a v e me a l o n e now. I say to myself: "Nothing has happened," and yet I w a s o n l y a b l e t o u n d e r s t a n d t h a t m a n b e c a u s e w i t h i n me t o o s o m e t h i n g i s h a p p e n i n g , t h a t i s b e g i n n i n g t o d r a w me a w a y a n d s e p a r a t e me f r o m e v e r y t h i n g . " (51)  26  h i s " f a n t a s t i c dreams" and no s m a l l measure o f h i s " v u l g a r i n t h a t , i n t h e i r shape and nnrealizeable.  c o n t e x t , these dreams are  folly"  completely  Hence the l i b r a r y i s , t o b e g i n w i t h , a symbol f o r the  hunger r e a l m , , t h e r e a l m of i m p o s s i b l e f a n t a s i e s and dreams w h i c h , i n s p i t e of t h e i r u n r e a l i z e a b i l i t y , o f f e r the a u t h o r - h e r o / h u n g e r a r t i s t a means o f escape f r o m a r e a l i t y w h i c h has  turned oppressive.  t h i s strange d i a l e c t i c , both r e a l i t i e s — t h e malign  and the  In  ideal  b e n i g n — a r e the c r e a t i o n s of the p r o t a g o n i s t . - *  ^ To i l l u s t r a t e t h i s c u r i o u s p a r a d o x l e t us l o o k at two q u o t e s , one from The Notebooks and the o t h e r from one o f the Duino E l e g i e s i n w h i c h the r e a d e r w i l l i n s t a n t l y r e c o g n i z e the R i l k e a n ( B r i g g e a n ) theme of i n n e r w o r l d made o u t e r . The p o i n t i n p l a c i n g t h e s e two a p p a r e n t l y s e p a r a t e and c o n t r a d i c t o r y v i s i o n s t o g e t h e r i s t h a t e v e n t u a l l y they f u s e . I n e f f e c t the f u s i o n of the two i s the r e t u r n of a f u l l c y c l e : at the o u t s e t , as at the end, the realms of b l i s s and h o r r o r are f u s e d c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y i n t o a s i n g l e b u t i n d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e e n t i t y ( c f . " l i k e wet seaweed upon some sunken t h i n g " ) i n The Notebooks o f MLB. N e i t h e r the c o u n t r y n o r t h e c i t y a r e 'pure'. Each i s a c o m b i n a t i o n of the b e a u t i f u l and the h o r r i f i c . He, the new one, s h y i n g o f f , how he was e n s n a r e d by the g r a s p i n g t e n d r i l s o f i n t e r i o r e v e n t s a l r e a d y tangled i n t o network, i n t o choking undergrowth, i n t o s t a l k i n g a n i m a l forms. And how he s u r r e n d e r e d — And l o v e d . Loved h i s i n t e r i o r w o r l d , h i s i n n e r w i l d n e s s , T h i s p r i m a l f o r e s t i n whose mute f a l l e n r u i n s l i g h t - g r e e n h i s h e a r t was s t a n d i n g . Loved. And l e f t , went out from h i s own r o o t s i n t o v a s t b e g i n n i n g , where h i s s c a n t b i r t h a l r e a d y was s u r p a s s e d . Loving, he sank i n t o the o l d e r b l o o d , i n t o r a v i n e s where the f r i g h t f n l l a y , s t i l l s a t e d w i t h h i s f a t h e r s . And e v e r y t h i n g d r e a d f u l knew him, w i n k e d , seemed w e l l i n f o r m e d . The h o r r i b l e s m i l e d at him.... Seldom, mother, w i t h such t e n d e r n e s s had you s m i l e d at him. And how c o u l d he now l o v e what s m i l e d at him? B e f o r e you had he l o v e d i t : When you c a r r i e d him, i t was d i s s o l v e d i n the w a t e r t h a t l i g h t e n e d the s p r i n g i n g s e e d . The  T h i r d Duino  Elegy  But h e r e , my d e a r s , h e r e I am s a f e from you. One must have a s p e c i a l c a r d i n o r d e r t o get i n t o t h i s room. In t h i s c a r d I have the advantage of you. I go a l i t t l e s h y l y , as one may i m a g i n e , t h r o u g h the s t r e e t s , b u t f i n a l l y I s t a n d b e f o r e  27 The  r e s p i t e , due t o i t s e s c a p i s t n a t u r e , i s b r i e f .  The  i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h t h ec o u n t r y - d w e l l i n g poet i s , i ne f f e c t , a d e f e n s i v e s c r e e n a g a i n s t B r i g g e ' s deep f a s c i n a t i o n w i t h t h e w o r l d o f the grotesque projected a  and the h o r r i f i c .  thereafter, the entire  w o r l d o f m o n s t r o u s images d r i v e s B r i g g e f a r t h e r  'realistic'  e v a l u a t i o n o f the w o r l d , and c l o s e r  fantasy, i n which the secondary  into  from  to a world of  process of ' c r e a t i o n ' — t h e process o f r e i f y i n g absent.  fantasy i s expressed  deteriorate  away  o n l y the p r i m a r y p r o c e s s o f images e x i s t s , w h i l e  images i n t o a r t — i s this  Shortly  Significantly,  a great proportion o f  through images o f food w h i c h  the unsavory  and the  those  gradually  obscene.  I was w o r n o u t a f t e r a l l t h i s , one m i g h t even s a y e x h a u s t e d , a n d t h a t i s why i t w a s t o o much f o r me t h a t he t o o h a d t o b e w a i t i n g f o r me. He was w a i t i n g i n t h e l i t t l e c r e m e r i e w h e r e J intended to eat tUo. poached eggs; I was hungry, I had not managed to eat the whole day. B u t even then I c o u l d n o t take anyt h i n g ; b e f o r e t h e e g g s w e r e r e a d y s o m e t h i n g d r o v e me o u t a g a i n i n t o t h e s t r e e t s , w h i c h r a n t o w a r d s me viscid with humanity. F o r i t was c a r n i v a l a n d e v e n i n g , and the people a l lhad time and roved about, r u b b i n g a g a i n s t each o t h e r . And t h e i r f a c e s were f u l l o f t h e l i g h t t h a t came f r o m t h e s h o w b o o t h s , a n d laughter bubbled from their mouths like mattef from  a g l a s s d o o r , o p e n i t a s i f I w e r e a t home, show my c a r d a t t h e n e x t d o o r ( j u s t e x a c t l y a s y o u show me y o u r t h i n g s , o n l y w i t h t h e d i f f e r e n c e t h a t p e o p l e u n d e r s t a n d me a n d know w h a t I m e a n — ) , a n d t h e n I am among t h e s e b o o k s , a n d t a k e n away f r o m y o u a s t h o u g h I h a d d i e d , a n d s i t a n d r e a d a poet. Y o u d p n o t know w h a t t h a t i s , a p o e t ? — V e r l a i n e . . . Nothing? No r e c o l l e c t i o n ? No. Y o u d i d n o t d i s t i n g u i s h h i m among t h o s e y o u know? Y o u make n o d i s t i n c t i o n s , I know. B u t i t i s a n o t h e r p o e t I am r e a d i n g , o n e who d o e s n o t l i v e i n P a r i s , quite another. One who h a s a q u i e t home i n t h e mountains. Who r i n g s l i k e a b e l l i n c l e a r a i r . A h a p p y p o e t who t e l l s o f h i s w i n d o w a n d t h e g l a s s d o o r s o f h i s book-case, that p e n s i v e l y r e f l e c t a dear, lonely distance. J u s t t h i s p o e t i t i s t h a t I w o u l d have l i k e d t o become. (43)  28  open sores. The more i m p a t i e n t l y I t r i e d t o f o r c e my w a y f o r w a r d , t h e more they laughed a n d t h e more closely they crowded together. Somehow a woman's shawl hooked i t s e l f to me; I dragged h e r after me, and p e o p l e s t o p p e d me a n d l a u g h e d , a n d I f e l t I s h o u l d l a u g h t o o b u t I cotild n o t . Someone threw a h a n d f u l of c o n f e t t i i n t o my eyes a n d i t burned l i k e a whip. At the crossings people were wedged fast, shoved one into the other, and there was no forward movement in them, only a quiet gentle swaying back and forth, as i f they copulated standing. But although they stood, and I ran like a madman along the edge of the pavement where there were gaps in the crowd, yet in truth i t was they who moved while I never s t i r r e d . For n o t h i n g changed; when I looked up I was s t i l l aware o f t h e same h o u s e s o n t h e o n e s i d e a n d o n t h e o t h e r , the booths. Perhaps everything indeed stood fast, and i t was s i m p l y a d i z z i n e s s i n me a n d i n them w h i c h seemed t o w h i r l e v e r y t h i n g around. I h a d no time to r e f l e c t o n t h i s ; I Was heavy with sweat, a n d a s t u p e f y i n g p a i n c i r c l e d i n m e , as i f something too large were d r i v i n g along in my blood, distending the veins wherever it passed. And in addition I f e l t that the air had long been exhausted, and that I was now breathing only exhaled breath, which my lungs refused. (48) ( i t a l i c s , mine) What we have images,  then,  i f we look at the total effect  i s a portrait  elegance  continues,  Whole glass this work.  earliest noises  fear  and shattered  episodes  a fragmented  the  work o f  as art—  lines enveloping the individual pieces. glass  are important  The effect  the effects  recurring  accompanies  i n Paris, i n which h i s fantasy  from h i s s o l i t a r y d w e l l i n g place.  of the night  in h i s bed.  Poe,  becomes  The sound o f a broken glass  he hears  stillness  to  suggesting  o f stained glass window whose colors a r e i n c r e a s i n g l y  obscured b y the dark dividing  in  a n c e s t r a l home,  and immutability o f a medieval castle, which gradually,  the v e r b a l p o r t r a i t u r e a kind  of an ancient  of Brigge's  i s eloquent of this  o f the master  with the fear  passage bears  o f t h e uncanny  one o f Brigge's plays  on the  Here even the of a small boy lying  a striking  and grotesque:  as f o r example at t h e c o n c l u s i o n o f t h e t a l e  images  resemblance Edgar  of The Fall  Allen  of the  29  House of Usher." Brigge has internalized the broken images once and for a l l :  "All that is s t i l l in me and will never cease to be in me.  It is as though the picture of this house had fallen into me from an infinite height and had  shattered  against my very ground.(31)  When he was a boy, Brigge was surrounded by either haunting or haunted relatives, one of whom became completely dominated by her fear of needles and thence "carried with her small fine, silver sieve, through which she filtered everything she drank," ( 7 7 ) and another who had "missed another, a brilliant life, her natural one," and who therefore became transfigured by this fact so difficult to swallow, that she would persistently choke.  Brigge explains that the metaphysical  diet, i f disagreeable, effects physical changes which accurately correspond to the psychical ones:  the rough justice, in fact, of  I believe that in great conflagrations there sometimes occurs such a moment of extreme tension; the jets of water fall back, the firemen no longer climb their ladders, no one stirs. Noiselessly a black cornice thrusts itself forward overhead, and a high wall, behind which the fire shoots up, leans forward noiselessly. A l l stand and wait, with shoulders raised and faces puckered over the eyes, for the terrific crash. The stillness here is like that. (14)  b  I am lying in my bed, five flights nothing interrupts, is like a dial  up, and my day, without hands.  whioh As a  thing long lost lies one morning in its old place, safe and well, fresher almost than at the time of its loss, quite as though someone had cared for it—: so here and there on my coverlet lie lost things out of my childhood and  are  7 Cf. p. 60: my bed may arrive some worry lest forever.."  i  as new.  All  forgotten  "the fear that this glassy  at that  fears  are  there  again.  (60)  crumb of bread now falling from and shattered on the floor, and the burdenreally everything will be broken, everything  30  Ovidian metamorphoses.  The second  relative,  i nBrigge's  view,  had taken all this so deeply into herself, and had grown crusts over i t , many hard, b r i t t l e , slightly metalsheened crusts, of which that for the time uppermost appeared  cool and new. Now and a g a i n she n e v e r t h e l e s s betrayed by a n a i v e i m p a t i e n c e t h a t she was n o tg e t t i n g s u f f i c i e n t a t t e n t i o n ; i n m y t i m e she could in some obvious and complicated  suddenly fashion  choke which  at table assured  her of the sympathy of all, and made h e r appear, f o r t h e moment a t l e a s t , a s s e n s a t i o n a l and e x c i t i n g a s she w o u l d have liked t o b e i n t h elarger sense. ( 1 0 6 ) Finally,  t h eaccumulation o f a l l this  an -undesirable p o r t i o n o f r e a l i t y has Brigge,  Regarding a solitary wall  Parisian  apartment  the  embodiment  jagged edges here,  h e had  What does And,  i s his  is  primal fear:  t o note  own p a r a d o x .  his  experiences  that  i s f a rgreater  for him.  rather  seismographic earth's  that  " I recognize me."  changes  everything  (48)  with t h ecause?  their  objective  which shake  I t may b e o f  correspondents.  t h ev e r y  foundations o f  a r eonly marginally connected  registering eruptions  shakes  reality?  w i t h t h esense o f  the w o r l d and i t sshow o f p a s s i n g events chart  whose  the 'spiritual' significance o f  than  His responses  common t u r b u l e n c e  explosion  into  home w i t h  Brigge himself i s filled  H esenses that  i s t h eprofound inner  world;  right  He recognizes  B r i g g e a c t u a l l y s e ei n the w o r l d o f o b j e c t i v e  his  'reality'  goes  transfixed.  t h efragmented  long been struggling.  why i t  parallel i n  s u r v i v i n g t h erubble o f a demolished  r e a c t i o n t o i t commensurate  some i n t e r e s t  It  i t sn o tunexpected  b u i l d i n g , Brigge stands  o fhis  a n d that  hard g l a s s y s w a l l o w i n go f  provides  a  f a rremoved from t h e  and e f f e c t i v e l y l i n k e d t o a "deep  iBrigge's] privileged heritage  emotional  o f sentiments."  Dante D e l l a T e r z a , "On P i r a n d e l l o ' s H u m o r i s m " , " V e i n s o f Humour", Harvard English Studies 3 , 1972, p . 2 0 . 8  t o the  8  31  A case  i npoint  i s t h erubble  c l e a r l y what h e sees with h i s 'inner  o f t h ehouse  objectively i s wildly  that  B r i g g e saw, f o r  surpassed  b y what h e sees  eye.'  W i l l anyone b e l i e v e that there a r e such houses? N o , they w i l l s a yI amm i s r e p r e s e n t i n g . T h i s time i t i st h e truth, nothing omitted, a n dn a t u r a l l y nothing added. Where should I g e t i t from? Everyone knows I am poor. Everyone knows i t . Houses? But, t o b e precise, they were houses that were n o longer there. Houses t h a t h a d b e e n p u l l e d down from t o pt o bottom. W h a t was t h e r e w a s t h e o t h e r houses, those that h a d stood alongside o f them t a l l , neighbouring houses. Apparently these were i n danger o f f a l l i n g down, s i n c e e v e r y t h i n g a l o n g s i d e h a d been taken away; f o ra w h o l e s c a f f o l d i n g o f l o n g , t a r r e d t i m b e r s h a d been rammed slantwise between t h e rubbish strewn ground and t h e bared wall. I don't know whether I have already s a i d that i t i s t h i s w a l l 1 mean. B u ti t was, s o t o speak, n o t t h e f i r s t w a l l o f t h e e x i s t i n g houses ( a s onewould have supposed), b u tt h e last o f those that h a dbeen there. One saw i t s i n n e r s i d e . Onesawa t t h edifferent storeys t h e w a l l s o f rooms t o w h i c h t h epapers s t i l l c l u n g , a n d here and there t h ej o i n o f f l o o r o r c e i l i n g . Beside these r o o m - w a l l s t h e r e s t i l l r e m a i n e d , a l o n g t h ew h o l e l e n g t h of t h e w a l l , a dirty-white area, and through this crept in  unspeakably  disgusting  motions,  worm-soft  and  as  if  digesting, t h eopen, rust-spotted channel o f t h e water closet pipe. Grey, dusty traces o f t h epaths t h e l i g h t i n g gas h a d taken remained a t t h e c e i l i n g edges, a n d here and there, q u i t e unexpectedly, they bent sharp around a n d came r u n n i n g i n t o t h e c o l o r e d w a l l a n d i n t o a h o l e t h a t had been torn o u t black a n d ruthless. B u tmost unforgettable o f a l l w e r e t h ew a l l s t h e m s e l v e s . Thestubborn life o f t h e s e rooms h a d n o t l e t i t s e l f b e t r a m p l e d o u t . I tw a s s t i l l t h e r e ; i t c l u n g t o t h en a i l s t h a t h a dbeen l e f t , it stood on t h eremaining handsbreadth o f flooring, i t crouched under t h e corner j o i n t s where there was s t i l l a bit o f interior. Onecould s e e that i t was i n t h e paint, which, year b yyear, i t hadslowly altered: blue into moldy green, green into grey, andyellow into an o l d , stale rotting white. B u ti t was also i n t h espots that h a d kept fresher, behind mirrors, pictures, andwardrobes; f o r i t had drawn and redrawn t h e i r contours, a n d h a dbeen w i t h spiders and dust even i n these hidden places that now l a y bared. I t w a s i n e v e r y f l a y e d s t r i p , i t w a s i n t h e damp b l i s t e r s a t t h e lower edges o f t h ew a l l p a p e r s ; i t wavered in t h e torn o f f shreds, and sweated o u to f t h e foul patches t h a t h a d come i n t o b e i n g l o n g a g o . A n d f r o m t h e s e w a l l s once blue a n d green a n d y e l l o w , which were framed b y t h e  32  fracture-tracks of the demolished p a r t i t i o n s , the breath of these l i v e s stood out—the clammy, s l u g g i s h , musty breath, which no wind had yet scattered. There stood the middays and the sicknesses and the exhaled breath and the smoke o f y e a r s , and the sweat that breaks out under a r m p i t s and makes c l o t h e s heavy, and the s t a l e b r e a t h of mouths, and the fused odor of s w e l t e r i n g feet. There stood the tang of -urine and the burn of soot and the grey reek of p o t a t o e s , and the heavy, smooth stench of ageing grease. The sweet, l i n g e r i n g s m e l l of n e g l e c t e d i n f a n t s was there, and the f e a r - s m e l l o f c h i l d r e n who go t o s c h o o l , and t h e s u l t r i n e s s out of the beds of n u b i l e youths. To these was added much t h a t h a d come f r o m b e l o w , f r o m t h e a b y s s o f t h e s t r e e t , w h i c h r e e k e d , and more t h a t had oozed down from above w i t h the r a i n , which over c i t i e s is not clean. And much the f e e b l e , tamed d o m e s t i c w i n d s , t h a t a l w a y s s t a y i n the same s t r e e t , had brought a l o n g ; and much more was t h e r e , the source o f w h i c h one d i d not know. I said, did I not, that a l l the w a l l s had been demolished except the l a s t — ? It is of this w a l l I have been speaking a l l along. One w o u l d think I had stood a long time before i t ; but I'm w i l l i n g t o s w e a r t h a t I b e g a n to r u n as s o o n as I h a d r e c o g n i z e d that wall. For that i s the t e r r i b l e thing, that I d i d recognize it. I r e c o g n i z e e v e r y t h i n g here, and that i s why i t goes r i g h t i n t o me: i t i s at home i n me. (48) The p o i n t being and,  then,  i n the  is  that B r i g g e sees more and more w i t h h i s  process,  sacrifices  balance w h i c h a harmony between might  support.  series  spectator,  which he, himself admit  that  a tone it own  w i t h supreme  invented.  contrary at  and c r u e l images  Brigge, is  he  is  a l l , serene, phantoms.  i n which the  'forced'  irony, in his  of distaste  to  take  role of  The t e n s i o n w h i c h r e s u l t s confronting the  s t r i v i n g to once  feeling of wholeness  an i n n e r and outer  The c o n t i n u i n g metaphor  of devastating  passive,  the  face  acknowledge this  inner  of his  vision is  and  of the  world  composed o f  receptive,  although  in indigestible  ' a r t i s t i c agent' from his  has  and  to his  genesis,  creates  d r e a m - l i k e , c o n f l i c t - r i d d e n and c a t a c l y s m i c , yet  through  w i t h the  serenity  and d i s c o v e r i t s  forms  inability  own f a n t a s i e s ,  a  o f someone who i s h y p n o t i z e d by  his  33  The theme 'hunger'.  of  The domain  annihilated by, in Brigge's realms  the  is  of the  finally  horrible  domain of the  spiritual journey  w h i c h are  which is  'distaste'  as y e t  is  as  so p a i n f u l l y swallowed i s  i t s -malign w i l l upon  the  is  annexed  beautiful. the  regarded  blended w i t h the  clear  though  Preceding  this  d e f i n i t i o n of the  opposites. regarded  predominantly  to,  theme  In addition,  as  something  passive  of never stage two the  alien,  Malte Laurids  world imposing  Brigge.  The e x i s t e n c e of' t h e h o r r i b l e i n e v e r y p a r t i c l e o f a i r ! You breathe i t i n w i t h what i s transparent; but i n s i d e you i t p r e c i p i t a t e s , hardens, takes on p o i n t e d , geometrical forms between your organs; f o r whatever of torment and h o r r o r has happened on p l a c e s of e x e c u t i o n , i n torturechambers, mad-houses, operating theatres, under the vaults of bridges i n late autumn: a l l t h i s has a tough i m p e r i s h a b i l i t y , a l l t h i s s u b s i s t s i n i t s own r i g h t and, jealous o f a l l t h a t i s , c l i n g s t o i t s own f r i g h t f u l r e a l i t y . People would l i k e to be a l l o w e d to forget much of t h i s ; sleep gently f i l e s over such grooves i n t h e i r brains, but dreams d r i v e s l e e p away and t r a c e the d e s i g n s a g a i n . (68-69) But outside, outside is beyond calculation. And when i t r i s e s o u t t h e r e , i t f i l l s up i n s i d e y o u as w e l l , n o t i n y o u r b l o o d v e s s e l s , w h i c h are p a r t l y under y o u r own c o n t r o l , nor i n the phlegm of your more impassive organs: i n the c a p i l l a r i e s i t r i s e s , drawn up b y t u b u l a r s u c t i o n i n t o the outermost branches of your i n f i n i t e l y r a m i f i e d being. There i t mounts, there i s overflows you, r i s i n g h i g h e r t h a n y o u r b r e a t h , up w h i c h y o u f l e e as to y o u r l a s t stand. A h , whither then, whither then? Your heart drives you out o f y o u r s e l f , y o u r h e a r t pursues y o u , and you stand almost outside y o u r s e l f and cannot get back again. Like a b e e t l e that has been trodden on you gush out of y o u r s e l f , and y o u r l i t t l e b i t o f s u r f a c e hardness and a d a p t a b i l i t y go f o r n o t h i n g . (69) Salvation  lies  mythology,  is  i n the world of to be  found i n the  shielded him from fear positive  love,  (night)  the  figure  source  of which, i n  of his Mother.  and had h e l p e d  to  salvage  She  Briggean had  a sense  of  spirituality within him, 0 mother: o y o u o n l y one, who shut out a l l t h i s s t i l l n e s s , l o n g ago i n c h i l d h o o d . Who t a k e i t u p o n y o u r s e l f , s a y i n g : Dont' be a f r a i d i t Is I , Who has the c o u r a g e a l l i n  34  the night y o u r s e l f to be this is a f r a i d and p e r i s h i n g w i t h  stillness fear....  for  that  which  Does any power e q u a l y o u r power among the r u l e r s o f the earth? See, k i n g s l i e and s t a r e , and the t e l l e r o f tales cannot d i s t r a c t them. On t h e b l i s s f u l b r e a s t s o f t h e i r f a v o r i t e m i s t r e s s t e r r o r creeeps over them and makes them shaky and l i f e l e s s . B u t y o u , y o u come a n d h o l d t h e monstrous t h i n g behind y o u , and are i n front of i t altogether; not l i k e a c u r t a i n i t can throw open here or there. N o , as i f y o u had o v e r t a k e n i t at the c a l l t h a t needed you. As i f y o u h a d come f a r ahead o f a n y t h i n g t h a t may yet happen, and had behind you only y o u r h a s t i n g h i t h e r , your eternal path, the f l i g h t of your love. (70) Hence between and the  city,  Brigge's  Brigge's  with the  of the  father's  somewhat  are  of hunger  and through  the  Once we have u n d e r s t o o d of Brigge's  by B r i g g e ' s emphatic vivid see  life  the  what  to be  persona  the  'simple  suggested. by a f e a r f u l mother,  the  While  one  of the  that  of development  the  the  that  is  'new'  of  the  in  thematic  which are through  synonymous  the medium of  Brigge, in a close  P r o d i g a l Son functions a fact,  domain of  heretofore bookshops  frugal  by no means  for  as  is  that  i f  of Brigge are love of his  P r o d i g a l Son suggests  an  concealed and  In  Brigge's  u n i f i e d as he  the  as  domesticity,  in Brigge's personality.  childhood memories  of the  represented  a point  P r o d i g a l Son reveals are  of  another.  e u l o g i z i n g of country homes,  life'  country  embrace.  l o n e l y c h i l d who yearns parable  to  complex character,  of the  image  worlds,  w o r l d , meet  discovered i n the  dual lines  the  about  agent  single  and d i s t a s t e ,  and the mother's  bizarre metaphorical  extension  opposed  and d i s t a s t e ,  and father  P r o d i g a l Son provides  Here realms  legend,  come u p o n t h e  of two seemingly d i s p a r a t e  imagination they  resolution.  of realms—hunger  home i n w h i c h b o t h m o t h e r  forces  The l e g e n d  the  series  l o v e and fear-—we  first  archetypal  the  the we effect feelings  previously characterized beautiful  a complete  reversal  in  35  attitude:  thechild  i s unhappy  because  h e did n o twant  family  andh i s servants.  is  therefore  t h elove that wasshowered onhim b y h i s A nemotion roughly corresponding t o distaste  thewishes  situations  o f o n e a n d t h e same p e r s o n .  confrontation loved)  t o feeling insufficiently loved.  o fwish  (wishing t o be loved)  l i e s b e h i n d t h ep o w e r f u l scene  some l e n g t h ,  above)  andfear  (fearing t o  o f recognition (quoted a t  i nw h i c h B r i g g e ' s meeting w i t h a w a l l  The i m p o r t a n c e  o f this  radical source  o f t h ep r e d o m i n a n t l y a m b i v a l e n t  dichotomy i s that  i t uncovers  of M a l t e L a u r i d s B r i g g e which i s represented 'hunger'  to  i s as Brigge says  the  child, else  t o persuade  legend  of  methat  him who did  a n d came t o f e e l  not  In short,  their  same way t h a t  want  to  loved him.  anda  i n The Notebooks  b y t h ev a c i l l a t i o n s  from  changes  the  encouraged  love  of  be  loved.  When  H egrew u p k n o w i n g n o t h i n g o fheart,  when h e w a s  which  " h er e c o g n i z e d more  they  were  had nothing  so  vain  t o form a positive  son's clearly  andto  to do with  n o t h i n g t o h i m a n dh e r e f u s e d  Brigge 'refused'  he was a  b y t h etime t h eprodigal  one another,  love meant  " I t will  o f t h eP r o d i g a l Son i s  softness  f r u i t i o n , f o rb y then  dayt o daythat  they secretly  t h estory  a t home i n t h e i r  Therelationship  growth h a s reached from  right  remembrance.  an early  a t t h eb e g i n n i n g o f h i s l e g e n d :  e v e r y b o d y i n t h eh o u s e  a child."  tone  "goes  'distaste.'  be d i f f i c u l t not  Theprodigal  The sudden  through him" w i t h a l l t h eagonizing impact o f a n unwanted  It  which  t o b e i n g e x c e s s i v e l y l o v e d i n t h e same w i s e a s t h e c h i l d  Brigge responded  be  o f f l e e i n g h i s home  aroused b y twod i a m e t r i c a l l y opposite  however represent responds  t o t h epoint  which  him."  i t i n the  unambiguous  r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h t h e c i t y o f P a r i s , t h em y t h i c a l l y a r c h i t e c h t o n i c super-image  o f t h efather's  realm.  (216)  36  The s c h i s m r e s u l t i n g from in  thefather's  from t h e separation  i s , i f n o te n t i r e l y  choosing between  rejection  o f t h emother's  responsible  (distaste)  world  f o rB r i g g e ' s  o r acceptance  (hunger) o f  the w o r l d , c e r t a i n l y p a r a l l e l t o i t . The r e s o l u t i o n o f t h i s is  a p a r a d o x i c a l one i n t h a t B r i g g e ' s e v e n t u a l  he b e l i e v e s  t o be 'reality'  exclusiveness Hence,  and  i nhis  mythical surrogate of his  distaste  transform  acceptance  i s achieved at theprice  symbolic embrace  and transcend  o f theleper,  o f his horror.  t h enature  repulsive side, unchanged.  writing  o f what  o f social  through t h e  o f t h eP r o d i g a l Son, B r i g g e embraces  and t h en a d i r  i n theentire  conflict  exclusion.  t h e epitome  The embrace  o f reality.  i s meant  I t , i n fact,  B r i g g e w h i l e l e a v i n g t h ew o r l d , w i t h i t s v e r y r e a l  lies  conflict  paradox which Brigge inhabits  transforms  grotesque  Why does B r i g g e d o t h i s ?  The  to  and  answer  and embodies.  I n  o f t h eProdigal Son, h e explains: Even a t t h e time when poverty t e r r new hardnesses, when h i s head was m i s e r y and u t t e r l y worn bare, when over h i s body l i k e a u x i l i a r y eyes  ified him daily with thefavourite t o y o f ulcers opened a l l against t h e blackness  o f t r i b u l a t i o n , when he shuddered at the rubbish upon which he had been abandoned because he himself was like it: even then s t i l l , w h e n h e r e f l e c t e d , his greatest terror was lest anyone should respond to him. (213)  What ends nourriture  as t h eProdigal Son's terrestre',  a c t i v e shape to  fantasies.  lessons  a n dcompanions  o fhis  o f ' l a  father,  takes  d u r i n g w h i c h t h eboy B r i g g e p l a y e d  and r a naway t o t h e a t t i c  His rebellion against  began when a s a c h i l d  s p i r i t u a l refusal  supplied b y t h ehouse  i n an episode  t h eworld o f order  final  truant  t o indulge h i s  theestablished  world o f order  h e r e a l i z e d t h a t h e was b o r e d w i t h t h e games, arranged  onhis  b e h a l f b y h i sp a r e n t s .  The  37  activities matter.  which he himself was able  They h a dt h e f u l l  t o devise were quite  allure o f forbidden  another  fruit:  When o n e p l a y e d a l o n e . . . o n e m i g h t happen i n a d v e r t e n t l y to trespass beyond this prearranged, on the whole harml e s s w o r l d a n d f i n d o n e s e l f among c i r c u m s t a n c e s t h a t w e r e e n t i r e l y d i f f e r e n t a n d b y n o means t o b e f o r e s e e n . (90) And t h e i n e v i t a b l e c o n s e q u e n c e  o f tasting  unavoidable comparison between  Adam,, who d e c i d e s  judgement  t o partake  o f the apple,  i t . . . .  There against  but  s o t h a t h e m a y do w h a t  i n context,  playfulness, in  costumes  which they  a sinful  thing.  to the eating  i s i n essence,  thing  The a c t , comparable i n charm and  o f t h e renowned apple was t o dress up  a r e described announces offer  father's  an innocent  found i n the "forbidden" attic-room.  realm, where dreams  h i s better  andBrigge, whosecretly a n d  knowingly absents himself from the ordered world o f h i s creation  i s an  an entry  themselves  The language i n  into the magical  i n the seductive  'hunger'  incipiency o f  becoming. But what transported me i n t o a sort o f i n t o x i c a t i o n were the capacious mantles, t h e wraps, t h e shawls, t h e v e i l s , a l l t h o s e yielding, w i d e , unused f a b r i c s , that were s o s o f t a n d c a r e s s i n g , o r s o slithery that one could scarcely t a k e h o l d o f t h e m , o r s o light that they flew by one like a w i n d , o r s i m p l y h e a v y w i t h a l l t h e i r own w e i g h t . In t h e m I f i r s t d i s c e r n e d r e a l l y f r e e a n d infinitely mobile possibilities: being a s l a v e - g i r l about t o be s o l d , o r b e i n g Jeanne d ' A r c o r a n o l dk i n g o r a w i z a r d ; a l l t h i s lay t o hand (92-93) Dressed his  i n t h e robes  costume  o f a potentate,  i s beautiful,  fulfilling  Brigge sees  that  a l l h i s fondest  the effect o f hopes.  It w a s r e a l l y g r a n d i o s e , beyond a l le x p e c t a t i o n . A n d the m i r r o r gave i t back i n s t a n t l y , i t was t o o c o n v i n c i n g . (93) But i t i s soon changed glass  into i t s opposite.  Again the shattering o f  e f f e c t e d b y B r i g g e ' s u n w i e l d y movements  i  i n h i s costume  sets o f f  38  a complicated  alarm system whose b e l l s r i n g  loudest i n Brigge's  chest.  I p u l l e d at a l l my garments, but they c l u n g o n l y the t i g h t e r . The c o r d s of the m a n t l e s t r a n g l e d me, and the s t u f f on my head p r e s s e d as though more and "more were b e i n g added to i t . Furthermore the atmosphere had become dim and as though misty w i t h the o l d i s h fume of the s p i l l e d l i q u i d . Hot and angry, I rushed t o the m i r r o r and w i t h d i f f i c u l t y watched through the mask the working of my hands. But f o r t h i s the m i r r o r had j u s t been waiting. I t s moment of r e t a l i a t i o n had come. While I s t r o v e i n b o u n d l e s s l y i n c r e a s i n g anguish t o squeeze somehow out of my d i s g u i s e , i t forced me, by what means I do n o t know, to l i f t my eyes and imposed on me an image, no, a reality, a strange, unbelievable and more monstrous reality, with which, against my will, I became permeated. (95) ( i t a l i c s , mine) The  r o l e of t r u a n c y or t r e s p a s s i n g i s c e n t r a l t o our  of B r i g g e ' s extreme and f e a r f u l r e a c t i o n s t o h i s own (the b r e a k i n g of the g l a s s f i g u r i n e s ) . wishes were ambivalent. and made h a s t e  One  of h i s p e r s o n a l i t y was  seduced  by the  child's  'forbidden'  o p p o r t u n i t y p a second p o r t i o n  f i l l e d w i t h a sense  of which the e v e n t u a l outbreak  misdemeanor  The p o i n t i s t h a t the  p a r t o f him was  to get t h e r e a t the f i r s t  understanding  o f wrong-doing and  of f e a r and h y s t e r i a was  guilt  the outcome.  C u r i o u s l y enough, the b r e a k i n g of the g l a s s f i g u r i n e s became the point  of B r i g g e ' s a n x i e t y , a l t h o u g h i t was,  a l e s s e r infringement of household coachman and father. t h a t B r i g g e was  comparatively  laws than h i d i n g from  speaking, the  The n a t u r e of the punishment, however,  overwhelmed by  fear of h i s father.  e x c e s s i v e l y f e a r f u l i n f a c t , t h a t h i s own f e a r - w i s h and punished him  conscience  He was  focal  suggests  so  anticipated his  i n advance of the c o n f r o n t a t i o n .  The  "At times Mademoiselle had h e r m i g r a i n e which was u n u s u a l l y v i o l e n t , and these were the days when I was h a r d to f i n d . I know t h a t on these o c c a s i o n s the coachman was sent to the park, when i t o c c u r r e d to F a t h e r t o ask f o r me and I was not t h e r e . From one of the upper guestrooms I c o u l d see him run out and c a l l me at the e n t r a n c e of the long d r i v e . "  39  two ' s e l v e s '  w h i c h meet  and r e a l images and d i s t a s t e . realm) meets  i n the mirror reflecting Brigge's  are equivalent  t o Brigge's projected worlds o f hunger  The b e a u t i f u l fantasy face  'very s t e r n , -very c r u e l r e a l i t y .  victim of 'order.' situation  I n this  enacts  the role  Thereaction  o f punishment  is  plane,  andt o Brigge,  fear  gains the  o f o n ewho h a s become t h e who s e e t h e w h o l e  suggests  that  Brigge's  are disproportionate both t o the nature  of h i s 'crime' andt o t h enature reason,  episode,  o f the servants,  on an entirely different  expectations  (closely linked t o the mother's  t o face w i t h t h e laws o f a mundane  upper hand a n dt h e c h i l d  disguised  of reality itself.  Brigge i s i r r e v e r s i b l y marked by this  For this  very  episode, which, as i t  d e s c r i b e d i r iT h eN o t e b o o k s , i s a h i g h l y t r a u m a t i c  one.  . . . f o r now t h e m i r r o r w a s t h e s t r o n g e r , a n d I w a s t h e mirror. I s t a r e d a t t h i s great, t e r r i f y i n g unknown b e f o r e me, a n d i t seemed t o me a p p a l l i n g t o b e a l o n e with him. B u t a t t h e v e r y moment I t h o u g h t t h i s , t h e w o r s t b e f e l l : I l o s t a l l s e n s e , I simply ceased to exist. F o ro n e second I h a d a n i n d e s c r i b a b l e l o n g i n g , p a i n f u l a n d f u t i l e l o n g i n g f o rm y s e l f , then there w a s only h e : there w a sn o t h i n g b u t h e . I r a n away, b u t now i t w a sh e t h a t r a n . Heknocked against everything, he d i d n o t know t h e house, h e h a dn o i d e a where t og o ; he managed t o g e t down a s t a i r w a y , a n d i n h i s course stumbled over someone who shouted i n s t r u g g l i n g f r e e . A d o o r o p e n e d , s e v e r a l p e r s o n s came o u t : O h ,o h , w h a t a r e l i e f i t was t o know them! There was Sieversen, t h e good S i e v e r s e n , a n dt h e housemaid a n dt h e b u t l e r : n o w for a decision. B u tthey did n o t spring forward t o the rescue; t h e i r c r u e l t y knew n o bounds. They stood there and laughed; my God, they could stand there a n d laugh. I wept, b u t t h e mask d i d n o t l e t t h e tears e s c a p e ; they r a n down i n s i d e o v e r my cheeks a n d d r i e d at once a n dr a n again a n d d r i e d . And at last I knelt b e f o r e them, a s n o human b e i n g ever k n e l t ; I k n e l t , and l i f t e d up myhands, a n di m p l o r e d them: "Take me out, i f you s t i l l can, a n dkeep me," b u t they d i d n o t h e a r ; I h a dn o l o n g e r a n y v o i c e . (95) The Notebooks a r e r e p l e t e tapestries  with reversals.  which form the f i n a l  The magnificent  image i n t h e f i r s t book,  through which  AO  the  longing for sublime r e a l i t y is portrayed solely through  bursting with unuttered  significance, is  Book I I where B r i g g e presents striving They, the  to  alas,  contact fall  prey  to  undergoes mirror the  and most  himself.  appears outcast,  the  sapping,  The person  'he'  the  outset  image of young c i t y in a  reversal  that he  once  found again.  that  took  is  the lost  In fact  of  girls, museum.  life-draining influence  are harnessed w i t h i n v i s i b l e  important  to have been the  'hunger'  at  sublime by studying tapestries  r e a l world to which they The f i n a l  is  the  a  reversed  symbols  of  cords.^  one w h i c h B r i g g e i n the the  control of Brigge's  childhood  'new'  Brigge  personality  The w o r l d d e s c r i b e d i n the t a p e s t r y i s the i d e a l i z e d 'dream' w o r l d i n t o w h i c h B r i g g e ' s s o u l e n t e r s i n . much the same way as he e n t e r e d i n t o the p e r s o n a o f h i s c o s t u m e d s e l f as a c h i l d . What emerges from this d e s c r i p t i o n w i t h i t s f i n a l question addressed to the absent Abelone, i s that for Brigge the d i s t i n c t i o n between the r e a l w o r l d and h i s imaginary w o r l d i s f l u i d : x u  T h e r e a r e t a p e s t r i e s , A b e l o n e , w a l l t a p e s t r i e s , I am imagining that you are here; there are s i x tapestries; come, l e t us pass s l o w l y b e f o r e them. But f i r s t step hack and see them a l l together. How q u i e t t h e y a r e , are t h e y n o t ? (Ill) .... A b e l o n e , I am i m a g i n i n g y o u a r e here. Do y o u u n d e r s t a n d , A b e l o n e ? I t h i n k y o u must understand. (113) Part II begins w i t h the reversal or 'other side' of the w o r l d portrayed i n the t a p e s t r i e s . Here B r i g g e s t u d i e s y o u n g g i r l s who ' s t u d y ' the w o r l d p o r t r a y e d i n the t a p e s t r i e s and whose sense of an i d e a l or ultimate r e a l i t y has g r a d u a l l y faded because of t h e i r continuous and wearying contact w i t h the w o r l d of everyday r e a l i t y . Brigge's d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e s e y o u n g g i r l s e m p h a s i z e s h i s own p e r s o n a l contempt for the mundane. Young g i r l s one does o c c a s i o n a l l y f i n d b e f o r e them. For there are l o t s o f young g i r l s i n museums, who somewhere have gone away out o f the houses t h a t no l o n g e r keep a n y t h i n g . They f i n d themselves before these tapestries and forget themselves a l i t t l e . They have always f e l t that this e x i s t e d , a subdued l i f e l i k e t h i s , of l e i s u r e l y gestures never quite e x p l a i n e d ; and they remember d i m l y that for a time they • even b e l i e v e d t h i s l i f e w o u l d be t h e i r own. But then they q u i c k l y b r i n g out a sketchbook and begin to draw, whatever I t may b e — o n l y to draw t h a t i s the m a i n t h i n g ; f o r w i t h t h i s i n t e n t t h e y o n e d a y l e f t home r a t h e r v i o l e n t l y . (117-118)  i  41 that  fateful  For where before  of  T h et r u e r e v e r s a l i s o n e o f  formerly Brigge begged  them,  my h a n d s me,"  d a yi n t h e a t t i c .  as n o human b e i n g every k n e l t ;  a n dimplored them:  [95]),  t o b e taken  Take me out,  I knelt,  t h e adult Brigge demonstrates,  the  ' I ' o f t h e above quote). emergence  with  o f t h e new  'he',  c a nand  through his  final  keep parable  t o save h i sformer  I f anything, he wants  that h e c a nreverse  contact  i t s laws.  C h r i s t , who spurned t h ew o r l d l y a n d embraced t h e s p i r i t u a l , of h i smundane ; costume,  so Brigge i nh i sfinal  identity  leper  o f the outcast,  once evoked h i s  deepest  ( o rhunger  distaste,  peered  through t h eoppressive v e i l  thevery nucleus  responded  o f that which was,  with  artist)  embraces  that  which  o f 'reality'.  a r e once  i nwhichh i s 'God'and  and f o r a l l  located  a t t h eb e g i n n i n g o f The  Notebooks  t o as ' t h ef e a r f u l a n dt h e u g l y ' .  The P r o d i g a l Son, B r i g g e , escapes 'distaste'  careless  fusion into the  f o rs p e c i a l moments  by analogy t h e 'good a n dt h e b e a u t i f u l ' in  Like  a n dl a v i s h e s upon i t t h e t e n d e r n e s s  and love which h e formerly reserved dreams  self  t o safeguard  t h e p e r s o n who h a s s e v e r e d  the real world b y pretending  ("I knelt  a n dl i f t e d up  i f you s t i l l  t h e P r o d i g a l Son, that h e n o longer wants  (the  o u t and kept  attitude.  from his  'Weltanschauung' o f  b y absenting himself s p i r i t u a l l y from his p h y s i c a l union  t h e once dreaded  disease.  Hunger a n dd i s t a s t e i n t h e l i f e o f M a l t e L a u r i d s B r i g g e a r i s e f r o m his s t r i v i n g t o incorporate t h e ideal while simultaneously attempting to slough...off t h e mortal s k i n which binds him t o r e a l i t y . T h e image of t h e tapestry w i t h i t s contingent o f real dreaming g i r l s o n one s i d e o f i t a n da n i m a g i n a r y dream g i r l o n t h e o t h e r s i d e c a p t u r e s t h e sense o f a dual r e a l i t y w i t h which Brigge's mind i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y burdened.  T h i s i t seems t o me, i s d e c i s i v e : w h e t h e r a man can b r i n g h i m s e l f to l i e b e s i d e a l e p e r and warm h i m w i t h the heart-warmth of nights of l o v e , — t h a t could not end otherwise than w e l l . (68) B u t do n o t i m a g i n e I am s u f f e r i n g d i s a p p o i n t m e n t s h e r e quite the contrary. I m a r v e l sometimes how r e a d i l y I give up e v e r y t h i n g I expected for the r e a l i t y , even when the r e a l i t y i s bad. (68)  L E V I E U X SALTIMBANQUE (THE OLD THE DISTASTE  CLOWN):  OF THE HAMSUNI AU HUNGER  43  AETIST  At t h eend, a t t h e extreme end o f t h e row o f b o o t h s — as i f ,i n shame, h e had e x i l e d h i m s e l f f r o m a l l t h i s s p l e n d o r — I saw a poor c l o w n , bent over, f r a i l , decrepit, a man r u i n e d , l e a n i n g w i t h h i s b a c k a g a i n s t one o f t h e p o l e s of h i s hut; As I t u r n e d around, obsessed b y t h a t v i s i o n , I t r i e d t o a n a l y z e mysudden s o r r o w , and s a i d t o m y s e l f : I have j u s t s e e n t h e image o f t h e o l d man o f l e t t e r s who h a s s u r v i v e d t h e g e n e r a t i o n f o r whom h e was t h e b r i l l i a n t e n t e r t a i n e r ; t h e image o f t h eo l d poet w i t h o u t f r i e n d s or family o r c h i l d r e n , degraded b yh i s poverty and t h e i n g r a t i t u d e o f h i s p u b l i c , and s t a n d i n g a t t h ebooth w h i c h the f o r g e t f u l w o r l d n o l o n g e r has any d e s i r e t o e n t e r ! f r o m The Old (Le  Vieux  —Charles  Clown Saltimbanque)  Baudelaire  A u g u s t e f e l t t h a t h e was g e t t i n g somewhere. His real tragedy, h e began t o perceive, lay i n t h efact that h e was u n a b l e t o communicate h i s k n o w l e d g e o f t h e e x i s t e n c e of another w o r l d , a w o r l d beyond ignorance and f r a i l t y , beyond l a u g h t e r and t e a r s . I t was t h i s b a r r i e r w h i c h k e p t h i m a c l o w n , G o d ' s v e r y own c l o w n , f o rt r u l y t h e r e was n o o n e t o whom h e c o u l d make c l e a r h i s d i l e m m a . A n d t h e n and t h e r e i t came t o h i m — h o w s i m p l e i t w a s ! — t h a t t o b e nobody o r anybody o r everybody d i d not prevent him from being himself. I f h e were r e a l l y a clown, then he s h o u l d b e o n e through and through, from t h e time h e g o t up o n t h em o r n i n g u n t i l h e c l o s e d h i s e y e s . Heshould b e a c l o w n i n season and out, f o r h i r e o r f o rt h e sheer sake of being. S o u n a l t e r a b l y c o n v i n c e d was h e o f t h e wisdom of this that he hungered t o begin a t once—without making up, without costume, without even t h e accompaniment o f that squeaky o l d v i o l i n . H ew o u l d b e s o a b s o l u t e l y h i m s e l f that only t h e t r u t h , w h i c h now burned i n h i m l i k e a f i r e , w o u l d be r e c o g n i z a b l e . The  Smile  —Henry  at  the  Miller  Foot  of  the  Ladder  45  By comparison w i t h the  over-sensitive  and R i l k e a n t r a d i t i o n , Hamsun's with his in  the  two former hunger  order  to  arrive  H is  Charles  lacks  (a not  the  dreams  lean  to  shares  the  varies  cousin of the  the  baroque  genus  road he  H is  c l a s s i c a l beauty  as h i m s e l f .  delicate  fantasies  p i t y and  inverted  of The  Underground  artist').  greater  fantasies  and  distinctly  akin to  the  style  comic to  laugh  H's world with its  last  bite  is  marked  parallels  Emotionally or  c l o w n i s h humour w h i c h evokes  the  fact  that  unconscious humour,  bears a direct be  Endowed  'Arabian Nights',  are  His every  he  affectively, underscored  a mixed  response  laughter.  Notwithstanding  will  artists.  class.  yet  the  Self-conscious,  of Brigge's  In entering  hunger  i n another  selects,  markedly from  'hunger  glamour of the  H's grotesque  the worlds of other  communicate  artist,  Chaplin of Hunger A r t i s t s .  the more  as w e l l  by Hamsun's  It  He  o f p r o l o n g e d f a s t i n g , we can f i n d many s t r u c t u r a l  however,  with  a clown.  s t y l e of Breughel who u t i l i z e s the baroque  society  with  end,  Kafkaesque  even fulminating, imagination, his  toward  contrast  grotesque  desirable  but  of  longing to  p i e r c i n g , s e l f - e x a m i n i n g eyes  European reveries.  of  an i n t e n s e  artists  of M a l t e L a u r i d s B r i g g e , and the  too distant  with a bounteous,  signs  this  of Kafka's hunger  the  however Man  at  refined journey  picaresque  at  artists  or H, is  i l l u m i n a t i o n s , v i s i o n s and f a n t a s i e s ,  highly  in  hero,  hunger  resemblance  remembered  that  to the  the  the the  personal nature  other  Kafka  of H is  permeated  of his metaphysical  hunger  'martyr'  style  artists  of this  died because  he  plight study.  could  not  46  f i n d the food he l i k e d . n u t r i t i o n was demise.  H i s d i s c r i m i n a t i n g need f o r s u p e r - r e f i n e d  l i k e Bartleby's obsessiveness,  On the o t h e r hand, B r i g g e ' s  the s o u r c e  of h i s p h y s i c a l  i n t e n s e a p p e t i t e f o r the b e a u t i f u l  c l a s h e d w i t h h i s i n a b i l i t y t o c o n t r o l h i s p e r c e p t i o n of the H i s ' a r t i s t i c ' s o l u t i o n was l e v e l of the s u b l i m e .  grotesque.  t o e l e v a t e the g r o t e s q u e r e a l i t y t o the  He s a t i a t e d h i s hunger by r e c a s t i n g the  very  f o u n d a t i o n of r e a l i t y and thus o b v i a t i n g i t s j a r r i n g e f f e c t on h i s s e n s i t i v e nerves.  I n e v i t a b l y , i n d o i n g s o , he p l a c e d h i m s e l f at a  c o n s i d e r a b l e remove from the w o r l d .  Undercutting  the magnanimous  g e s t u r e of embracing the epitome o f u g l i n e s s l i e s B r i g g e ' s message t h a t r e a l i t y , s p e c i f i c a l l y the c i t y of P a r i s , i s a h o r r o r show. was  It  from t h i s i m p l i e d statement t h a t the p r o b l e m o f h i s d i s t a s t e a r o s e  as a q u e s t i o n c l o s e l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the t h e m a t i c p r o b l e m of a metaphysical H shares  hunger. t h i s fundamental m e t a p h y s i c a l  distaste.  I n h i s case  however, the problem seems t o be of a d i f f e r e n t n a t u r e , i n t h a t i s l i t e r a l l y s t a r v i n g from hunger and, u n l i k e the K a f k a h e r o ,  he  and  even f o r t h a t m a t t e r B a r t l e b y , does n o t appear t o have s o l i c i t e d nor e x p e c t e d t h i s form of penury.  The  key t o the t h e m a t i c and  s t r u c t u r a l l i n k between H and the o t h e r c h a r a c t e r s may i n h i s , and  be  thence,  discerned  t h e i r , r e l a t i o n t o the u n i v e r s e w h i c h they i n h a b i t .  T h i s u n i v e r s e i s sometimes a house, a home, or an o f f i c e b u i l d i n g . Most o f t e n i t i s "the  city".  The European c i t y a t t h e t u r n o f t h e c e n t u r y i s u n f a i l i n g l y a n t a g o n i s t ' as viewed from the p e r s p e c t i v e of hunger a r t i s t s . a r t i s t f o r example i s caged l i k e an a n i m a l , because by the  'the Kafka's  standard  of h i s s o c i e t y (which i n the f i c t i o n becomes synonymous w i t h  "city")  47  his  l i f e ' s w o r k i s v a l u e d as  beast  and a freak.  repulsive,  but  something  it  is slyly  In this  aristocratic  also  recently  an outcast.  force  terms w i t h our hero, movements  of  their  that he least  seems to  the  antics  Parisian is  some  in turn of the  of a  regarded  more  Dostoevsky's  to be  and seems moreover,  poorer  than  force  on u n c a n n i l y  to mimic his  of  the  of practicing  as h e m i m i c s t h e movements nature  play  determination.  come b y t h e h a p l e s s  however,  as  regular  p r i n c e l y c l e r k , who b o t h  and angry  wild  'sights'  m u c h i n common w i t h  B r i g g e and unconscious  characteristic  incontrovertible  of the  He i s u n e m p l o y e d ,  appears,  to perfection  and changes  he has  w i t h a dogged  H's hunger  anonymous  by at  and M e l v i l l e ' s  disenfranchised  an a r t .  This  suggested  respect,  underdog  role of outcast H is  as  Brigge finds most  of a madman-outcast  citizens,''"  the  something between  of  hunger circumstance.  intimate  comic-tragic  of chance  'chance'  only  encounter  passersby to  that  destiny:  The o l d c r i p p l e was s t i l l m a k i n g t h e same w i g g l y m o v e m e n t s a h e a d o f me i n t h e s t r e e t . F i n a l l y i t began to i r r i t a t e me t o h a v e t h i s f e e b l e c r e a t u r e i n f r o n t o f me a l l t h e t i m e . H i s j o u r n e y e v i d e n t l y had no end; maybe he was d e t e r m i n e d t o go t o e x a c t l y t h e same p l a c e as I and I w o u l d h a v e h i m b l o c k i n g my v i e w the w h o l e w a y . (8) H.becomes  increasingly absorbed  The doctor d i d not i t was d i f f i c u l t to treatment. Good. to be at the S a l p e t  in following  this  man w i t h h i s  eyes.  u n d e r s t a n d me. Nothing. And certainly describe. They wanted to try e l e c t r i c I received a s l i p of paper: I had r i e r e at one o ' c l o c k . , . , ( p . 53)  . . . i t c r o s s e d my m i n d t h a t I h a d b e e n d i r e c t e d h e r e , among t h e s e p e o p l e , t o t h i s o v e r c r o w d e d , g e n e r a l consultation. It was, so to speak, the f i r s t p u b l i c c o n f i r m a t i o n o f the f a c t t h a t I b e l o n g e d among the outcast.... ( p . 54)  48  At  the  the  end he  runs  up to h i s  ' f o l l o w e r ' and slaps  him  on  shoulder, H's  dualistic attitude  which permeates a l l his childish of  alleged  admiration  paradox.  him to  Christiania typifies  thoughts  to  and a c t i o n s .  impotent wrath  The i n v a r i a b l e route  to  are hunger  The most  i n the This  surfaces  silent  fatal whenever  ambivalence  his  w h i c h f o l l o w one  leads  any s o l u t i o n q u i c k l y of this  paradoxical  another  as  from  internalization  these emotional states  r a d i c a l examples  and nausea,  the  H's rapid shifts  irradiate  the b r i c k w a l l of dilemma where  unfeasible.  night  to  becomes opposition  q u i c k l y as  day  does  film.  (though events  or s p i r i t u a l nutrition.  sometimes are H's  comical) knot  connected  to  the  of opposing  question  comically exaggerated  impulses  of either  'bind'  is  in  physical fact  H ' s w r i t i n g comes u n d e r the c a t e g o r y o f s p i r i t u a l n u t r i t i o n : H expresses great j o y at h a v i n g produced a good p i e c e of w r i t i n g . "I became g i d d y w i t h contentment, gladness s w e l l e d up i n me, I f e l t m y s e l f to be m a g n i f i c e n t . " (36) Even the room which he inhabits is at t h i s moment v i e w e d w i t h d i s d a i n s i n c e " i t i s n o t f u r n i s h e d i n a way a p p r o p r i a t e to i n t e l l e c t u a l e f f o r t . " In contrast to this self-confidence which the act of creation bestows on H , the result of i d e a l i z i n g the c h i e f e d i t o r s l o w l y eats away at our h e r o ' s s e l f - l o v e and t u r n s h i m b a c k i n t o an a n x i o u s , neurotic hobo. z  I h a d o m i n o u s f e e l i n g s a b o u t the f a t e o f my s k e t c h ; the more I thought about i t , the more unreasonable it seemed that I c o u l d have w r i t t e n a n y t h i n g w o r t h w h i l e i n s u c h a s h o r t t i m e , and h a l f a s l e e p b e s i d e s , and my b r a i n w i l d and f e v e r i s h . I had deceived myself, that's a l l , had been overjoyed a l l morning for nothing! (43) What i s also i n t e r s t i n g i s e d i t o r i s as ambiguous as i s the the a u t h o r i t y f i g u r e i n t h e i r l i v ' m i l k a n d h o n e y ' and ' l o n g b l o o d y plays the role of a c h i l d :  that H's relation es. The marks'.  r e l a t i o n to the chief of most hunger a r t i s t s to chief i s both the source of In r e l a t i o n to h i m , H  49  the  essential  to Sartre. artist  Why?  carries  difficult be  'Gordian knot' Because the  i n the  hunger  special b i l l  portmanteau  f o r the w o r l d at  large  of his to  artists  from Dostoevsky  of fare w h i c h any  threadbare  decipher,  hunger  soul is  as  and s u p p l y , as w o u l d  a p r o p o s e d menu from M a r s . Hunger a r t i s t s  foreign  visitors.  carelessly  the  by and l a r g e behave The  'food'  that  and h a p p i l y consume  metaphysical  gourmets.  recognition of this  lower  themselves,  refuse  and husks  nor  those  fact  artist  though they were  is  utterly  distasteful  inhabit; but,  'fact'  of humanity'.  prolongs  the  to a lack of occurs, Society,  is  is  Neither these  adequately  to  these  they  feel  they  are  food by the  a silent protest is prone  hunger  against to regard  this  the  with  feelings  of  suppressed spiritual  artist.  they  'the superiority This  hunger ire.  Lack  equivalent  His death,  'deficiency' in  a death  'above' unable  understood by others.  as  so  fellow citizens,  inconvenience or agony of the  generally regarded  'proper'  however,  because  from their  and g i v e s h i m a d d i t i o n a l f u e l f o r h i s  understanding  haughty  C h r i s t i a n i a n s and P a r i s i a n s  s p i t e f u l l y , to a l e v e l commensurate  of i n f e r i o r i t y are  further  as  Their behaviour implies that  c i t y or culture which they  to wrest  of  of a l l the  when  it  society.  reached by a s e l f - i n f l i c t e d  So t h i s i s how he l o o k e d , c l o s e - u p , the man whose name I had heard s i n c e I was a c h i l d and whose paper had a t r e m e n d o u s i n f l u e n c e o n me a l l my l i f e . H i s h a i r was c u r l y , and h i s f i n e brown eyes a t r i f l e r e s t l e s s ; one on h i s q u i r k s was b r u s h i n g h i s nose w i t h h i s thumb e v e r y once i n a w h i l e . A country preacher could not have looked more f u l l o f m i l k and honey than t h i s f o r m i d a b l e w r i t e r whose words had always l e f t long bloody marks wherever they f e l l . A s t r a n g e f e e l i n g o f f e a r and awe t o w a r d t h i s m a n came o v e r m e , I f e l t t e a r s c o m i n g t o my e y e s , and I i n v o l u n t a r i l y moved a step c l o s e r i n o r d e r to t e l l h i m h o w m u c h h e m e a n t t o me f o r e v e r y t h i n g h e h a d taught me; and to ask h i m n o t t o be too h a r d on me. (119-120)  50  fast  as  evidence  this  action.  citizen  Only once  dissent.  double  i n a l o n g w h i l e does  closely observe  of h i s mute this  of a d e f i c i e n c y i n the  a hunger  In the  kind of understanding  artist  tale  does  'agent-victim.'  an  'average'  and understand  of B a r t l e b y the  occur,  it  comes,  of  non-fasting  the  meaning  Scrivener, alas,  where  too  late.  T h e r o u n d f a c e o f t h e g r u b - m a n p e e r e d u p o n me n o w . dinner is ready. Won't he dine to-day e i t h e r ? Or he l i v e without d i n i n g ? " "Lives without "Eh!  —  He's  "With kings The l i f e  and death  invariably expressed  dining," said  asleep,  ain't  struggle  by the  to  life  given concrete  characteristics inspection,  form i n his  tales  either  vanishes  to  refuse)  His general  relationship  to  food  is  author-hero  distaste  the  for  town and  its  at  the  "All  not  its  often  takes  the  a mirage,  by his  upon  or disappoints  closer  like  a  hag.  disappointed both by  dream-girl Ylayali.  retrospective  on  the  Hunger  v i s i o n o f the hero who  has  conquered.  of this happened  Christiania...that  artists  case w i t h H , who i s  end w i t h the  but  hunger  ' a p p e t i z i n g ' woman w h o ,  like  of C h r i s t i a n i a , and l a t e r  come, seen,  left  of the  of a seductive,  This is p a r t i c u l a r l y the  begins  (or  I.  inhabitants.  The c i t y i n the  city  obtain  city.  eyes.  he?"  s p e c i a l feelings which the  i n d e s c r i b i n g h i s home o r  random  and c l o s e d the  and c o u n s e l o r s , " murmured  reveals is  I,  "His does  strange  w h i l e I was w a l k i n g around s t a r v i n g c i t y no one escapes  mark on h i m . . . . " w r i t e s  we l e a r n  that H feels  and that  it  (or she)  that Is  H,  From this  C h r i s t i a n i a actively  in  from u n t i l i t  has  initial  description  left  brief  a mark on  i n some o b l i q u e way r e s p o n s i b l e  for  his  him  51  starvation. he does  n o tt o m e n t i o n as they  and hates the as  Because H i s generally  n o t s e ehow h e ' t y p e  Ylayali, exactly  3  do.  t h esame  casts'  a host  o f h i s own  motives,  Christiania and later characters,  Brigge leaves  t o behave  o f f : he loves  A tt h ee n d o f t h en o v e l , H , v e r y much  bourgeois-worshipping character, a n example o f v i r t u e  both  o f lesser  H begins where  object.  unconscious  Steppenwolf,  depicts  like  Christiania  and contentment.  I straightened u p ,w e t from fever and exertion, l o o k e d i n t o w a r d l a n d a n d s a i d g o o d b y e f o r n o w to the city, homes all  to Christiania, shone with such  where the windows brightness, *  However H's ambivalence s t e a d i l y widens and t h e w o r l d . but between  like  Since, generally  C f .Steppenwolf before  t h e bourgeois  himself  and dislike speaking,  3 This passive a t t i t u d e compares remarkably w e l l w i t h sense o f being drained b y t h ed i n i n g chamber. 4  the  t h egapbetween  He n o t only v a c i l l a t e s between  i d o l i z a t i o n a n dhatred.  of  1  both  Brigge's  temple:  And now I came t o t h e a r a u c a r i a . I must t e l l you that o n t h ef i r s t f l o o r o f this house t h es t a i r s pass by a l i t t l e v e s t i b u l e a t t h eentrance t o f l a t w h i c h , I a mc o n v i n c e d , i s e v e n more s p o t l e s s l y swept a n d garnished than t h eothers; f o r this l i t t l e vestibule shines w i t h a super-human housewifery. I t i s a little temple o f order..,. Sometimes when I know t h a t I am unobserved, Iu s e this place as a temple. I take my seat o na step o f the s t a i r s above t h ea r a u c a r i a and, r e s t i n g awhile with folded hands, I contemplate this l i t t l e garden of order a n d l e tt h etouching a i r i t h a sa n d i t s somewhat r i d i c u l o u s l o n e l i n e s s move me t o t h e depths of my s o u l . I imagine behind this vestibule, i n the s a c r e d shadow, o n e may s a y , o f t h e a r a u c a r i a , a home f u l l o f s h i n i n g m a h o g a n y , a n d a l i f e f u l l o f s o u n d respectability—early risings, attention t o duty, restrained b u t cheerful family gatherings, Sunday •church-going, early t o bed. from Steppenwolf b y Herman Hesse ( 3 0 )  52  the  i d e a l i z a t i o n a n dt h edemotion  feelings,  H ' si n a b i l i t y t o cope  calculated  o f t h esame  adequately  t o land him i n themire.  from C h r i s t i a n i a comes n o t a moment complete. of hunger sights  are misplaced  with h i senvironment i s  I n fact,  h i seventual  t o osoon, h i s ' f a l l '  The p h y s i c a l d e t e r i o r a t i o n a n dd e s p a i r  object  departure  being  nearly  accompanying t h eadvanced  stages  t h r e a t e n s t o overcome h i m a moment b e f o r e h e  t h es h i p w h i c h f i n a l l y  takes  h i m away from h i s  misery.  I wasn't hungry any more, though t h esweet food I had eaten was beginning t o give me a stomach ache. Wild ideas popped u p again i n my head. What i f I q u i e t l y went o v e r a n dc u t o f ft h e m o o r i n g ropes o n o n e o f t h e s h i p s ? What i f I suddenly c r i e d f i r e ? I walked farther o u t on the p i e r , found m y s e l f a wooden box t o s i to n , a n d f o l d e d myhands; I c o u l d f e e l myb r a i n moving nearer to chaos. I d i d n o tmove t h i s t i m e , d i d a b s o l u t e l y n o t h i n g to prevent i t . (231) At  t h eoutset, H i s an already  refusals "I  have  couldn't  someone  squashed  h i s courage  really present  respectable,"  h e says,  together'  does n o t e n t e r h i s head.  his  t h ep r a c t i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n :  many  t o shreds.  f o ra job that  required  him t o such  o f 'keeping body a n d soul  H el i v e s i n a w o r l d o f fantasy  links up t o thehard world o f reality.  journalistic efforts  going  and worn h i sclothes  H ' si m a g i n a t i o n c o n t r o l s  that  rarely  man, o n e whose  myself a n ylonger  an e x t e n t  which  defeated  f o rexample, H reveals  I n describing  t o u s why h ei s  hungry. I had spent t h ee n t i r e or i np u b l i c gardens near  summer s i t t i n g i n c e m e t e r i e s thecastle, writing articles  i n t e n d e d f o r some n e w s p a p e r : page after page on any subject, filled with odd ideas, inspirations, rising from my restless brain. I n desperation I  almost quirks would  choose t h e most outre s u b j e c t s ; t h epieces w o u l d cost me h o u r s a n d h o u r s o f l a b o u r , a n d w e r e n e v e r a c c e p t e d . H,  insofar  as he i s a writer,  i s genuinely  creative.  H i s attempt  at w r i t i n g f o r 'some newspaper'  i s a laughable  pose.  of  t o t h e demands  o f newspapers.  anartist  at heart  t o pander  (6)  H ei s t o o much He  53  is,  however,  appreciate  too  its  l i t t l e acquainted w i t h h i m s e l f to know this  full  import.  regular job w i t h the cannot  call his  Perhaps  added bonus  efforts  at  When, for example,  occurs  at  the  with  'mysterious'  a  through milk  farious  a total  bundle,  stranger.  thought  H apply for work?  last waistcoat Only after  post  i n order  The e n t i r e that H i s  butter'  does H get  of grocer's  clerk.  for this  of virtue,  paradox.  then  albeit skeletally  Perhaps  the  reinforces  amounts  year  than not,  or, by not  of  either  to  the  a result  all-important unit past  his  impression  in  and  isolated This is  'whether  doing so,  is  'bread  the  tis  to  remain  a study  to keep h i m s e l f from going hungry  the  of  a  thin.  he m i s s e s h i s m e a l as  The moment b e i n g the  the  employment.  about  of energy  theme  the  own w e l f a r e  of H and h i s p a r t i c u l a r hunger becomes  H works so hard  refers  as  carelessness  h a m l e t i z i n g on the  to pawn Hans P a u l i ' s b l a n k e t  A study  down to  schemes w h i c h keep h i m a l i v e f o r one more day.  essence of H's endless nobler'  '1948'  four sections  issues by expending enormous  of  throws H off  f r o m b e i n g a p r a c t i c a l man where h i s  He overcompensates  harebrained  to buy a glass  golden opportunity of steady  novel with its  far  concerned.  the  half-way  dispensing with these m u l t i -  In any case he b l u n d e r s , w r i t e s and loses  instance  f o l l o w e d an o l d man  of being e t e r n a l l y surrounded by groceries  application  one  One t y p i c a l  f o l l o w e d two unknown l a d i e s  of applying for the  balance.  rarely  Certainly  a  employment even m i n i m a l l y  deeds of inconsequential importance  business  often  of regular meals.  end of a day d u r i n g w h i c h H has  town, and pawned h i s  for  pillar  does  to  unconsciously H does not want  respectable  earnest.  or  or to  the  of  that,  more  overzealousness.  of time i n H's future.  in  life,  He g i v e s  in  he always  54  to  t h eevanescent  life.  b u tb r i l l i a n t p a s s i o n s  Hecontinuously projects  detriment  o f that  united with h i s fantasy-  these fantasies  e v e r - h o v e r i n g , b u tn e v e r  to the ultimate  consummated,  moment o f  dining. The or  ' r e a l i t y ' H sees  a knave.  state  I n thelatter  o f acute  food.-*  this  curious stalemate.  unreasonable the  food I  If  into  an idolator  T h ep a r a d o x i c a l r e s u l t  suddenly and b e w i l d e r i n g l y nauseated  There a r eoften  'circumstance',  him either  condition, h e works himself up into  intestinal spite.  dying o fhunger, of  transforms  attendant  circumstances  However, upon further  one discovers  t h emessage,  hieroglyphics o f a l l hunger  a  i s a man  b y t h e sight  which 'explain'  inspection o f this  i n t h e adamant a n d  artists:  " I could not find  like."  one  only  had  something  to  eat,  just  a little  on  such  a clear day I T h e m o o d o f t h e g a y m o r n i n g o v e r w h e l m e d me, I became u n u s u a l l y s e r e n e , a n d s t a r t e d t o hum f o r pure joy andf o rn o particular reason. I n front o f a butcher's shop t h e r e w a s a woman w i t h a b a s k e t o n h e r arm, d e b a t i n g a b o u t some s a u s a g e f o rd i n n e r ; a s I w e n t p a s t , s h e l o o k e d u p a t m e . S h eh a d o n l y a s i n g l e t o o t h i n t h e lower jaw. I n t h enervous a n de x c i t a b l e s t a t e I w a s i n , h e rf a c e made a n i n s t a n t a n dr e v o l t i n g i m p r e s s i o n on m e . . . t h e l o n g y e l l o w t o o t h l o o k e d l i k e a f i n g e r s t i c k i n g out o f h e r jaw, a n da s s h eturned toward me, h e r eyes were s t i l l f u l l o f sausage. I lost my appetite instantly and felt  nauseated.  (7)  When I came down t o t h e p a r k g a t e , I s a w t h e l i t t l e o l d t r o l l a g a i n whom I h a d c h a s e d away i n a r a g e . The mysterious bundle was lying opened; in i t were several just eating. I immediately  alongside him on the bench, sorts of food which he Was had the impulse to go to him  and apologize, a s k h i m t o f o r g i v e m y b e h a v i o u r , but his food put me off. H i sa n c i e n t f i n g e r s w h i c h l o o k e d l i k e ten folded claws, were clutching t h esandwiches i n a r e p u l s i v e way. I felt speaking. (34)  nauseated  and walked,  past  without  55  The m e t a p h y s i c a l d i s t a s t e it  transcends  her  t h ehunger  c i t i z e n r y appear  and a e s t h e t i c  anger,  plane.  t h e same u n f a v o u r a b l e  effect  f o r H .  generally  H i s 'distaste',  provoked b y t r i v i a l i t i e s .  than,  f o ri n s t a n c e ,  d i s c u s s i o n makes  unsavory-looking  'screen'  comes  andH plays  a series o f expressed  Asa result, H ' s i s a l i t t l e  that h e cannot  The  on this  T h e o l d man n o w c a r r i e s o f  write,  a  somewhat  B u t a t t h emoment  w i t h i t s own ' s c r i p t '  t h epart  easier  clear.  i s going t o be vented  a type well-known t o H . starvation'  this  b y t h efact  t o life  on the moral  Malte Brigge's or Roquentin's.  o l dm a n i s h e l d r e s p o n s i b l e .  H's misguided anger  because  Christiania and  into  When H i s f r u s t r a t e d  the  t o food;  f o rt h e c o n d i t i o n o f chronic hunger  to i s o l a t e following  relation  Predictably t h e two fuse  i s t o ooften  responsibility  artist's  t o have  metaphysical problems as  f o rfood i s s o named p r e c i s e l y  innocent  'screen',  and develops therole  that  into  o f ' H ' s  'benefactor'.  F o r t h e l a s t t e n m i n u t e s a n o l dm a n h a d been l i m p i n g ahead of m e . H eh a d a b u n d l e i n o n e h a n d , a n d w a s u s i n g h i s e n t i r e body t o move f o r w a r d , w o r k i n g w i t h a l lh i s s t r e n g t h and y e tm a k i n g v e r y l i t t l e p r o g r e s s . I could hear h i m puffing from t h eeffort. I t occurred t o me that I might c a r r y h i s b u n d l e ; b u t I made n o a t t e m p t t o o v e r t a k e him—. . . H o w e v e r t h e o l d c r i p p l e w a s s t i l l m a k i n g t h e same w i g g l y movements ahead o f me i n t h e s t r e e t . Finally i t began t o i r r i t a t e me t o have this feeble creature i n front of me a l lt h e time, . . . I n mye x c i t e d c o n d i t i o n I h a d become convinced that at each c r o s s i n g h e h a d h e s i t a t e d , as though w a i t i n g t o s e e what d i r e c t i o n I would take, and then h a d a stronger h o l d on h i s b u n d l e a n d l i m p e d o f f w i t h a l lh i s m i g h t t o g e t a head start. ...It  was clear  he was  destroying  my good  spirits  b i tb y  b i t , l i t t l e b y l i t t l e dragging t h epure and magnificent m o r n i n g down t o h i s ownu g l i n e s s . (8-9)6  ^Cf.  Hopping scene  i  i nMalte Laurids Brigge.  56 As hunger so,  to nausea,  In Hunger, does hate  to interest of  turns  likes  turn to  and compassion,  an o b s t a c l e  'standing  or despises  by what  the  love.  t h e man H n e i t h e r  citizens retain  the b a s i c  'block'  i n the way of H's goals  his  of H's goals.  hand,  metamorphoses essential  nature  For whether  eats nor writes.^  characteristic  and  sleight of  As H's anger  o l d man r e t a i n s  i n the way'  and her  seems a mere  he  Thus C h r i s t i a n i a  of an  intransigent  appetites.  I w a l k e d on, l o o k i n g at t h i s t e d i o u s c r e a t u r e , and became more and more f u l l of rage at h i m ; i t was c l e a r he was d e s t r o y i n g my g o o d s p i r i t s b i t b y b i t , l i t t l e b y l i t t l e d r a g g i n g the p u r e and m a g n i f i c e n t m o r n i n g down t o h i s own ugliness. He l o o k e d l i k e a huge humping i n s e c t determined to make a p l a c e f o r h i m s e l f i n the w o r l d by f o r c e and v i o l e n c e and keep the s i d e w a l k a l l to h i m s e l f . By the time we got to the top o f the h i l l , I wanted no more p a r t o f it; I stopped i n front of a shop window, and w a i t e d t i l l he had time to get away; but when I s t a r t e d o f f again a f t e r a f e w m i n u t e s , t h e man c r o p p e d u p i n f r o n t o f me a g a i n : he must have stopped a l s o . Without thinking, I took three or f o u r q u i c k s t e p s , caught up w i t h h i m , and s l a p p e d h i m on the shoulder. He s t o p p e d s h o r t . We b e g a n s t a r i n g a t e a c h o t h e r . "Can y o u g i v e me a l i t t l e s o m e t h i n g f o r a g l a s s o f m i l k ? " h e s a i d at l a s t , and l e t h i s head f a l l to the s i d e . Now t h e r e was n o t u r n i n g b a c k ! I f u m b l e d i n my p o c k e t s and s a i d , "Oh, yes, m i l k . Hmm. M o n e y i s n ' t e a s y t o g e t these days, and I'm not sure how much y o u r e a l l y need i t . " "I haven't the man s a i d . work,"  eaten a thing since yesterday i n Drammen," " I d o n ' t have an ore and I s t i l l c a n ' t find  "What do y o u "I'm a welt "A  do?" binder."  what?"  "Welt binder.  I  can a l s o make the w h o l e  shoe."  "Well, that's different" I said. "Wait here a few m i n u t e s , and I ' l l see i f I c a n ' t f i n d something for y o u , l i t t l e something at l e a s t . " (9)  H p u t s the o l d man i n t o the r o l e o f ' o b s t a c l e ' . I f H had i g n o r e d h i m as b y a l l r i g h t s he s h o u l d have then the o l d man w o u l d have lost his 'power' over H . 7  a  57  From this  example,  kindness  have  one c a nalso  dreamer smoke,  H i sa c t s  dream-like state  awakens,  o fbenevolence  a r ecarried out i n  a n di f , as sometimes  h i s magnanimity o f soul vanishes  readily replaced b y t h edarker "Here you go," "I'm  o f gratuitous  e x t r a o r d i n a r i l y l i t t l e t o d ow i t h a genuinely  philanthropic attitude. an a u t o m a t i c  s e ethat H ' sacts  delighted  I said,  that  you  clouds  happens, t h e like  a wreath o f  o f rancour  and spite.  giving him oneo f my coins.  came to  me  first."  The man t o o k t h e money a n d b e g a n t o l o o k me u p a n d down. What w a sh e s t a n d i n g t h e r e s t a r i n g a t ? I g o tt h e s e n s a t i o n that h e was i n s p e c t i n g my t r o u s e r s a n d I became i r r i t a t e d at this impertinence. D i d t h i s o l df o o l i m a g i n e I w a s really a s poor as I looked? Hadn't I j u s t a s good a s begun my t e n - k r o n e r a r t i c l e ? O n t h e w h o l e I h a dn o f e a r s f o r the f u t u r e ; I had many i r o n s i n t h ef i r e . What business was i t  of  this  a marvelous The need  t o bestow  passersby, for  heathen  abstinence  may b e i n t e r p r e t e d  for much o f H ' simpoverishment. the of  Christiania.  on  such  o n unsuspecting form o f virtue  as anunconvincing b u tworkable This second  'alibi'  again  f r o m h i s own s h o u l d e r s  alibi  shifts t o those  even t h e  morsel f o rh i m s e l f i s erroneously  interpreted  as a sign o f  and 'honour.'  I n this  i s united w i t h chronic hunger  virtue which places Christiania.  towards  out  i nsecuring  benevolence  lifelong  him  mine)  H ' si d i o t i c r e c a l c i t r a n c e  own f o r m i d a b l e v i r t u e  threshold  I helped  as thehighest  r e s p o n s i b i l i t y o f H ' sdeprivation  smallest his  if  'the m i l k o f human k i n d n e s s '  while regarding  oneself,  savage  (10) ( i t a l i c s ,  day?  t h e hero  above  fate  o f a n a c t i o n w h i c h may e n a b l e A tt h ed a w n i n g o f t h i s  self-preservation,  and h e w i t h d r a w s  again  H ' sabsurd  to a life  mindless  andrationalized as a moral  the'ordinary'  During o n eunusual hour,  fast.  case,  places  inhabitants o f o u rhero  him t o break  h i s seemingly  s i n g u l a r l y sane scruples  o f gustatory  on the  tendency  besmirch h i s reason martyrdom.  58  A l l i n a l l t h e r e was a b s o l u t e l y no sense i n l i v i n g t h i s way; and by Holy C h r i s t I d i d not understand what I had done to deserve t h i s c l e a r p e r s e c u t i o n e i t h e r ! Suddenly i t s t r u c k me t h a t I c o u l d j u s t a s w e l l m a k e a r a t o f m y s e l f r i g h t now and take the b l a n k e t o f f to " U n c l e ' s " artesian well. I c o u l d pawn i t f o r a krone and get t h r e e respectable meals, and keep m y s e l f going u n t i l I found something e l s e . . . I w o u l d have to get around Hans P a u l i later. I w a s a l r e a d y o n my w a y t o t h e w e l l w h e n I s t o p p e d i n f r o n t o f t h e e n t r a n c e , s h o o k my h e a d d o u b t f u l l y , and then turned around. A f t e r I was some d i s t a n c e away, I grew more and more glad that I had won this severe t e s t . The awareness that I w a s h o n o r a b l e r o s e t o my h e a d , f i l l e d me w i t h m a g n i f i c e n t conviction that I had character. I was a w h i t e beacon tower i n the m i d d l e o f a d i r t y human ocean f u l l o f f l o a t i n g wreckage. To pawn someone e l s e ' s p r o p e r t y f o r a s i n g l e meal, to eat and d r i n k o n e s e l f i n t o damnation, to l o o k i n y o u r own f a c e and c a l l y o u r s e l f r a t and h a v e t o d r o p your eyes—never! Never! (51) Hamsun's Hunger i s cycles  of H i n the  s e a s o n s as  they  a four-part  context  travel over  subtly  transmutes  fall.  His cycle appears  is  her  The m y s t e r i o u s expeditions  w i t h the  of the more n o r m a l c y c l e of the the  seasons,  sublimely heedless  novel which deals  to be  city of Christiania. H remains  unaltered  aberrant  four  Where  nature  from spring  to  d i c t a t e d by an i n n e r mechanism w h i c h  of the w o r l d of  reality.  affective myopia observed i n r e l a t i o n to H's  i s d u p l i c a t e d i n the  area  of w r i t i n g , the  chief  domain  of H's c r e a t i v i t y .  P a r a l l e l i n g the nausea which descends  on the  s t a r v i n g man i n t h e  instant  get  of  food, is  of  c o m m i t t i n g on paper  creative paradoxes hunger. dreams  the w i l d  spirit. is  the  he  is  finally  daydreaming which supplants the  Added to fact  When H reaches into being  before  that  going to the  original  otherwise  insubstantial essence of  an a l r e a d y  sphinx-sized structure  H's imagination is  physical prostration  'cornucopias  'fattened'  'food'  a  poor bite  desire the of  by p h y s i c a l  and mental d i z z i n e s s ,  swollen by shiny s i l v e r c o i n s , '  and  he  59  compensates  for  a missed meal by imagining h i m s e l f  money and f o o d . a n d my h a n d s j a i l . "  true  clasped beneath  daydreaming usurps  writing,  this wild  w i l l be  t h i n g when he fainting and i s  reaches  i n s p i r e d to  end a l l hunger beauty.  Flaubert's  a leper.  of his  H grows  visions. are  fantasies,  allocate to  H does  St.  a  to  the  Julian  comparable  i n s p i r a t i o n at  the  i n t o x i c a t e d by the  moment  of  lack of  daydreams  intoxicated soul is H is  united  surrounded  in a joyous  'promised land':  on t h a t  the  at  food the  moment  H and the  unimaginable delight,  vision  by opulence  adoration  and crowning t h i s  and  of the  of baroque  princess  to  object glory  Ylayali  a portion of  hot  beef! Where C h r i s t i a n i a w i t h her  disappoints idealist's ideals.  the  appetite.  and  i n the  'windows which shine  ever hungry H , his  The hunger  idealistic vigil  city  are h i s  obstacle  h i s most magnificent  affections, of the  bonds,  decrepitude.  senses  going to dine  roast  formulate  artists'  of his.tenderest  are  Brigge like  summit  Indeed  from the  w h i c h he wished to  adds another  and  energies.  from his wasted but  A l l his  the nearing  that  I departed  more megalomaniac  energy  creative  the  of physical  Flowering  the  by embracing  from hunger.  threshold  the  remembered  achieved transcendance  is  my c o a t t a i l s ,  feverish hunger  consummation of his It  with  " W i t h my h e a d h e l d h i g h , m i l l i o n s i n s t o c k s  The more hungry he g e t s ,  and as  'stuffed'  Hunger Is artist  is  conquering hero  modern  own f a n t a s i e s  a state  thereby of  city expresses  modern w o r l d can no longer house  symbolizing lost  days.  g r i e f over ideals  brightly'  finally  self-appointed  former  so  fulfill or  heir  to  His curious the  fact  f o r w h i c h he  that  alone  the  unobtained the fasting the hungers.  THE CRAB IN THE SARTRE'S HUNGER  60  CAFE: ARTIST  61  I should have been a p a i r o f ragged claws Scuttling across the floors o f s i l e n t seas. The Love Song of J. Alfred —T. S. Eliot  Thus h e knows t w o things a t once, a n d b o t h with, equal assurance: t h a t t h e r e is n o G o d , a n d t h a t t h e r e must be a God. I t i s t h e p e r s p e c t i v e o f t h e c u r s e : the i n t e l l e c t dreaming o f i t s dream o f absolute freedom, and the soul knowing o f i t s t e r r i b l e bondage. (206) The Disinherited —Erich Heller  Mind  Prufrock  62  Thus f a r i n d i s c u s s i n g B r i g g e ' s d i s t a s t e have seen how the r e a c t i o n to food may i t s e l f one part  disdains i t .  having contrary feelings dividing  The  be d i v i d e d s o  of the personality wishes i t while another  personality  this  and H ' s hunger we  'hunger  towards  t h e same o b j e c t  hunger and distaste artist'  one o f which i s rejected.  are seen  i n e v i t a b l y hungers  the world himself to  f o r something else.  as co-existent  sheer  artist  denies  Roquentin's nausea  is certainly a sign of  f o r he, no less than Brigge and H , i s suffering from an  euphemism.  In h i s case,  Roquentin suffers  because  i t reduces  the concept  of  'appetite-hunger'  to salvage their  of a metaphysical  to a  paper-thin  by i t , and he i n turn,  i d e a l i s t i c dreams  i n the  Brigge tattered  crisis.  Roquentin wears nausea  like  a second s k i n .  He i s enveloped  envelops a l lh i s perceptions  i n i t .  In  o t h e r w o r d s , h e l i v e s a 'Weltanschauung' i n which e v e r y t h i n g , i n c l u d i n g h i m s e l f , i s encased i n n a u s e a , that he feels  like  vomiting.  'distaste'  from a profound, all-encompassing  i n d i c a t e s that h e i s even more oppressed than e i t h e r  or H , who manage remnants  a profound  access by refusing i n both a p h y s i c a l and s p i r i t u a l sense  nausea which, entity,  phenomena.  This something else i s invariably  underlying metaphysical distaste. is  For  f o r something which he may o r  o f everyday r e a l i t y t o which the hunger  feed on i t s substance.  refusal,  as  o r , as u n w i t t i n g l y ,  may n o t h a v e d e f i n e d , w h i l e a t t h e same t i m e h e f e e l s 'distaste'  of the  This ambivalence may be expressed e i t h e r  experience into two realms,  reason,  part  that  a disgust s o p r o f o u n d  63  There  is,  i n some  and Gregor Samsa, between fatal  respects,  the hopeless  hero  Roquentin and the hunger  encapsulation  awakens  to  awakens  from a  ' s i x year  brings with it  seems he i s  changing into a  fear.  artist  slumber'  There  nausea, is  is  and b l a c k ,  f i l m made  him have  let  to  only to  like  of animals;  be  taken  cut  o f f from the  implicit,  and by h i s  Roquentin believes  group w h i c h he  despises  the  distaste  beyond reason. condition.  is  that  is  that  an o u t s i d e r ,  purportedly  Roquentin's  it  the  of  in which  it  but  ignoring. he  closely  that  related  perception thing' lurking  " T h e true  crawls under the  sea  this  sylphs  only see  thin  a l l  the  in both Nature  fills  are  round  thin  ' I see beneath  Bouvillois  it' an  and  living a  one who a c t i v e l y  lie.  dislikes  Ironically, although his  concentration  a self-imposed a c t i v i t y , the This is  Roquentin  of humanity who have  faith  the  is  and that  rest  stupid  citizens of Bouville,  these very persons. his  standards,  like  of  clerk,  state  i n f i l t r a t e d by a  While  he  the  as  of God.  (167-168)  feels  the  on some sunken  they  existence  he  the  Brigge's  in since  the  As a r e s u l t ,  'seaweed  Roquentin sees  film, which proves  existence.  that  Brigge's distaste,  d e c e i v e human b e i n g s  themselves  feels  find  consciousness  of existence  Because  full  Gregor,  a sense  crab.  like  perception  potentiality.  green  They share  a s t r i k i n g p a r a l l e l between  beastly cold  proper.  than  into a gigantic beetle.  a nightmare  of h i s unknown i l l n e s s w h i c h i s and R o q u e n t i n ' s  Roquentin  of Kafka's Metamorphosis,  find himself transformed  Roquentin's  kinship between  i n a revolting foreign body.  wakefulness  to  a greater  life  and d i a r y  upon the  paradox  paralyzing dilemma of  objects  of which  Roquentin's  he  with of goes  64  In is  the major p o r t i o n of Roquentin's j o u r n a l , the  regarded  as  alien i f not  contrast,  B r i g g e and H see  confesses  that he remains  world outside  openly hostile Nature  i n the  i s even more  as  city,  territory.  Whereas,  a door to s a l v a t i o n ,  c i t y only because  Bouville, in  Roquentin  he suspects  the  dangerous.  I am a f r a i d o f c i t i e s . But you mustn't leave them. I f y o u go t o o f a r y o u come a g a i n s t t h e v e g e t a t i o n belt. V e g e t a t i o n has crawled for m i l e s towards the cities. It is waiting. Once the c i t y i s dead, the vegetation w i l l cover i t , w i l l climb over the stones, g r i p them, s e a r c h them, make them b u r s t w i t h i t s l o n g black pincers. (208) In  short,  crab  Roquentin sees nature,  or monster  o f whom he i s  anything that  the  potential  'exists',  as  a  victim.  In the c i t i e s , i f y o u know how t o take care o f y o u r s e l f , and choose the times when a l l the beasts are s l e e p i n g i n t h e i r holes and d i g e s t i n g , behind t h e h e a p s o f o r g a n i c d e b r i s , y o u r a r e l y come a c r o s s anything more than m i n e r a l s , the least f r i g h t e n i n g of a l l e x i s t a n t s . (209) The  importance of the  underlying  crab  anxiety about  image i s  its  connection to  h i m s e l f and the nature  Fear of the underlying malevolence of things cause the in  of Roquentin's distaste  kind  or nausea.  is  of  Roquentin's  existence.  the most  Thus we have  direct  once  o f d i s t u r b i n g f a n t a s y - l i f e w h i c h was d r a m a t i c a l l y  The Notebooks of M a l t e L a u r i d s B r i g g e v i s - a - v i s the  again portrayed  'vampire'  room. Roquentin, people  and  like Brigge, is  initially  h o r r i f i e d by  misshapen  things: When I was e i g h t y e a r s o l d and u s e d to p l a y i n the L u x e m b o u r g g a r d e n s t h e r e was a man who came and s a t in a sentry-box, against the i r o n fence which runs along t h e R u e A u g u s t e - C o m t e . . . . We h a d a h o r r i b l e f e a r o f him because we sensed he was a l o n e . One d a y he s m i l e d at R o b e r t , h o l d i n g out h i s arms to h i m from a d i s t a n c e :  65  Robert almost fainted. It wasn't this creature's poverty-stricken look which frightened us, nor the tumour he had on his neck that was rubbed against the edge of his c o l l a r : but we f e l t that he was shaping thoughts of crab or lobster i n his head. And that t e r r i f i e d us, the fact that one could conjure thoughts of lobsters on the sentry-box, on our hoops, on the bushes. (17) However, eventually he himself becomes that which he most feared becoming.  ("Is that what awaits me then?  am disturbed at being alone.  For the f i r s t time I  I would l i k e to t e l l someone what i s  happening to me before i t i s too late and before I start frightening l i t t l e boys." [17]) I don't know where to go, I stay planted i n front of the cardboard chef. I don't need to turn around to know they are watching me through the windows: they are watching my back wi'th surprise and disgust; they thought I was l i k e them, that I was a man, and I deceived them. I suddenly lost the appearance of a man and they saw a crab running backwards out of this human room. (166) Through this process, Roquentin alters his physical perception of himself i n accordance with the series of inner 'revolutions' which he undergoes.  This 'Dorian Gray'"'' metamorphosis i s equally at the root of  Gregor Samsa's insect transformation.  The l a t t e r behaved l i k e an  insect for so long that he f i n a l l y came to embody one.  Roquentin only  imagines his physical transformation, but the effect which this has on h i s l i f e proves equally devastating. Early i n the diary, Roquentin asks himself an epistemological question:  "Am  I the one who  has changed?  I f not, then i t i s this  room, this c i t y and this nature; I must choose." (12)  But, i n the  The analogy between Dorian Gray and Roquentin i s based on the fact that both men undergo considerable psychological change before a physical sign becomes m a n i f e s t — i n other words, the psychic l i f e determines the physical changes which are much more apparent to outsiders. 1  66  last  analysis,  Roquentin does  away on a t i d e him that  answer  of the  change  the b e l i e f that h i s  strong  reactions  morality of Bouville.  from his takes  surroundings,  the  superior  censorious  to his  angry,  hermit  animals  indeed  artists'. mouse,  related  Roquentin's  leper-outcast  of Bouville  i n much the  of beings,  he d i g e s t s frothy  i  the  and  judgement  frequently passing  on  and the  himself.  feeling  of  as  recurring references  environment.  identifications  crab  is  to  shy, The  of several  'lower'  'hunger  underground  and the  the  threatens  man's  metaphysically  consciousness.  perfect  to devour  Bouville  complement the  appears  to  inhabitants to be  One o f R o q u e n t i n ' s  subtly  most  is provoked by a novel conception  of  a d e v o u r i n g b e a s t who copes w i t h r e a l i t y  by  and s w a l l o w i n g i t whole.  l i m i t e d and headstrong,  lymph of them.  alienated  crab, which symbolizes the  same way t h a t  of nausea  a l l their  'waste-  a dissatisfaction with self,  H's beggar  of the  lumping everything together a race  Bouville  i s p a r a l l e l e d by the  The crab  S e l f - T a u g h t Man as  the  adopts  A l t h o u g h he  alienation,  conflict with its the  to  He  increasingly  above'  swept  of Malte Laurids Brigge.  image  episodes  person.  also passes harsh  the  beetle,  vision.  the  as  crab  Roquentin's  disturbing  his  He i s  convinces  a response  Hence also,  characterize  ingesting Roquentin's  are  melancholy,  in wordless  The grotesque  outside  'standing  he  town.  creatures  Gregor Samsa's  analogous  of  as much t o  r e l a t i o n to the  such beastlike  is  Roquentin grows  on i t ,  Hence h i s mood of endless nausea which is  question.  with i r o n i c consequences.  posture  judgement  this  imaginary perception which  source  land'  the  o f awesome  not  v i o l e n c e s and worst He has  digested  who l o s e excesses,  "There  is  to him every he makes  anti-intellectualism,  time:  white  67  manicheism, mysticism, pessimism, nothing but tion  stages,  only in him." Sartre's  slither.  the  'wall'  hero  sees  of  truth the  is Roquentin's adjusted  Roquentin cannot,  continued presence  the  has  which find  the w o r l d through  Once he has  Nausea reveals  thoughts  and egotism;  his  and often  effect  artistic vision. fearful  himself into  suggests  that  those  images.  helps  him to  his  of  gelatinous like  what he  one-  fearful,  beyond  sees.  The  fantasies  clear-sighted  and  i n modifying a grotesque  in see  vision  at  life  (55)  images  is  characteristic  he says  Roquentin makes  it  at  clear  an i d e a l i s t who has  I f my  i n the  example  verbally  Lycorne tapestries,  solution of his in this his  of the own  personality  distaste. are  comprehend  and  artistic personality.  life  made the  time.  Near  that  his  'nausea'  severely  to  is  the  subject  end of the related  disappointed  he  originated  positive sense,  struggle  one  been  transcends  of Brigge's imaginative  energies,  Nonetheless  reach  informs  s u f f i c i e n t l y r i c h to have  an a r t i s t i c  creative  summits would I not melody,"  superb  When B r i g g e , f o r  imagination is  arrive  energy  ' v i s i o n of the b e a u t i f u l '  fantasies.  the  comparatively slight. his  The  This idealistic side  Roquentin's  of  justifica-  a vantage-point  in fact,' evaluate  e a r l y w i s h to be  no tangible  grotesque  order  are  world.  Brigge's  weaves  their  projection, which acts  his v i s i o n to  of elaborate,  that  a wall  In The Notebooks of M a l t e B r i g g e a greater  the  they  (159-160)  This wall  way g l a s s .  unfinished  anarchy  to  by the  of  "What the  diary, the  experience  nature  reality. T h e r e was a p o o r man who got i n the w r o n g w o r l d . He e x i s t e d , l i k e o t h e r p e o p l e , i n a w o r l d o f p u b l i c  of  68  p a r k s , b i s t r o s , commercial c i t i e s and he wanted to persuade h i m s e l f t h a t he was l i v i n g somewhere else, behind the canvas of p a i n t i n g s , w i t h the doges of T i n t o r e t t o , w i t h G o z z o l i ' s F l o r e n t i n e s , behind the pages of books, w i t h F a b r i c e d e l Dongo and J u l i e n S o r e l , behind the phonograph records, w i t h the long dry laments of j a z z . And then, after making a complete f o o l of h i m s e l f , he u n d e r s t o o d , he opened h i s eyes, he saw that i t was a m i s - d e a l : he was i n a b i s t r o , just i n front of a glass of warm beer. He s t a y e d o v e r w h e l m e d on the b e n c h ; he t h o u g h t : I am a f o o l . And at t h a t v e r y moment, on the o t h e r s i d e of e x i s t e n c e , i n t h i s other w o r l d w h i c h you can see i n the distance, but without ever approaching i t , a l i t t l e melody began to s i n g and dance: "You must be l i k e me; you must suffer in rhythm." (234) 2  The n o t i o n  of having entered  the wrong side In the is  the  or  'wrong'  vision  human  it will  Roquentin  opprobrious him is Here,  is  in his  patterns  and  he  to  then,  patterns,  like  and not  is,  seeing  on  'wrongly'.  world'.  world which determines  how  a crab the  'right'  whose  concrete  H i s i d e a l i s m causes locate  body of evidence is not  its  source  in  him the  i n Nausea which  o n l y the  creator  him throughout:  irrational forces,  underground  a different  (because  man.  of the  hero  of  something changes  Roquentin  The l a t t e r  Dostoevsky's  Cf. Brigge's description end o f Book I of The N o t e b o o k s . 2  is  there  'right  of bringing these formidable  with Dostoevsky's level  one  there is no  cannot  which plague  attraction  that  emanate.  ( l i k e H and Malte)  desirous  only reality  bistros.  a considerable  'changes'  deeply  changing  deal because  of public parks  it,  R o q u e n t i n sees,  only the  a great  There that  look.  the  confessing  w i t h the  from which those  suffer  to  R o q u e n t i n means  encounter  registers  objects  world  tantamount  sense that  It  to  is  reality,  speaks  inside  an  alliance  a view,  rationally  Lycorne tapestries  the  about.  forms  expresses  suggests  on however  at  the  69  i r r a t i o n a l l y he maybehaye), and a l lh u n g e r  which accurately  'speaks  f o r ' Roquentin  artists.  Man everywhere a n d a t a l l t i m e s , whoever h e may b e , has p r e f e r r e d t o a c t as he chose a n d n o t i n t h e l e a s t as h i s r e a s o n a n d advantage d i c t a t e d . A n do n e may choose what i s contrary t o one's owni n t e r e s t s , a n d sometimes one p o s i t i v e l y ought. (201 Notes) Roquentin's early descriptions a choice against  reason.  people pop up who speak beginning or end:  "You l e t events  flow part;  and go away, y o uplunge  nothing,  in cafes,"  (15)  no improbability  or story  affords.  Side by side with expressions  (Shall  I awake i n a f e wmonths,  i n a fewyears,  to be  trend  towards  believed  b y h i s own detachment this  o f doubt  and despair,  broken,  deceived, i n  o f new ruins? I13]) are words o f courage which  Roquentin's  without  But i n compensation  the unusual perspective which  stance  indicate  suddenly y o us e e  too tall  Roquentin i s obviously attracted  and i n a p e c u l i a r w a y enjoys  solitude  into stories  you'd make a t e r r i b l e witness.  one misses  the midst  of h i s self-appointed  support  solitude.  You must b e a l i t t l e b i t l o n e l y i n order t o f e e l t h e m Ithese h a r m l e s s e m o t i o n s ] j u s t l o n e l y e n o u g h t o get r i d o f p l a u s i b i l i t y at t h e proper time. But I remained close t o people, on the surface o f solitude quite resolved t o take refuge i n their midst i n case of emergency. Up t o now I was an amateur at heart. (16) Brigge's if No,  surprised j o y at loving  any o f i t could be shared!  Each manbelieves  commonly h e l d individuality.  that  d e f i n i t i v e hunger  artist  ("My God,  [68]),  grows from s i m i l a r  only by avoiding conformity to the  'realistic' vision, Once a g a i n ,  of loneliness  B u t w o u l d i t be t h e n , w o u l d i t be?  i t is o n l y a t t h e p r i c e o f s o l i t u d e . "  roots.  the  the fruits  will  t h e 'mouse' position:  he be able  to maintain h i s  from the underground  articulates  70  Of c o u r s e , t h i s v e r y s t u p i d t h i n g , t h i s c a p r i c e of o u r s , may be i n r e a l i t y , g e n t l e m e n , more advantageous f o r us than a n y t h i n g e l s e on e a r t h ~ A n d i n p a r t i c u l a r i t may be more advantageous than any advantage even when i t does us o b v i o u s harm, and c o n t r a d i c t s the soundest conclusions of our reason concerning our advantage—for i n any c i r c u m s t a n c e i t p r e s e r v e s f o r us what i s the most p r e c i o u s and most i m p o r t a n t — t h a t i s our p e r s o n a l i t y , our i n d i v i d u a l i t y . (204 Notes) The N i e t z s c h e a n superman artist's  psychology.  displays his  powers  In the as  is well practiced.  outright.  who t r u s t bilious,  them, often  sub-human  role  able  to  thus describes  of superman,  a social critic.  He i s  and having d i s s e c t e d remains  turned  become  the most  ironic,  craft,  on s o c i e t y ' s  them w i t h an a n a t o m i c a l  Authority figures,  the hunger  In this  fasten  zeal, to  and the  persistent  the  large  target  artist Roquentin  weaknesses, reject  body of  of  hunger  the citizens  Roquentin's  evaluations:  Women i n b l a c k who come t o e x e r c i s e t h e i r d o g s g l i d e beneath the arcades, along the w a l l s . They r a r e l y come out i n the f u l l l i g h t , b u t t h e y c a s t i n g e n u e g l a n c e s from the corner of t h e i r eyes, on the s t a t u e of Gustave Impetrax, T h e y d o n ' t know t h e name o f t h i s b r o n z e g i a n t but they see c l e a r l y from h i s f r o c k coat and top hat t h a t he was someone from the beau monde. He h o l d s h i s hat i n h i s l e f t hand, p l a c i n g h i s r i g h t on a stack of papers: i t i s a l i t t l e as though t h e i r grandfather were there on the p e d e s t a l , cast i n bronze. They do not need to l o o k at h i m v e r y long to understand that he t h o u g h t as t h e y d o , e x a c t l y as t h e y d o , on a l l s u b j e c t s . (42) Other  targets  class  habits  the  uncouth  phrases  as  of Roquentin's observed  customer "So i t ' s  ends w i t h "He's unmitigated who s i t  and recorded at  C a m i l l e s who d i s m i s s e s  c r a z y as  In the  a loon, that's  In addition,  upper  on a B o u v i l l e Sunday.  the  that",  Dr.  middle Roge, such  you dead yet?";  elicits  ancestors  B o u v i l l e Museum, are  and  Achilles with  you, you old swine," "aren't  contempt.  painted  c r i t i c i s m include the  Roquentin's  of Bouville  treated  and  w i t h due  society, severity  71  by the  i n q u i s i t o r i a l eyes  the m i d d l e - c l a s s e s  on a f a n t a s i e d  single inch further mirrored reveals  i n the his  or anyone  of Antoine Roquentin.  from the  portraits  nausea.  he  is  does  not  carry  placing Roquentin  He u n s u r p r i s i n g l y f i n d s  studying.  deep c y n i c i s m and h i s  i n the  pillory  However,  total  it  In e x p l i c a t i n g them,  i n a b i l i t y to  trust  a  he  anything  world.  His eyes, I the p o r t r a i t of Jean Parrotin] which I stared at i n wonderment, i n d i c a t e d that I must leave. I did not leave, I was r e s o l u t e l y i n d i s c r e e t . I knew; as a r e s u l t o f s t u d y i n g at g r e a t l e n g t h a c e r t a i n p o r t r a i t of P h i l i p II i n the l i b r a r y of the E s c u r i a l , t h a t when one i s c o n f r o n t e d w i t h a face s p a r k l i n g w i t h r i g h t e o u s n e s s , a f t e r a moment t h i s s p a r k l e d i e s away, and o n l y an ashy r e s i d u e remains: this residue i n t e r e s t e d me. By d i n t reality, seat  on the  the  b e l i e f that he  R o q u e n t i n condemns  on a tramway  under  out  of the  side  himself to  car becomes  seat becomes  the  of h i s neck becomes  whelmed by panic;  the  be p h y s i c a l l y as w e l l  an e t e r n a l  end of the  distorted  the  surface  a thin  with a  Roquentin  line  lump leaps  diary , Roquentin is  v i s i o n turns  emotionally  of A  nightmare.  smile, a passenger  so t e r r i f y i n g that  By the  as  beneath  dead body of a donkey,  an u n n e r v i n g  of a moving train.  c a n see  tangible  over-  and seems  to  oppressive.  I drop onto a bench between great black tree-trunks, between the b l a c k , knotty hands reaching towards the sky. A t r e e s c r a p e s a t t h e e a r t h u n d e r my f e e t w i t h a black nail. I would l i k e to let myself go, forget myself, sleep. But I can't, I'm suffocating: e x i s t e n c e p e n e t r a t e s me e v e r y w h e r e , t h r o u g h t h e e y e s , the nose, the mouth... (170) The t u r n i n g point peculiar  i n the  t h i n g w h i c h he  personality.  novel is Roquentin's calls  "The Nausea has  l e a v e me s o s o o n ; b u t  realization that  "nausea"  is  not  me a n d I d o n ' t  believe  to bear  i s no  left  I no longer have  an i n t e g r a l p a r t  it,  it  of  this his it  longer  will an  72  illness  or a passing f i t :  crucial  revelation, Roquentin returns  the  untrustworthiness  it  is  I."  of objects  (170)  Yet in spite  to his  and  of a  seemingly  former obsession  concerning  persons:  Suspicious: t h a t ' s what they were, the sounds, the smells, the tastes. When they ran q u i c k l y under y o u r nose l i k e s t a r t l e d hares and you d i d n ' t pay too much a t t e n t i o n , you might b e l i e v e them to be s i m p l e and reassuring... But as soon as y o u h e l d on to them f o r an i n s t a n t , t h i s f e e l i n g o f comfort and s e c u r i t y gave way to a deep u n e a s i n e s s . (175) The images  of immense menacing b e a s t s  mark the v i s i o n not  of Roquentin.  something which lets  must  nauseo  ergo  alters  sum'.  be thought  of melancholy. a crab  at  thick jelly  prisoner of his  the  finally  concludes,  of from a distance:  "is it  y o u , w e i g h h e a v i l y on y o u r h e a r t  'cogito ergo  a momentary  sum' o f Descartes  the  lapse end,  the bottom of a vast expanded  and d e f i n i t i v e l y  like  (177)  We h a v e , n e a r  has  themselves  The moment w h i c h m i g h t have meant  self-knowledge becomes  of  itself  motionless beast."  Roquentin  like  " E x i s t e n c e " , he  invade you suddenly, master  a great  reassert  'sum  deliverance  i n an otherwise  and burdensome  through  unbroken mood  an image of R o q u e n t i n ocean.  over Roquentin and he has  own e x i s t e n t i a l  to  sitting  The  become  wall the  fantasy:  I shouted " f i l t h ! " what r o t t e n f i l t h ! " and shook myself to get r i d of t h i s s t i c k y f i l t h but i t h e l d fast and there was so much, tons and tons of existence, endless: I s t i f l e d at the depths o f t h i s immense w e a r i n e s s . The d i a r y charts alternatives and Anny.  In the  had threatened because  of living end,  to usurp  Roquentin's passage represented a l l three  by the  are  through  few  remaining  Self-Taught Man, Rollebon  rejected:  Rollebon because  R o q u e n t i n ' s own e x i s t e n c e ;  he a s s i m i l a t e d v a l u e s w i t h o u t  the  the  he  Self-Taught Man  self-knowledge; and Anny,  because  73  she has  lost  to  for.  live  Roquentin nausea.  a l l her  Surrounded by an unbroken  is  faced with a final  He d e c i d e s  old haunt,  i l l u s i o n s and d i s c o v e r e d that  the  to  Cafe Mably,  music of a saxophone to him.  leave  The experience  oppressive magically associates existence  out  dry them,  sharp,  precise  to  song.  constrained  Music acts  their  decides  to w r i t e  their  continuing  the  existence  his  he hears  him out  in fact  same d e s i r e  note."  to  the  of  the  of their  to  dross  again:  the  available  a purifying liquid  myself,  He k n o w s , h o w e v e r ,  own c i r c u m s t a n c e s  as  death,'  s t i l l  By chance  p a s s i n g moments  as h i s models  He i m a g i n e s as h i s .  the  harden  like  one p o s s i b l e e x i t  'filth',  find  sound of a saxophone  cending  just  r i d the  purify myself,  Roquentin selects the  reminded of the  "I  nothing  A c c o r d i n g l y he walks  farewell.  Roquentin of the  of me,  'rather  of l i s t e n i n g to music takes  with mortality.  them,  of  Bouville.  immersion i n nausea. cleanses  solitude,  decision i n view of his  to b i d i t  and i s  t h e r e was  he  to  fat,  drive to  g i v e back at  which  twist  last  the  (234) composer  and the  as h a v i n g been  that  they  through music.  a n o v e l — h i s own a p o l o g u e — t h e  equally  succeeded  And so,  singer  in  as trans-  Roquentin  novel perhaps,  we  have  read. And there would be people who would read t h i s book and say: "Antoine Roquentin wrote i t , a red-headed man who hung a r o u n d c a f e s , " and t h e y w o u l d t h i n k about my l i f e as I t h i n k a b o u t t h e n e g r e s s : as s o m e t h i n g p r e c i o u s and almost legendary. A book.  Through the Roquentin he  repairs  harmony  act  of creating  can s u s t a i n an i n j u r e d  on a c h a o t i c  a work of art  the  hunger  an i s o l a t i o n w h i c h i s b e a r a b l e . sense o f d i g n i t y ; and becomes and i r r e f r a g a b l e  destiny.  artist  in  Through capable  of  language imposing  CONCLUSION  74  75  In reaching  the  e n d o f my s t u d y  autobiographical novels, to emerge between  is  the  subtle  of  romantic,  in its  When the  lies  current  run counter  this  of  to  in literature, translation  conscious  one  literary artist  another  suggests  depth  is  human body.  Thus  character  the  of this  naturalistic  phenomena,  phosis  tracing  graphical  distaste.  phenomenon  1  complexity  fiction  of the  some more  the  symbol or  motifs.  appearance a truth  There  likely  are  to be  for example King L e a r ' s for  a  of accomplishing  body reveals  largely oblivious.  begin  character,  undercurrents have  or  metaphor.  fictional  by s e l e c t i n g  various  the  motifs  of hunger  example  and d i s t a s t e  f i c t i o n s , we d i s c o v e r e d t h a t  one  unconscious.  in realistic  of the  is  of  the  of which  a  variety  accepted  blindness; the  this  as others  uncanny  metamor-  i n our three  autobio-  Samsa.  relationship between indirect  of the  l i t e r a r y symbol and  on a more s y m b o l i c l e v e l as  of Gregor In  into  forces  indirectly through  technique; as  whether  the  or  c o n s c i o u s l y and that w h i c h  that writers  appearance  of gradations  functioning  it  h i m s e l f may be  and d i s t a s t e ,  life  this  three  observation  i n the  contain  state  and important  and unconscious m o t i v a t i o n  e f f e c t i v e means to  in  intent  One o f t h e m o s t of vision  and d i s t a s t e  hunger  i r r a t i o n a l and covert  or description which w i l l  the  between  t h a t w h i c h seems to be d e s i r e d  The importance  the  interesting  relationship  a c t u a l l y desired by the  to  the most  on hunger  the  far  p h y s i c a l and e m o t i o n a l realms,  i n which p h y s i c a l hunger  sometimes  T h i s s y m b o l i c c o m p l e x i t y was inherent  from a direct  in this  type of  t h e r e was  expressed  characteristic  fiction.  allegorical  of  an  emotional the  emotional  Brigge's inspired  description  76  of  the  beautiful  horrible". of  life  Roquentin's  in Bouville  attentive less  contrasted  to  its  apparent  sharply with his  avowed r e v u l s i o n against  i n v i t e d the  details.  ways  obsession with  question  entire  o f why he was  Lastly, H's very  i n w h i c h he  the  "the  so  real hunger  led himself into his  fabric studiously  concealed  the  unfortunate  circumstance. The modern n o v e l m i r r o r s emotional universe whose of  shapes  and l i n e s .  'thanatos' one  take  from the  structure  are by no means  other.  to  depend  the hero  in  the  same way t h a t  of  life.-*-  affections;  its  for the  H ' s daydreams  the  price  and B a r t l e b y d i e  out  joy and s u f f e r i n g of starvation.  and  When t h i s  to grasp  for example, of the  Roquentin's  the  other  happens destructive elixir  is brought  object  the  happiness  for something  strive  the  variety  cleverly h o l d each  of princely grandeur  the more p a r a d i g m a t i c works between  they  very existence.  of rejecting  an  readily distinguishable  repulsiveness  and s o l i t u d e .  of  o f an immense  a strange union i n which  a dyingman might  disregard  o n l y a c h i e v e d at  balance  into  out  awareness  influential 'eros'  of a given novel reaching  real poverty  In  than not  Brigge's spiritual happiness,  by a blatant  by his  created  obvious nor  More often  on s o r r o w f o r  we see  is  The forms w h i c h the  at bay by combining together comes  the modern w r i t e r s '  of  about  his  and e r o t i c i s m are self-acceptance  enhanced is  social world.  of Kafka  and M e l v i l l e ,  the  i s more p r e c a r i o u s .  The hunger  Notwithstanding their  dismal end,  artist the  1 H e l l e r i n h i s e s s a y , The W o r l d o f Franz K a f k a i n The D i s i n h e r i t e d M i n d , makes the f o l l o w i n g analogous o b s e r v a t i o n : "To men s u f f e r i n g from s p i r i t u a l s t a r v a t i o n even a r o t t e d f r u i t o f the s p i r i t may t a s t e l i k e bread from Heaven, and the l i q u i d of a poisoned w e l l l i k e the water of l i f e . " (203)  77  conscious without their is  reasons  these heroes  a certain  confused  perspective,  dictated  features.  the  perceptions  i n these  of his of  course  instances  feeling  that  animal.  It  is not  choice of outright  are  eyes  clerk appears  immensity of the W a l l Street society  is  altogether  left  open.  an unhappy  of the  to be  The  sanguine  unwitting  Similarly,  the  caged  artist's  like of  of their  their  of rescuing  employer  hunger  thought  alienation  a means  death  participation  and  the  by his being  The c i r c u m s t a n c e s  and  concrete  to produce  as  redeeming  narrator  why f o r such heroes  select  victim-hero's  swallowed by the  skyscrapers.  one;  no  conspire with their melancholy inner worlds and death  not  From  starvation  affirmed by the  cruel is heightened  is understandable  are  of action or non-action which they  the  Even i n the  B a r t l e b y , the  such a pass  and m o r a l s e n s i t i v i t y .  only d i g n i f i e d course  society.  coining to  of society which contains  For such persons the  for  aesthetic  by a perception  seems to be  have  an  death  lives  a desire  for  declining sense  of  dignity. In spite appears to be world,  of this  stern  a l o f t i e r aim than  such protagonists  romantic  The a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l at  subject,  (character)  an  possessing  Because  interesting  of w r i t i n g .  the  live  the  comes  fiction  and object,  is  to  i n an  die imperfect  as  survive  one and makes  by the is  approach  the  separation case  enhances  of behaviour  I am r e f e r r i n g  can  of  comprehending.  a subjective  (society)  aspect  and  an e x a c t i n g e x t e n s i o n  close  autobiographical  The b e h a v i o u r  contentedly  objectivity created  and important  suffer  i n which no s e n s i t i v e being  author-hero  pretense  to  b e s t o w upon us  ideology, a universe  and w h i c h o n l y the  fiction.  morality i n which to  emerges  t o may be  in  no of  realistic  subjectivity, from this  s u m m a r i z e d as  kind a  78  pattern in  i n which the  the  the  object  ascribed  subject  (society, intent  acting with his  (protagonist)  or a member  or attitude  own p e r s o n  of society)  of the  the  roles  object  of both  The m i r r o r scene  i n The Notebooks  of  and H's dialogue w i t h the  this  process,  If  the hero  e x t e r n a l w o r l d (as then he blame  is  the  apt  first is  transforms  subject  the  case w i t h the  a self-destructive the  and  outcome.  for his  death.  himself into a crab,  episode  whose  descendant  channels every  himself i n t o the  instance  unconsciously the  object  the hero himself. emerges to  the  the  aimed at h i m s e l f ,  of his  feels  own, as w e l l  society  Hunger,  the  denies  void expressed  hero  as  society's  as  the  concealed  while  towards  he becomes  distaste.  the  of s u r v i v a l and  also In  a society  i n some  The 'food'  him, he very fundamentally  and tales  is  of pauperdom.  directs  until finally  original instinct  in these novels  stomach.  which the  sense  mentally  Malte Laurids Brigge,  u n p r o p i t i a t i n g weeds  distaste  heart  suggests  genius  dimwitted beggar,  of European aristocracy,  heroes)  erroneously  appearance  costume  of the  the  artist'  Analogously Roquentin  beneath real  upon  In a certain  Along similar lines H's inner  'bona fide'  and  another.  Gregor Samsa i n h i s  a creature  example  park,  'hunger  and i n v i t e s h o s t i l i t y . the  one  emotions  u n f e e l i n g f a m i l y and employer.  responsible  object.  o l d man i n the  frequently  transfers  thereby  of Malte Laurids Brigge is  own a g g r e s s i v e  external world for  they become  to himself,  his  out  attitude  unconsciously  projects  to act  of hearts blames his  p e r c e i v i n g some  denies  is  sense, which to  self-preservation,  symbol of a curious  by a h a b i t u a l l y impoverished and often  addiction empty  BIBLIOGRAPHY  79  80  Arendt, Hannah. The Human C o n d i t i o n . Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1970. Balzac, Honore. The F a t a l S k i n . New A m e r i c a n L i b r a r y , 1963.  tr.  . A H a r l o t High and Low. Penguin Books, 1970. . Lost Illusions. M o d e r n L i b r a r y , 196 7. —  . Press,  The Quest 1914.  B e r g l e r , Edmund. Inc., 1949.  tr.  for the  Atwood H. Townsend.  tr.  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Curie, Eve. Madame C u r i e . , t r . Cardinal E d i t i o n . 1967.  and  Times.  New Y o r k :  World  Vincent Sheean.  New Y o r k :  A  D e l l a Terza, Dante. "On P i r a n d e l l o ' s Humorism", Harvard E n g l i s h Studies 3, 1972.  "Veins of  Pocket  Humour".  Dostoevsky, Fyodor. Three Short Novels of Dostoevsky. tr. Constance Garnett. G a r d e n C i t y , New Y o r k : D o u b l e d a y and Company, I n c . , 1960.  81  Freud, Sigmund. Civilization and its Discontents. tr. and ed. James Strachey. New York: W. W. Norton and Company, Inc., 1962. On Creativity and the Unconscious. and Row, 1958. Hamsun, Knut. 1969.  Hunger.  tr. Robert Bly.  Heller, Erich. The Disinherited Mind. World Publishing Company, 1959. Kafka, Franz. New York:  New York: Harper  New York:  The Noonday Press,  Cleveland and New York: The  Selected Short Stories. tr. Willa and Edwin Muir, The Modern Library, 1952.  Jones, Ernest M. D. The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud. II. New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1953 and 1955. Mann, Thomas. Death in Venice, Tristan, Tonio Kroger. Lowe-Porter. Penguin Books, 1955. Dr. Faustus. Penguin Books, 1968.  tr. H. T. Lowe-Porter.  Vols. I and tr. H. T.  Great Britain:  . Joseph and His Brothers, Young Joseph, Joseph in Egypt, Joseph the Provider. tr. H. T. Lowe-Porter. New York: Alfred Knopf, 1946. Last Essays. tr. Richard and Clara Winston. Alfred A. Knopf, 1959. Maurois, Andre. Lelia, the Life of Georges Sand. London, 1953. . Denny.  New York:  tr. Gerard Hopkins,  Prometheus, The Life of Honore de Balzac. London: The Bodley Head, 1965.  Melville, Herman. Great Short Works of Herman Melville. Harper and Row, 1966.  tr. Norman New York:  Nietzsche, Friedrich. Thus Spoke Zarathustra. New York: The Viking Press, 1966.  tr. Walter Kaufmann.  Ouspensky, P. D. Strange Life of Ivan Osokin. Penguin Books Inc., 19 71.  Baltimore, Maryland:  Rank, Otto. The Myth of the Birth of the Hero and Other Writings. New York: Random House, 1964. Rilke, Rainer Maria. The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge. tr. M. D. Herter Norton. New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 1964.  82  Roszak, Theodore. The M a k i n g o f A C o u n t e r C u l t u r e . New Y o r k : D o u b l e d a y a n d Company, I n c . , 1969. Sartre, Jean-Paul. Nausea. tr. D i r e c t i o n s P a p e r b a c k , 1964. Shattuck, Starkie,  Roger. Enid.  The Banquet Baudelaire.  Sweig, Stefan. Balzac. tr. The V i k i n g P r e s s , 1946. Troyat,  Henri.  Tolstoy,  tr.  Lloyd Alexander.  Years. London:  New Y o r k : Faber  Garden  New Y o r k :  A New  Random House,  and Faber,  W i l l i a m and Dorothy Rose.  Nancy Amphoux.  City,  New Y o r k :  1967.  1957. New Y o r k :  A Dell  Book,  1969.  Ziolkowski, Theodore. The N o v e l s o f Hermann Hesse: A S t u d y i n Theme and Structure. P r i n c e t o n , New J e r s e y : Princeton University Press, 1965.  

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