Week 7: Hans Castorp achieves his “freedom” by writing home for the third time, telling his relatives he has to stay at the sanatorium and asking them to mail him his winter clothes. He has settled in, and begins to take real pleasure in his obsession with Madame Chauchat, even as the others around him titter about it. He is looking for “some satisfactory answer about the meaning and purpose of life,” and “would not have stayed with the people up here” had such an answer “been supplied” from “out of the depths of time.” I wonder what everyone makes of Settembrini’s long discourse toward the end of today’s pages…and the role of Settembrini in general. Looking forward to discussing on Sunday!
To register for Sunday’s meeting: www.narrativemedicine.blog/narrative-medicine-book-club
For next week: read to the section “Danse Macabre” in Chapter 5.