Week 15: Chauchat is back at the Berghof, and she has brought with her a very colorful character, wonderfully named Mynheer Peeperkorn (!). Aside from comic relief, I wonder what folks think Mann is up to with this character? Castorp and Chauchat share an interesting scene – there is clearly intimacy between them, though she discourages him from calling her by her first name – and then Peeperkorn arrives, and a raucous party ensues, the first I think we’ve seen this closely at the Berghof. Peeperkorn and Castorp talk about “vice” and “doomsday,” and Peeperkorn tries to get Castorp and Chauchat to kiss each other goodnight, to which Castorp refuses, an “act of insubordination” that amazes Peeperkorn. My interest is peaked!
For next week: read to “Mynheer Peeperkorn (Conclusion)” in Chapter 7.
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