Tag Archives: The Magic Mountain

Marginalia, no.125

Love and Cough cannot be hid.

~ George Herbert, Outlandish Proverbs
 
Tubercular cough is visible on an X-ray.  Love is more subtle, or else unsubtle enough to confound subtle means of detection.  Dr Krokowski lectures in The Magic Mountain on the sympathetic relation between love and sickness.  Maybe we can see them as cousinish forms of a more comprehensive malady – call it ‘Human Swooning.’  For weeks now my poor wife has suffered coughing fits that leave her useless ten minutes at a time.  After a specially bad fit this past weekend she looked at me with tears in her eyes, flushed and wheezing, and I thought: ‘See how much she loves me.’

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Marginalia, no.107

This wine is so good and delicious, that the more I drink thereof the more I am athirst.

~ Rabelais, Pantagruel

The line is spoken by Panurge but the sentiment is echoed in the ‘Hagarene’ etymology Rabelais offers for his hero’s name, which he renders “all-thirsty.”  Mynheer Peeperkorn, resident of Mann’s Magic Mountain, had the same complaint.  He was perpetually parched but wouldn’t touch water; he only drank wine.  Insatiability is both burden and joy in our Dionysian mode: the best things never satisfy.

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