Thursday, January 29, 2009

What a long strange trip

In the fifth part of 2666, we find ourselves in the Ukraine during WWII with Hans Reiter, a very tall German who evidently will soon turn into Achimboldi, the mysterious writer who is the subject, if not object, of the Critics in part one. (He takes his nom de plume from the 16th century mash-up painter Giusepppe Arcimboldo [there are several variant spellings], two samples of whose work, which I don't like at all, is here displayed.)

Here the Germans are advancing into Little Russia: “Only the black woods in the middle of a yellow sea, under a bright blue sky, and suddenly, without warning, as if they were in a great theater of wheat and the wood was the stage and proscenium of that theater in the round, the all-devouring, beautiful fire.” Soon they will be retreating.

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