Sunday, July 27, 2008

Do not go gentle into that good night,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

So wrote Dylan Thomas who, I presume, did exactly that when his time came. Hortense isn’t raging but she’s putting up a terrific battle in a war she cannot win. For the pasts five days she has been alternately sleeping (or in a coma?) and struggling on ever weakening legs the few yards from one place to the next. She has had little in he way of nourishment, forcefully fed some vitamin paste and every now and again a few, very few, licks at a mixture of yoghourt and evaporated milk. Her weight must be counted in ounces and I expect the breathing, so shallow as to be hardly noticeable, to stop at any moment. She doesn’t appear to be in any pain and I am sure she will go gently and peacefully into that good night, though every now and again I get accusing looks from those deep sunken eyes as much as to say, this is all your fault, whatever it is that’s happening to me.

Talk about the winds of Crete: we’ve had four days of force nine gales or certainly what feels like force nine gales even if they aren’t. Fortunately the winds are coming from the north and are cool, unlike those we get from Colonel Gaddafi that bring half the Sahara with them when the sky turns orange and everything, buildings, plants, cars, are layered with yellow sand or, if it comes at the same time as rain, yellow mud.

Last night watched the movie, Archangel and came up with the universal cry of not as good as the book. Well, the first part was because it stuck pretty close to the book but in the second part it went off the rails somewhat. I still maintain though, much as I enjoyed reading the book, that there is an enormous flaw in the story. What I can’t understand is why Beria, as soon as he found out about the child’s existence, and with all the resources of the fearsome NKVD at his command, didn’t set out to have it killed then and there, no matter how closely guarded it was. There was also a real humdinger in the train when the notebook was suddenly reintroduced – this after our hero had swum in freezing waters (which surely would have killed him), never got dried off as far as I could see, purchased a coat from a local fisherman to keep himself warm, (still dripping wet?) and the girl had come out of prison and didn’t appear to be full of the necessities. So as soon as the red folder was produced I heard myself saying, “Where did that suddenly come from?” Does the word colander spring to mind?

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