Narrative Medicine Book Club: Magic Mountain, Week 10

Week 10: Finally Castorp speaks to Madame Chauchat! What a wonderful scene; I wonder if others were surprised, as I was, at how completely Castorp confesses his love! All had been so repressed until this scene, I was surprised to see it come pouring out. His last gushing speech to her, supposedly all in French which he “does not speak,” felt very characteristic, however – a long discourse on the mechanics of body and death: “Ah, love, you know. The body, love, death, are simply one and the same. Because the body is sickness and depravity, it is what produces death, yes, both of them, love and death, are carnal, and that is the source of their terror and great magic!” And his last amazing plea to her: “Let me take in the exhalation of your pores and brush the down – oh, my human image made of water and protein, destined for the contours of the grave, let me perish, my lips against yours!” Very interested in the theme of love in this book, so clearly explored alongside illness and death…

For next week: read to the section “An Outburst of Temper” in Chapter 6. 

And join our zoom meeting Sunday at 11! to register.