Where to find my Magic Mountain review:

1. http://nullimmortalis.wordpress.com/13219-2/
2. http://expenscusil.wordpress.com/594-2/
3. http://elizabethbowensite.wordpress.com/191-2/
4. http://nullimmortalis2010.wordpress.com/231-2/
5. http://weirdtongue.wordpress.com/436-2/
6. http://nemonymousnight.wordpress.com/485-2/
7. https://etepsed.wordpress.com/346-2/ (this one)
8. http://weirdmonger.wordpress.com/186-2/

Thomas’s Mann’s THE MAGIC MOUNTAIN – my real-time review continued from HERE.

This is Part Seven of my Review.

Any commentary from my reading will eventually appear below in the comments to this post as and when I have read each chapter or section.

4 responses to “*

  1. Vingt Et Un
    In this scene, a growingly inebriated Peeperkorn ‘leads’ a strange card-playing party with some other patients, including Hans and Clavdia (who have now talked together again, at first over Joachim’s death, then with excitable badinage and Hans’ fractious ‘tutoyant’ of her) – and Peeperkorn indeed comes out in full Aickman-larger-than- (Dickensian, ‘full-breasted’) -LIFE! And he now seems — “in his incoherent, rhapsodic, literally futile remarks” — to become the magnet for real, as well as the money magnate: “Yet they hung on his lips, they could not take their eyes from the little round made by his finger and thumb, with the pointed nails stiffly erect beside it;”
    The whole event takes on that ‘busy blood’ again with discussions on VICE and LIFE’s LITTLE REFINEMENTS – and I feel impelled to put some of my letters in UPPER CASE to convey the whole gallimaufry of it till SLEEP, in more ways than one, comes to the rescue after Hans no doubt returned to what was described earlier as
    “the frosty solitude of his balcony, and the society of his Maria [cigar]”. I wonder if he later had nightmares, not only about his Peeperkorn-thwarted, enduringly Proustian unrequited LOVE for Clavdia, but also about Peeperkorn’s own “astonishing arabesque of wrinkles that made his face so like an old idol’s;”

  2. Mynheer Peeperkorn (Continued) – up to “and himself to boot”.

    “This occurred at the end of his stay. At the end? Did he remain no longer, then? No. He went away? Yes—and no. How yes and no? Pray let us have no prying into secrets—in the fullness of time we shall know. We are aware that Lieutenant Ziemssen died, not to speak of other less admirable performers of the dance of death. Then Peeperkorn’s malignant tropical fever carried him off? No, not so—but why so impatient? Let us not forget the condition of life as of narration: that we can never see the whole picture at once—unless we propose to throw overboard all the God-conditioned forms of human knowledge. Let us at least pay time so much honour as the nature of our story permits—little enough, in all conscience; for it has begun to rush pell-mell and helter-skelter; or,…”

    …Or otherwise we shall spoil the gestalt-from-leitmotifs of my five-year old process of real-time reviewing heretofore!

    “Hans Castorp laughed. “By all means,” said he. “Absolutely. That is to say—very good. Very good indeed.” He tried to imitate Peeperkorn’s gestures. “Yes, yes,” he went on, laughing, “you find it stupid, Herr Settembrini, and I admit it is unclear, which in your eyes is even worse. Stupid—well, there are so many kinds of stupidity, and cleverness is one of the worst. There, I have made an epigram—a bon mot! What do you think of it?”
    “Very good. I look forward eagerly to your collection of aphorisms. Perhaps there is still time to beg you not to forget some comment we once made on the anti-social nature of paradox.”
    “I won’t indeed, Herr Settembrini. I certainly will not. No, my mot was not in the nature of paradox, I assure you. I only meant to indicate the difficulty I really find in distinguishing between stupidity and cleverness. It is so hard to draw a line—one goes over into the other.—I know you hate all that mystical guazzabuglio; you are all for values, judgment, and judgment of values; and I’m sure you are right. But this about stupidity and—on my honour, it’s a complete mystery; and after all, it is allowable to think about mysteries, isn’t it, so long as one is honestly bent on getting to the bottom of them? But I ask you. Can you deny that he puts us all in his pocket? That’s expressing it crudely, perhaps—but, so far as I can see, you can’t deny it. He puts us all in his pocket; somehow or other, he has the right to laugh at us all—but where does he get it? Where does it come from? How does he do it? Certainly it’s not that he’s so clever. I admit that you can’t talk about his cleverness. He’s inarticulate—it’s more feeling with him, feeling is just his mark, if you’ll excuse my language. No, as I say, it’s not out of cleverness, not on intellectual grounds at all, that he can do as he likes with us. You would be right to deny it. It isn’t the point. But not on physical either. It’s not the massive shoulders, or the strength of his biceps; not because he could knock us down if he liked. He isn’t conscious of his power; if he does take a notion, he can easily be put off it with a couple of civilized words.—So it is not physical. And yet the physical has something to do with it; not in a muscular sense—it’s something quite different, mystical; because so soon as the physical has anything to do with it, it becomes mystical, the physical goes over into the spiritual, and the other way on, and you can’t tell them apart, nor can you cleverness and stupidity. But the result is what we see, the dynamic effect—he puts us in his pocket.””

    Here we discover that Peeperkorn has now become — as seen through Hans’ growingly mature eyes (we have seen our hero thus develop during the course of this mighty book) — indeed discover that Peeperkorn has now become a catalyst out of paradox or out of pure constructive madness or just from that sheer larger-than-life personality, a catalyst enough to win arguments! – as his chemistry with the religio-philosophical gallimaufry of Settembrini and Naphta outweighs their otherwise higher intellect. Amazing stuff!
    I may not be like Peeperkorn in real life as a person, but my real-time reviews perhaps are just another form of such Peeperkornisms! Or at least I hope so.
    But what of the golden eagle, I ask?

  3. magicm15
    Mynheer Peeperkorn (Continued) – from “Thus Herr Ferge, the complete” up to end.

    I am really beginning to feel as if I am related to Peeperkorn and I have just renamed my main website under his name, without remembering exactly what his Fate is to be in the remainder of the book as yet unreviewed from my first reading many years ago, when I was Castorp? … but now I am Peeperkorn? … yet I may be a blend of Castorp and Peeperkorn, in this Sanatorium / ‘Never Let Me Go’ / ‘Fether & Tarr’ / Hospice-Aickman during my Forever Autumn existence yet to unfold from this my age of 65 onward. I almost seem to have revisited the cough and night sweats of my youthful Pleurisy in honour of this paradoxically (sorry, Settembrini!) ‘Busy Blood’ yet death-lethargy of a book… yet, this section is full of double-takes and subtleties and blood-brotherlinesses between Castorp and Peeperkorn, ‘thouing’ each other for the first time of tutoyance, while they discuss the Chauchat, and the Man-Woman politically-incorrect politics of relationship — and there is talk of when Castorp first ‘thoued’ Chauchat because everyone was ‘thouing’ each other in view of it happening on Walpurgis carnival night. And what else once passed between Castorp and Chauchat, (other than Hippe’s pencil!)… other than a Russian Kiss? Perhaps we shall never know. Back to The Weird, to the Uncanny, to the Magnet, to the X-Ray Plate…

    “I have no contact with the flat-land, it has fallen away.”


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