Reading Invisible Man yesterday morning was a great way to start the day. I read the chapter in which the narrator found out what was in the letters Bledsoe had given him. It is an important scene, interestingly, fraught with homo-erotic tension. I don’t have the book here with me just now, but what really struck me is how the letters that he had earlier fanned out in front of himself as some totem of importance, in that office with the blond man with the cuff-links and nice suit, became either poison or an anchor. I don’t know the right metaphor to use.
In my other class we finished reading “The Horror at Red Hook” and I think that the vocabulary ruined it for them. When I think of myself as a vaguely normal kid, I have to remember that I read Lovecraft as a creepy and lonely child. All of my students are smart and well adjusted, but most had trouble understanding the overwritten prose with its gratuitous vocabulary. None-the-less, I love passages like this:
Suydam, when questioned, said he thought the ritual was some remnant of Nestorian Christianity tinctured with the Shamanism of Thibet. Most of the people, he conjectured, were of Mongoloid stock, originating somewhere in or near Kurdistan – and Malone could not help recalling that Kurdistan is the land of the Yezidis, last survivors of the Persian devil-worshippers.
Now that’s some fear of the multi-cultural other!