By Christ! he did die!I can't really tell you why that's funny, except that the first line refers back to a joke (told a couple of pages earlier) about a highly devout amateur actor, and that the second line, for almost all of us mere mortals with non-Beckettian vocabularies, necessitates a trip to the dictionary ("auscultate," to listen to the sounds of the internal organs as part of a medical diagnosis – our hero, Belacqua Shuah, you see, is on the table for a tumor operation), & somehow I find that moment of having to look something up – right when the chap whose adventures one's been following thru the whole book has just kicked the bucket – deeply funny. Especially since knowing what "auscultate" means casts precisely no light whatsoever on the story's climax.)
They had clean forgotten to auscultate him!
Amy comments last time on big words & bloggistry. I can only excuse myself by noting that "Cambridge Marxist-obscurantist" is not my but Gordon Burn's description of JH Prynne, & I [sic]ced it because I thought it was such a deeply dumbass thing to say in the first place. Was JHP a Marxist way back when? I don't know, but he was an English intellectual & a chap with his head screwed on the right way, so I assume he was. Was he an "obscurantist" (from "obscurantism," the practice of deliberately preventing the facts or full details of something from becoming known)? No effing way – just because Burn finds JHP's poetry "difficult" or "obscure," it's a logical error to attribute a certain set of (ultimately moral) intentions to him.
But, oh, oh, oh oh, that Marxist-obscurantist rag.... It makes me think of Bob Archambeau's latest blast against "avant-smugness," playing off of Kasey Mohammad's thoughtful post-mortem (one hopes) on the cold corse of ye olde School o' Quietude V. Post-Avant dichotomy. I'll try to say something anent (not a big word, but a Scotticism) that sooner.
And poised for a weekend of celebrating J.'s birthday. Tomorrow we have reservations for this place. We're telling the girls that it's the "Lilo and Stitch" restaurant, and hopefully we can keep them from throwing poi at the dancers.