THE MAGIC MOUNTAIN

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Redbeck
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Re: THE MAGIC MOUNTAIN

Post by Redbeck »

THE MAGIC MOUNTAIN

Thomas Mann 1824-1955

HIGHLY QUESTIONABLE


EDHIN KROKOWSKI'S lectures had in the swift passage of the years taken an unexpected turn. His researches, which dealt. with psycho-analysis and the dream-life of humanity, had always had a subterranean, not to say catacombish character; but now, by a transition so gradual that one scarcely marked it, they had passed over to the frankly supernatural, and his fortnightly lectures in the dining-room - the prime attraction. of the house, the pride of the prospectus, delivered in a drawling, foreign voice, in frock­coat and sandals from behind a little covered table, to the rapt and motionless Berghof audience - these lectures no longer treated of the disguised activities of love and the retransformation of the illness into the conscious emotion. They had gone on to the extraordinary phenomena of hypnotism and somnambulism, telepathy, "dreaming true," and second sight; the marvels of hysteria, the expounding of which widened the philosophic horizon to such an extent that suddenly before the listener's eyes would glitter / Page/ 654 / darkly puzzles'like that of the relation of matter to the psychic yes, even the puzzle of life itself, which, it appeared, was easier to approach by uncanny, even morbid paths than by the way of health.

We say this because we consider it our duty to confound those flippant 'spirits who declared that Dr. Krokowski had resorted to mystification for the sake of redeeming his lectures from hopeless monotony; in other words, with purely emotional ends in view. Thus spoke the slanderous tongues which are everywhere to be found: True, the gentlemen at the Monday lectures flicked their ears harder than ever to make them hear; Fraulein Levi looked, if possible; even more like a wax figure wound up by machinery. But these effects were as legitimate as the train of thought pursued by the mind of the learned gentleman, and for that he might claim 'that it was not only consistent but even inevitable. The field of his study had always been those wide,.dark tracts of the human soul, which one had been used to call the subconsciousness, though they might perhaps better be called the superconsciousness, since from them sometimes emanates a knowingness beyond anything of which the conscious intelligence is capable, and giving rise to the hypothesis that there may subsist connexions and associations between the lowest and least illumined regions of the individual soul and a wholly knowing All-soul. The province of the subsconscious, "occult" in the proper sense of ,the word, very soon shows itself to be occult in the narrower sense as well, and forms one of the sources whence flow the phenomena we have agreed thus to characterize. But that is not all. Whoever recognizes a symptom of organic disease as an effect of the conscious soul-life of forbidden and hystericized emotions, recoguizes the creative force of the psychical within the. material - a force which one is inclined to claim as a second source of magic phenomena. Idealist of the pathological, not to say pathological idealist, he sees himself at the point of departure of certain trains of thought which will shortly issue in the problem of existence, that is to say in the problem of the relation between spirit and matter. The materialist, son of a philosophy of sheer animal vigour, can never be dissuaded from explaining spirit as a mere phosphorescent product,of matter; whereas the idealist, proceeding from the principle of. creative hysteria, is inclined; and very readily resolved, to· answer the question of primacy in the exactly opposite sense. Take it all in all, there is here nothing less than the old strife over which was first, the chicken or the egg - a strife which assumes its, extraordinary complexity from the fact / Page 655 / that no egg is thinkable except one laid by a hen, and no hen to that has not crept out of a previously postulated egg.

Take it all in all, there is here nothing less than the old strife over which was first, the chicken or the egg

Causality
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"A question related to this argument is which came first, the chicken or the egg?"



CHICKENS OR EGGS EGGS OR CHICKEN FIRST YOU SEE IT THEN YOU DONT



Page 654 Take it all in all, there is here nothing less than the old strife over which was first, the chicken or the egg - a strife which assumes its, extraordinary complexity from the fact / Page 655 / that no egg is thinkable except one laid by a hen, and no hen to that has not crept out of a previously postulated egg.

Well then, it was such matters as these that Dr. Krokowski discussed in his lectures. He came upon them organically, logically, legitimately - that fact cannot be over-emphasized. We will even add that he had already begun to treat of them before the arrival of Ellen Brand upon the scene of action, and the progress of matters into the empirical and experimental stage.

Who was Ellen Brand? We had almost forgotten that our readers do not know her, so familiar to us is the name. Who was she? Hardly anybody, at first glance. A sweet young thing of nineteen years, a flaxen-haired Dane, not from Copenhagen but from Odense-on-Funen, where her father had a butter business. She herself had been in commercial life for a couple of years or so; with a - sleeve-protector on her writing-arm she had sat over heavy books, perched on a revolving stool in a provincial branch of a city bank-and developed temperature. It was a trifling case, probably more suspected than real, though Elly was indeed fragile, fragile and obviously chlorotic - distinctly sympathetic too, giving one a yearning to lay one's hand upon the flaxen head- as the Hofrat regularly did, when he spoke to her in the dining-room. A northern freshness emanated from her, a chaste and glassy, maidenly chaste atmosphere surrounded her, she was entirely lovable, with a pure, open look from childlike blue eyes, and a pointed, fine, High-German speech, slightly broken, with small, typical mispronunciations. About her features there was nothing unusual. Her chin was too short. She sat at table with the Kleefeld, who mothered her.

Now this little Fraulein Brand, this little Elly, this friendly­natured little Danish bicycle-rider and stoop-shouldered young counter-jumper, had things about her, of which no one could have dreamed, at first sight of her transparent small personality, but which began to discover themselves after a few weeks; and these it became Dr. Krokowski's affair to lay bare in all their extraordinariness.

The leamed, man received his first hint in the course of a general evening conversation. Various guessing games were being played; hidden objects found by the aid of strains from the piano, which swelled higher when one approached the right spot, and died away when the seeker strayed on a false scent. Then one person went outside and waited while it was decided what task he should perform; as, exchanging the rings of two selected persons; inviting someone to dance by making three bows before her; taking a / Page 656 / designated book from the shelves. and presenting it to this or that person - and more of the same kind. It is worthy of remark such games had not been the practice among the Berghof guests. Who had introduced them was not afterwards easy to decide; it had not been Elly Brand, yet they had begun since her arrival.

The participants were nearly all old friends of ours, among them Hans Castorp. They showed themselves apt in greater or less degree - some of them were entirely incapa.ble. But Elly Brands talent was soon seen to be surpassmg, stnking, unseemly. Her power of finding hidden articles was passed over with applause and admiring laughter. But when it came to a concerted seies of actions they were struck dumb. She did whatever they covenanted she should do, did it directly she entered the room; with a gentle smile, without hesitation, without the help of music. She fetched a pinch of salt from the dining-room, sprinkled it over Lawyer Paravant's head; took him by the hand, led him to the piano and played the beginning of a nursery ditty with his forefinger; then brought him back to his seat, curtseyed, fetched a footstool and finally seated herself at his feet, all of that being precisely what they had cudgelled their brains to set her for a task.

She had been listening.

She reddened. With a sense of relief at her embarrassment they began in chorus to chide her; but she assured them she had not blushed in that serise. She had not listened, not outside, not at the door, truly, truly she had not!

Not outside, not at the door?

"Oh, no" - she begged their pardon. She had listened after she came back, in the room, she could not help it.

How not help it?

Something whispered to her, she said; It whispered and told her what to do, softly, but quite clearly and distinctly.

Obviously that was an admission. In a certain sense she was aware, she had confessed, that she had cheated. She should have said beforehand that she was no good to play such a game, if she had the advantage of being whispered - to. A competition loses all sense if one of the competitors has unnatural advantages over the others. In a sporting sense, she was straightway disqualified­disqualified in a way that made chills run up. and down their backs. With one voice they called on Dr. Krokowski, they ran to fetch him, and he came. He was immediately at home in the situation, and stood there; sturdy, heartily smiling,. in his very essence inviting confidence. Breathless they told him they had / Page 657 / Something quite Abnormal for him, an omniscient; a girl with voices. Yes, yes? Only let them be calm, they should see. This was his native heath, quagmirish and uncertain footing enough for the rest of them, yet he moved upon it with assured tread. He asked questions, and they told him. Ah, there she was - come, my child, is it true, what they are telling me? And he laid his hand on her head, as scarcely anyone could resist doing. Here was much ground for interest, none at all for consternation. He plunged the gaze of his brown, exotic eyes deep into Ellen Brands blue ones, and ran his hand down over her shoulder and arm, stroking her gently. She returned his gaze with increasing submission, her head inclined slowly toward her shoulder and breast. Her eyes were actually beginning to glaze, when the master made a careless outward motion with his hand before her face. Immediately there­after he expressed his opinion that everything was in perfect order, and sent the overwrought company off to the evening cure, with the exception of Elly Brand, with whom he said he wished to have a little chat.

A little chat. Quite so. But nobody felt easy at the word, it was just the sort of word Krokowski the merry comrade used by preference, and it gave them cold shivers. Hans Castorp, as he sought his tardy, reclining-chair, remembered the feeling with which he had seen Elly's illicit achievements and heard her shame­faced explanation. as though the ground were shifting under his feet, and giving him a slightly qualmish feeling, a mild seasickness. He had never been in an earthquake; but he said to himself that one must experience a like sensation of unequivocal alarm. But he had also felt great curiosity at these fateful gifts of Ellen Brand; combined, it is true, with the knowledge that, their field was with difficulty accessible to the spirit, and the doubt as to whether it was not barren, or even sinful, so far as he was concerned -all which did not prevent his feeling from being what in fact it actually, was, curiosity. Like everybody else, Hans Castorp had, ,at his time of life, heard this and that about the mysteries of nature, or the supernatural. We. have mentioned the clairvoyante great-aunt, of whom a melancholy tradition had come down. But, the world of the supernatural, though theoretically and objectively he had recognized its existence, had never come close to him, he had never had any practical experience of it. And his aversion from it, a matter of taste, an aesthetic revulsion, a re­action of human pride -'if we may use such large words in connexion with our modest hero - was almost as great as his curiousity. He felt beforehand, quite clearly, that such experiences, / Page 658 / whatever the course of them, could never be anything but in bad taste, unintelligible and humanly valueless. And yet he was on fire to go through them. He was aware that his alternative of "barren" or else "sinful," bad enough in itself, was in reality not an alternative at all, since the two ideas fell together, and calling a thing spiritually unavailable was only an a-moral way of of expressing its forbidden character. But the "placet experiri" planted in Hans Castorp's mind by one who would surely and resoundingly have reprobated any experimentation at all in this field, was planted firmly enough. By little and little his morality and his curiosity approached and overlapped, or had probably always done so; the pure curiosity of inquiring youth on its travels, which had already brought him pretty close to the forbidden field, what time he tasted the mystery of personality, and for which he had claimed the justification that it too was almost military in character, in that it did not weakly avoid the forbidden, when it presented itself. Hans Castorp came to the final resolve not to avoid; but to stand his ground if it came to more developments in the case of Ellen Brand.

Dr. Krokowski had issued a strict prohibition against any further experimentation on the part of the laity upon Fraulein Brand's mysterious gifts. he had pre-empted the child for his scientific use, held sittings with her in his scientific oubliette, hypnotized her, it was reported, in an effort to arouse and discipline her slumbering potentialities, to make researches into her previous psychic life. Hermine Kleefeld, who mothered and patronized the child, tried to do the same; and under the seal of secrecy a certain number of facts were ascertained, which under the same seal she spread throughout the house, even unto the porter's lodge. She learned , for example, that he who - or that which whispered the answers, into the little one's ear at games was called Holger. This Holger was the departed and etherealized spirit of a young man, the familiar, something like the guardian angel, of little Elly. So it was he who had told all that about a pinch of salt and the tune played with Lawyer Paravant's finger? Yes those spirit lips, so close to her ear that they were like a caress, and tickled a little, making her smile, had whispered her what to do. It must have been very nice when she was in school and had not prepared her lesson to have him tell her the answers. Upon this point Elly was silent. Later she said she thought he would not have been allowed. It would have been forbidden to him to mix in such serious matters - and moreover, he would probably not have known the answers himself.

Page 659

It was learned, further, that from her childhood up Ellen had had visions, though at widely separated intervals of time; visions, visible and invisible. What sort of thing were they, now - in­visible visions? Well, for example: when she was a girl of sixteen, she had been sitting one day alone in the living-room of her parents' house, sewing at a round table, with her father's dog Freia lying near her on the carpet..The table was covered with a Turkish shawl, of the kind old women wear three-cornered across their shoulders. It covered the table diagonally, with the corners some­what hanging over. Suddenly Ellen had seen the corner nearest her roll slowly up. Soundlessly, carefully, and evenly it turned itself up, a good distance toward the centre of the table, so that the resultant roll was rather long; and while this was happening, the dog Freia started up wildly, bracing her forefeet, the hair rising on her body. She had stood on her hind legs, then run howliog into the next room and taken refuge under a sofa. For a whole year thereafter she could not be persuaded to set foot in the living-room.
Was it Holger, Fraulein Kleefeld asked, who had rolled up the cloth? Little Brand did not know. And what had she thought about the affair? But since it was absolutely impossible to think anything about it, little Elly had thought nothing at all. Had she told her parents? No. That was odd. Though so sure she had thought nothing about it, Elly had had a distinct impression, in this and similar cases, that she must keep it to herself, make a profound and shamefaced secret of it. Had she taken it much to heart? No, not particularly. What was there about the roiling up of a cloth to take to heart? But other things she had - for example, the following:
A year before, in her parent's house at Odense, she had risen, as was her custom, in the cool of the early morning and left her room on the ground-floor, to go up to the breakfast-room, in order to brew the moming coffee before her parents rose. She had almost reached the landing, where the stairs turned, when she saw standing there close by the steps her elder sister Sophie, who had married and gone to Amenca to live. There she was, her physical presence, in a white gown, with, curiously enough, a garland of moist water-lilies on her head, her hands folded against one shoulder, and nodded to her sister. Ellen, rooted to the spot, half joyful, half terrified, cried out: "Oh, Sophie, is that you? " Sophie had nodded once again, and dissolved. She became gradually transparent, soon she was only visible as an ascending current of warm air, then not visible at all. so that Ellen's / Page 660 / path was clear. Later, it transpired that Sister Sophie had died of heart trouble in New Jersey, at that very hour.

Hans Castorp, when Fraulein Kleefeld related this to him, expressed the view that there was some sort of sense in it: the apparition here, the death there - after all, they did hang together. And he consented to be present at a spiritualistic sitting, a table-tipping, glass-moving game which they had determined to undertake with Ellen Brand, behind Dr. Krokowski's back, and in defiance of his jealous prohibition.

A small and select group assembled for the purpose, their theatre being Fraulein Kleefeld's room. Besides the hostess, Fraulein Brand, and Hans Castorp, there were only Frau Stohr, Fraulein Levi, Herr Albin, the Czech Wenzel, and Dr. Ting-Fu. In the evening, on the stroke of ten, they gathered privily, and in whispers mustered the apparatus Hermine had provided, consisting of a medium­sized round table without a cloth, placed in the centre of the room, with a wineglass upside-down upon it, the foot in the air. Round the edge of the table, at regular intervals, were placed twenty-six little bone counters, each with a letter of the alphabet written on it in pen and ink. Fraulein Kleefeld served tea, which was gracefully received, as Frau Stohr and Fraulein Levi, despite the harmlessness of the undertaking, complained of cold feet and palpitations. Cheered by the tea, they took their places about the table, in the rosy twilight dispensed by the pink-shaded table­lamp, as Fraulein Kleefeld, in concession to the mood of the gathering, had put out the ceiling light; and each of them laid a finger of his right hand lightly on the foot of the wineglass. This was the prescribed technique. They waited for the glass to move.
That should happen with ease. The top of the table was smooth, the rim of the grass well ground, the pressure of the tremulous fingers, howe!ver lightly laid on, certainly unequal, some of it being exerted vertically, some rather sidewise, and probably in sufficient strength to cause the glass finally to move from its position in the centre of the table. On the periphery of its field it would come in contact with the marked counters; and if the letters on these, when put together, made words that conveyed any sort of sense, the resultant phenomenon would be complex and contaminate, a mixed product of conscious, half-conscious, and unconscious elements; the actual desire and pressure of some, to whom the wish was father to the act, whether or not they were aware of what they did; and the secret acquiescence of some dark stratum in the soul of the generality, a common if subterranean effort toward seemingly strange experiences, in which the sup / Page 661 / pressed self of the individual was more or less involved, most strongly, of course, that of little Elly. This they all knew be­forehand - Hans Castorp even blurted out something of the sort, after his fashion, as they sat and waited. The ladies' palpitation and cold extremities, the forced hilarity of the men, arose from their knowledge that they were come together in the night to embark on an unclean traffic with their own natures, a fearsome prying into unfamiliar regions of themselves, and that they were awaiting the appearance of those illusory or half-realities which we call magic. It was almost entirely for form's sake, and came about quite conventionally, that they asked the spirits of the departed to speak to them through the movement of the glass. Herr Albin offered to be spokesman and deal with such spirits as manifested themselves - he had already had a little experience at seances.
Twenty minutes or more went by. The whisperings had run dry, the first tension relaxed. They supported their right arms at the elbow with their left hands. The Czech Wenzel was al­most dropping off. Ellen Brand rested her finger lightly on the glass and directed her pure, childlike gaze away into the rosy light from the table-lamp.
Suddenly the glass tipped, knocked, and ran away from under their hands. They had difficulty in keeping their fingers on it. It pushed over to the very edge of the table, ran along it for a space, then slanted back nearly to the middle; tapped again, and remained quiet.
They were all Startled; favourably, yet with some alarm. Frau Stohr whimpered that she would like to stop, but they told her she should have thought of that before, she must just keep quiet now. Things seemed in train. They stipulated that, in order to answer yes or no, the glass need not run to the letters, but might give one or two knocks instead.
" Is there an Intelligence present? " Herr Albin asked, severely directing his gaze over their heads into vacancy. After some hesitation, the glass tipped and said yes.
" What is your name? " Herr Albin asked, almost gruffly, and emphasized his energetic speech by shaking his head.
The glass pushed off. It ran with resolution from one point te another, executing a zigzag by returning each time a little distance toward the centre of the table. It visited H, O, and L, then seemed exhausted; but pulled itself together again and sought out the G, and E, and the R. Just as they thought. It was Holger in person, the spirit Holger, who understood such matters as the / Page 662 / pinch of salt and that, but knew better than to mix into lessons at school. He was there, floating in the air, above the heads of the little circle. What should they do with him? A certain diffidence possessed them; they took counsel behind their hands, what they were to ask him. Herr Albin decided to question him about his position and occupation in life, and did so, as before, severely, with frowning brows; as though he were a cross-examining counsel.
The glass was silent awhile. Then it staggered over to the P, zigzagged and returned to O. Great suspense. Dr. Ting-Fu giggled and said Holger must be a poet. Frnu Stohr began to laugh hysterically; which the glass appeared to resent, for after indi­cating the E it stuck and went no further. However, it seemed fairly clear that Dr. Ting-Fu was right.
What the deuce, so Holger was a poet? The glass revived, and superfluously, in apparent pridefulness, rapped yes. A lyric poet, Fraulein Kleefeld asked? She said lyric, as Hans Castorp involuntarily noted. Holger was disinclined to specify. He gave no new answer, merely spelled out again, this time quickly and unhesitatingly, the word poet, adding the T he had left off before.
Good, then, a poet. The constraint increased. It was a con­straint that in realIty had to do with manifestations on the part of uncharted regions of their own inner, their subjective selves, but which, because of the illusory, half-actual conditions of these manifestations, referred itself to the objective and external. Did Holger feel at home, and content, in his present state? Dreamily, the glass spelled out the word tranquil. Ah, tranquil It was not a word one would have hit upon oneself, but after the glass spelled it out, they found it well chosen and probable. And how long had Holger been in ,this tranquil state? The answer to this was again something one would never have thought of, and dreamily answered; it was "A hastening while." Very good. As a piece of ventriloquistic poesy from the Beyond, Hans Castorp, in particular, found it capital. A " hastening while" was the time-element Holger lived in: and of course he had to answer as it were in parables, having very likely forgotten how to use earthly terminofogy and standards of exact measurement. Fraulein Levi confessed her curiosity to know how he looked, or had looked, more or less. Had he been a handsome youth? Here Albin said she might ask him herself, he found the request beneath his dignity. So she asked if the spirit had fair hair.
"Beautiful, brown, brown curls," the glass responded, deliberately spelling out the word brown twice. There was much merri­ / Page 663 / ment over this. The ladies said they were in love with him. They kissed their hands at the ceiling. Dr. Ting-Fu, giggling, said Mister Holger must be rather vain.
Ah, what a fury the glass fell into! It ran like mad about the table, quite at random, rocked with rage, fell over and rolled into Frau Stohr's lap, who stretched out her anns and looked down at it pallid with fear. They apologetically conveyed it back to its station, and rebuked the Chinaman. How had he dared to say such a thing - did he see what his indiscretion had led to? Suppose Holger was up and off in his wrath, and refused to say another word!
They addressed themselves to the glass with the extreme of courtesy. WouId Holger not make up some poetry for them? He had said he was a poet, before he went to hover in the hastening while. Ah, how they all yearned to hear him versify! They would love it so!
And lo, the good glass yielded and said yes! Truly there was something placable and good-humoured about the way it tapped. And then Holger the spirit began to poetize, and kept it up, copiously, circumstantially, without pausing for thought, for dear knows how long. It seemed impossible to stop him. And what a surprising poem it was, this ventriloquistic effort, delivered to the admiration of the circle - stuff of magic, and shoreless as the sea of which it largely dealt. Sea-wrack in heaps and bands along the narrow strand of the broad-flung bay; an islanded coast, girt by steep, cllify dunes. Ah, see the dim green distance faint and die into eternity, while beneath broad veils of mist in dull cannine and milky radiance the sununer sun delays to sink! No word can utter how and when the watery mirror turned from silver into untold changeful colour-play, to bright or pale, to spreading, opaline and moonstone gleams - or how, mysteriously as it came, the voice­less magic died away. The sea slumbered. Yet the last traces of the sunset linger above and beyond. Until deep in the night it has not
grown dark: a ghostly twilight reigns in the pine forests on the downs, bleaching the sand until it looks like snow- A simulated winter forest all in silence, save where an owl wings rustling flight. Let us stray here at this hour - so soft the sand beneath our tread, so sublime, so mild the night! Far beneath us the sea respires slowly, and murmurs a long whispering in its dream. Does it crave thee to see it again? Step forth to the sallow, glacierlike cliffs of the dunes, and climb quite up into the softness, that runs coolly into thy shoes. The land falls harsh and bushy steeply down to the pebbly shore, and still the last parting remnants of the day haunt the edge of the vanishing sky. Lie down here in the sand! How cool as death it is, / Page 664 / how soft as silk, as flour! It flows in a colourless, thin stream from thy hand and makes a dainty little mound beside thee. Dost thou recognize it, this tiny flowing? It is the soundless, tiny stream through the hour-glass, that solemn, fragile toy that adorns the hermit's hut. An open book, a skull, and in its slender frame the double glass, holding a little sand, taken from eternity, to prolong here, as time, its troubling, solemn, mysterious essence. . . .


Thus Holger the spirit and his lyric improvisation, ranging with weird flights of thought from the familiar sea-shore to the cell of a hermit and the tools of his mystic contemplation. And there waf more; more, human and divine, involved in daring and dreamlike terminology - over which the members of the little circle puzzled endlessly as they spelled it out; scarcely finding time for hurried though raptUrous applause, so swiftly did the glass zigzag back and forth, so swiftly the words roll on and on. There was no distant prospect of a period, even at the end of an hour. The glass improvised inexhaustibly of the pangs of birth and the first kiss of lovers; the crown of sorrows, the fatherly goodness of God; plunged into the mysteries of creation, lost itself in other times and lands, in interstellar space; even mentioned the Chaldeans and the zodiac; and would "most, certainly have gone on all night, if the conspirators had not finally taken their fingers from the glass, and expressing their gratitude to Holger, told him that must suffice them for the time, it had been wonderful beyond their wildest dreams, it was an everlasting pity there had been no one at hand to take it down, for now it must inevitably be forgotten, yes, alas, they had already forgotten most of it, thanks to its quality, which made it hard to retain, as dreams are. Next time they must appoint an amanuensis to take it down, and see how it would look m black and white, and read connectedly. For the moment, however, and before Holger withdrew to the tranquillity of his hastening while, it would be better, and certainly most amiable of him, if he would consent to answer a few practical questions. They scarcely as yet knew what, but would he at least be in principle inclined to do so, in his great amiability?
The answer was yes. But now they discovered a great perplexity - what should they ask? It was as in the fairy-story, when the fairy or elf grants one question, and there is danger of letting the precious advantage slip through the fingers. There was much in the world, much of the future, that seemed worth knowing, yet it was so difficult to choose. At length, as no one else seemed able to settle, Hans Castorp, with his finger on the glass, supporting his cheek on his fist, said he would like to know what was to be / Page 665 / the actual length of his stay up here, instead of the three weeks originally fixed.
Very well, since they thought of nothing better, let the spirit out of the fullness of his knowledge answer this chance query. The glass hesitated, then pushed off. It spelled out something very queer, which none of them succeeded In fathoming, it made the word, or the syllable Go, and then the word Slanting and then something about Hans Castorp's room. The whole seemed to be a direction to go slanting through Hans Castorp's room, that was to say, through number thirty-four. What was the sense of that? As they sat puzzling and shaking their heads, suddenly there came the heavy thump of a fist on the door.
They all jumped. Was it a surprise? Was Dr. Krokowski standing without, come to break up the forbidden session? They looked up guiltily, expecting the betrayed one to enter. But then came a crashing knock on the middle of the table, asif to testify that the first knock too had come from the inside and not the outside of the room.
They accused Herr Albin of perpetrating this rather contemptible jest, but he denied it on his honour; and even without his word they all felt fairly certain no one of their circle was guilty. Was it Holger, then? They looked at Elly, suddenly struck by her silence. She was leaning back in her chair, with drooping wrists and finger-tips poised on the table-edge, her head bent on one shoulder, her eyebrows raised, her little mouth drawn down so that it looked even smaller. with a tiny smile that had something both silly and sly about it, and gazing into space with vacant, childlike blue eyes. They called to her, but she gave no sign of consciousness. And suddenly the night-table light went out.
Went out? Frau Stohr, beside herself, made great outcry, for she had heard the switch turned. The light, then, had not gone out, but been put out, by a hand - a hand which one characterized afar off in calling it a "strange" hand. Was it Holger's? Up to then he had been so mild, so tractable, so poetic - but now he seemed to degenerate into clownish practical jokes. Who knew that a hand which could so roundly thump doors and tables, and knavishly turn off lights, might not next catch hold of'someone's throat? They called for matches, for pocket torches. Fraulein Levi shrieked out that someone had pulled her front hair. Frau Stohr made no bones Of calling aloud on God in her ,distress: "O Lord. forgive me this once! " she moaned, and whimpered for mercy instead of justice. well knowing she had tempted hell. It was Dr. Ting-Fu who hit on the sound idea of turning on the ceiling light; / Page 666 / the room was brilliantly illuminated straightway. They now es­tablished that the lamp on. the night-table had not gone out by chance, but been turned off, and only needed to have the switch turneded back in order to bum again. But while this was happening, Hans Castorp made on his own account a most singular discovery, ·which ·might be regarded as a personal attention on the part of the dark powers here manifesting themselves with such childish perversity. A light. object lay in his lap; he .discovered it to be the"souvenir" which had once so surpnsed his uncle when he lifted It from his nephew's. table: the glass diapositive of Claudia Chauchat's x-ray portrait. Quite uncontestably he, Hans Castorp,.had not carried it into the room.

He put it into his pocket, unobservably. The others were busied about Ellen Brand, who remained sitting in her place in the same state, staring vacantly, with that curious simpering expression. Herr Albin blew in her face and imitated the upward sweeping motion of Dr. Krokowski, upon which she roused, and incontinently wept a little. They caressed and comforted her, kissed her on the forehead and sent her to bed. Fraulein Levi said she was willing to sleep with Frau Stohr, for that abject creature confessed she was too frightened to go to bed alone. Hans Castorp, with his, retrieved property in his breast pocket, had no objection to finishing off the evening with a cognac in Herr Albin's room. He had discovered, in fact, that this sort of thing affected neither the heart nor the spirits So much as the nerves of the stomach - a retroactive effect, like seasickness, which sometimes troubles the traveller with qualms hours after he has set foot on shore.

His curiosity was for the was for the time quenched. Holger's poem had not oeen so bad; but the antlclpated futility and vulgarity of the scene as a whole had been so unmistakable that he felt quite willing to let it go at these few vagrant sparks of hell-fire. Herr Settembrini, to whom he related his experiences, strengthened this conviction with all his force. "That," he cried out, "was all that was lacking. Oh, misery, misery! " And cursorily dismissed little Elly as a thorough-paced impostor.

His pupil said neither yea nor nay to that. He shrugged his Shoulders, and expressed the view that we did not seem to be altogether sure what constituted actuality, nor yet, in consequence, what imposture. Perhaps the boundary line was not constant. Perhaps there were transitional stages between. the two, grades of actuality within nature; nature being as she was, mute, not susceptihle of valuation, and thus defying distinctions which in any case, it seemed to him, had a strongly moralizing flavour. What / Page 667 / did Herr Settembrini think about delusions which were a mixture of actuality and dream, perhaps less strange in nature than to our crude, everyday processes of thought? The mystery of life was literally bottomless. What wonder, then, if sometimes illusions arose - and so on and so forth, in our hero's genial, confiding, loose and flowing style.

Herr Settembrini duly gave him a dressing-down, and did produce a temporary reaction of the conscience, even something like a promise to steer clear in the future of such abominations. "Have respect," he adjured him, " for your humanity, Engineer! Confide in your God-given power of clear thought, and hold in abhorrence these luxations of the brain, these miasmas of the spirit! Delusions? The mystery of life? Caro mio! When the moral courage to make decisions and distinctions between reality and deception degenerates to that point, then there is an end of life, of judgment, of the creative deed: the process of decay sets in, moral scepsis, and does its deadly work." Man, he went on to say, was the measure of things. His right to recognize and to distinguish between good and evil, reality and counterfeit, was indefeasible; woe to them who dared to lead him astray in his belief in this creative right. Better for them that a millstone be hanged about their necks and that they be drowned in the depth of the sea.

Hans Castorp nodded assent - and in fact did for a while .keep aloof from all such undertakings. He heard that Dr. Krokowski. had begun holding seances with Ellen Brand in his subterranean cabinet, to which certain chosen ones of the guests were invited. But he nonchalantly put aside the invitation to join them - naturally not without hearing from them and from Krokowski himself something about the success they were having. It appeared that there had been wild and arbitrary exhibitions of power, like those in Fraulein Kleefeld's room: knockings on walls and table, the turning off of the lamp, and these as well as further manifestations were .being systematically produced and investigated, with every possible safeguardmg of their genuineness, after Comrade Krokowskihad practised the approved technique and put little Elly into her. hypnotic sleep. They had discovered that the process was facilitated by music; and on these evenings the gramo­phone was pre-empted by the circle and carried down into the basement. But the Czech Wenzel who operated it there was a not unmusical man, and would surely not injure or misuse the instrument; Hans Castorp might hand it over without misgiving. He even chose a suitable album of records, containing light music-, dances, smaIl overtures and suchlike tunable trifles. Little Elly / Page 668 / made no demands on a higher art, and they served the purpose admirably.

To their accompaniment, Hans Castorp learned, a handkerchief had been lifted from the floor, of its own motion, or, rather, that of the ."hidden hand" in its folds. The doctor's waste-paper­basket: had risen to the ceiling; the pendulum of a clock been afternately stopped and set going again" without anyone touching it," a table-bell " taken" and rung.- these and a good many other turbid and meaningless phenomena. The learned master of ceremonies was in the happy position of being able to characterize them by a Greek word, very scientific and impressive. They were, so he. explained in his lectures. and in private conversations, "telekinetic' phenomena, cases of movement from a distance; he associated them with a class of manifestations which were scientifically known as materializations, and toward which his plans and attempts with Elly Brand were directed.

He talked to them about biopsychical projections of subconscious complexes into the objective; about transactions of which the medial constitution, the somnambulic state, was to be regarded as the source; and which one might speak of as objectivated dream­concepts, in so far as they confirmed an ideoplastic property of nature; a power, which under certain conditions appertained to thought, of drawing substance to itself, and clothing itself in temporary reality. This substance streamed out from the body of the medium, and developed extraneously into biological, living end­organs, these being .the agencies which had performed the extraordinary though meaningless feats they witnessed in Dr. Krokowski's laboratory. Under some conditions these agencies might be seen or touched, the limbs left their impression in wax or plaster. But some.­times the matter did not rest with such corporealization. Under certain conditions, human heads, faces, full-length phantoms manifested themselves before the eyes of the experimenters, even within certain limits entered into contact with them. And here Dr. Krokowski's doctrine began, as it were, to squint; to look two ways at once. It took on a shifting and fluctuating character, like the method .of treatment he had adopted in his exposition of the nature of love. It was no longer plain-sailing, scientific treatment of the - objectively mirrored subjective content of the medium and her passive auxiliaries. It was a mixing in the game, at least sometimes, lit least half and half, of entities from without and beyond. It dealt - at least possibly, if not quite adinittedly - with the non-vital, with existences that took advantage of a ticklish, mysteriously and momentarily favouring chance to return to substantiality and show / Page 669 / themselves to their summoners.., in brief, with the spiritualistic invocation of the departed.

Such manifestations it was that Comrade Krokowski, with the assistance of his followers, was latterly striving to produce; sturdily, with his ingratiating smile, challenging their cordial confidence, thoroughly at home; for his own person, in this questionable morass of the subhuman, and a born leader for the timid and compunctious in the regions where they now moved. He had laid himself out to develop and discipline the extraordinary powers of Ellen Brand and, from what Hans Castorp could hear, fortune smiled upon his efforts. Some of the party had felt the touch of materialized hands. Lawyer Paravant had received out of transcendency a sounding slap on the cheek, and had countered with scientific alacrity, yes, had even eagerly turned the other cheek, heedless of his quality as gentleman, jurist, and one-time member of a duelling corps, all of which would have constrained him to quite a different line of conduct had the blow been of terrestrial origin. A. K. Ferge, that good-natured martyr, to whom all " high­brow" thought was foreign, had one evening held such a spirit hand in his own, and established by sense of touch that it was whole and well shaped. His clasp had been heart-felt to the limits of respect; but it had in some indescribable fashion escaped him. A considerable period elapsed, some two months and a half of bi­weekly sittings, before a hand of other-worldly origin, a young man's hand, it seemed, came .fingering over the table, in the red glow of the paper-shaded lamp, and, plain to the eyes of all the circle, left its imprint in an earthenware basin full of flour. And eight days later a troop of Krokowski's workers, Herr Albin, Frau Stohr, the Magnuses, burst in upon Hans Castorp where he sat dozing toward midnight in the biting cold of his balcony, and with every mark of distracted and feverish delight, their words tumbling over one another, announced that they had seen Elly's Holger - he had showed his head over the shoulder of the little medium, and had in truth "beautiful brown, brown curls." He had smiled with such unforgettable, gentle melancholy as he vanished!

Hans Castorp found this lofty melancholy scarcely consonant with Holger's other pranks, his impish and simple-minded tricks, the anything but gently melancholy slap he had given Lawyer Paravant and the latter had pocketed up. It was apparent that one must not demand consistency of conduct. Perhaps they were dealing with a temperament like that of the little hunch-backed man in the nursery song, with his pathetic wickedness and his' craving for intercession. Holger's admirers had no -thought for all this / Page 670 / What they were determined to do was to persuade Hans Castorp rescind his decree; positively, now that everything was so brilliantly in train, he must be present at the next seance. Elly, it seemed, in her trance had promised to materialize the spirit of any departed person the circle chose.

Any departed person they chose? Hans Castorp still showed reluctance. But that it might be any person they chose occupied his mind to such an extent that in the next three days he came to a different conclusion. Strictly speaking it was not three days, but as many minutes, which brought about the change. One evening, in a solitary hour in the music-room, he played again the record that bore the imprint of Valentine's personality, to him so profoundly moving. He sat there listening to the soldierly prayer of the hero departing for the field of honour:

"If God should summon me away,

Thee I would watch and guard -alway,

O Marguerite! " -

and, as ever, Hans Castorp was filled by emotion at the sound, an emotion which this time circumstances magnified and as it were ndensed into a longing; he thought: "Barren and sinful or no, it. would be a marvellous thing, a darling adventure! And he, as I know him, if he had anything to do with it, would not mind." He recalled that composed and liberal" Certainly, of course," he had heard in the darkness of the x-ray laboratory, when he asked Joahim if he might commit certain optical indiscretions.

The next morning he announced his willingness to take part in the evening seance; and half an hour after dinner joined the group of familiars of tl1e uncanny, who, unconcernedly chatting, took their way down to the basement; They were all old inhabitants, the-oldest of the old, or at least of long standing in the group, like the Czech Wenzel and Dr. Ting-Fu; Ferge and Wehsal, Lawyer Paravant, the ladies KIeefeld and Levi, and, in addition, those persons who had come to his balcony to announce to him the apparition of Holger's head, and of course the medium, Elly Brand.

That child of thee north was already in the doctor's charge when Hans Castorp passed through the door with the visiting-card: the doctor, in his black tunic, his arm laid fatherly across her shoulder, stood at the foot of the stair leading from the basement floor and welcomed the guests, and she with him. Everybody greeted everybody else, with surprising hilarility and expansiveness -It seemed to be the common aim to keep the meeting pitched in a key free from all solemnity or constraint. They- talked in loud, cheery voices, / Page 671 / "poked each other in the ribs, showed everyway how perfectly at ease they felt. Dr. Krokowski's yellow teeth kept gleaming in his beard with every hearty, confidence-inviting sinile; he repeated his "Wel - come" to each arrival, with special fervour in Hans Castorp's case - who, for his .part, said nothing at all, and whose manner was hesitating. "Courage, comrade," Krokowski's energetic and hospitable nod seemed to be saying, as he gave the young man's hand an almost violent squeeze. No need here to hang the head, here is no cant nor sanctimoniousness, nothing but the blithe and manly spirit of disinterested research. But Hans Castorp felt none the better for all this pantomime. He summed up the resolve formed by the memories of the x ray cabinet; but the train of thought hardly fitted with his present frame; father he was reminded of the peculiar and unforgettable mixture of feelings ­ nervousness, pridefulness, curiosity, disgust, and awe - with which, years ago, he had gone with some fellow students, a little tipsy, to a brothel in Sankt-Pauli.

As everyone was now present, Dr. Krokowski selected two controls - they were, for the evening, Frau Magnus and the ivory Levi - to preside over the physical examination of the medium, and they withdtew to the next room. Hans Castorp and the re­maining nine persons awaited in the consulting-room the issue of the austerely scientific procedure - which was invariably without any result whatever. The room was familiar to him from the hours he had spent here, behind Joachim's back, in conversation with the psycho-analyst. It had a writing-desk, an arm-chair and an easy­chair for patients on the left, the window side; a library of reference-books on shelves to right and left of the side door, and in the' further right-hand corner a chaise-longue, covered with oilcloth, separated by a folding screen from the desk and chairs. The doctor's glass instrument-case also stood in that corner, in another was a bust of Hippocrates, while an engraving of Rembrandt's " Anatomy Lesson" hung above the gas fire-place on the right side wall. It was an ordinary consulting-room, like thousands more; but with certain temporary special arrangements. The round mahogany table whose place was in the centre of the room, beneath the electric chandelier, upon the red carpet that covered most of the floor, had been pushed forward against the left-hand wall, beneath the plaster bust; while a smaller table, covered with a cloth and bearing a red-shaped lamp, had been set obliquely near the gas fire, which was lighted and giving out a dry heat. Another electric bulb, covered with "red and further with a black gauze veil, hung above the table. On this table stood certain notorious objects: two / Page 672 / table-bells, of different patterns, one to shake and one to press, the plate with flour, and the paper-basket. Some dozen chairs of different shapes and sizes surrounded the table in a half-circle, one end of which was formed by the foot of the chaise-longue, the other ending near the centre of the room, beneath the ceiling light. Here, in the neighbourhood of the last chair, and about half-way to the door, stood the gramophone; the album of light trifles lay on a chair next it. Such were the arrangements. The red lamps were yet lighted, the ceiling light was shedding an effulgence as of common day, for the window, above the narrow end of the writing-desk, was shrouded in a dark covering, with its open-work cream-coloured blind hanging down in front of it.

After ten minutes the doctor returned with the three ladies. Elly's outer appearance had changed: she was not wearing her ordinary clothes, but a night-gownlike garment of white crepe, girdled about the waist by a cord, leaving her slender arms bare. Her maidenly breasts showed themselves soft and unconfined beneath this garment, it appeared she wore little else.

They all hailed her gaily. "Hullo, Elly!, How lovely she looks again! A perfect fairy! Very pretty, my angel! " She smiled at their compliineilts to her attire, probably well knowing it became her. "Preliminary' control negative," Krokowski announced. "Let's get to work, then, comrades," he said. Hans Castorp, consious of being disagreeably affected by the doctor's manner of address, was about to follow the example. of the others, who, shouting, chattering, slapping each other on the shoulders, were settling themselves'in the circle of chairs, when the doctor addressed him personally.

"My friend," said he, "you are a guest, perhaps a novice, in our midst, and therefore I should like, this evening, to pay you special honour. I confide to you the control of the medium. Our practice is as follows." He ushered the young man toward the end of the circle next the chaise-longue and the screen, where Elly was seated on. an ordinary cane chair, with her face turned rather toward the entrance door than to the centre of the room. He himself sat down close in front of her in another such chair, and clasped her hands, at the same time holding both her knees fiirmly between his own. "Like'that," he, said. and gave his place to Hans Castorp, who assumed the same position. "You'll grant that the arrest is complete. But we shall give you assistance too. Fraulem KIeefeld, may I implore you to lend us your aid?" And the lady. thus courteousfy and exotically entreated came and sat down. clasping Elly's fragile wrists, one in each hand.
Redbeck
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Re: THE MAGIC MOUNTAIN

Post by Redbeck »

THE MAGIC MOUNTAIN

Thomas Mann 1824-1955


Page 673

Unavoidable, that Hans Castorp should look into the face of the young prodigy, fixed as it was so immediately before his own. Their eyes met - but Elly's slipped aside and gazed with natural self-consciousness in her lap. She was smiling a little affectedly, with her lips slightly pursed, and her head on one side, as she had at the wineglass seance. And Hans Castorp was reminded, as he saw her, of something else: the look on Karen Karstedt's face, a smile just like that, when she stood with Joachim and himself and regarded the unmade grave in the Dorf graveyard.

The circle had sat down. They were thirteen persons; not counting the Czech Wenzel, whose function it was to serve Polyhymnia, and who accordingly, after putting his instrument in readiness, squatted with his guitar at the back of the circle. Dr. Krokowski sat beneath the chandelier, at the other end of the row, after he had turned on both red lamps with a single switch, and turned off the centre light. A darkness, gently aglow, layover the room, the corners and distances were obscured. Only the surface of the little table and its immediate vicinity were illumined by a pale rosy light. During the next few minutes one scarcely saw one's neighbours; then their eyes slowly accustomed themselves to the darkness and made the best use of the light they had - which was slightly reinforced by the small dancing flames from the chimney piece.

The doctor devoted a few words to this matter of the lighting, and excused its lacks from the scientific point of view. They must take care not to interpret it in the sense of deliberate mystification and scene-setting. With the best will in the world they could not, unfortunately, have 'more light for the present. The nature of the powers they were to study would not permit of their being developed with white light, it was not possible thus to produce the desired conditions. This was a fixed postulate, with which they must for the present reckon. Hans Castorp, for his part, was quite satisfied. He liked the darkness, it mitigated the queerness of the situation. And in its justification he recalled the darkness of the x-ray room, and how they had collected themselves, and "washed their "eyes" in it, before they" "saw."

The medium, Dr. Krokowski went on, obviously addressing his words to Hans Castorp in particular, no longer needed to be put in the trance by the physician. She fell into it herself, as the control would see, and once she had done so, it would be her guardian spirit Holger, who spoke with her voice, to whom, and not to her, they should address themselves. Further, it was an error, which might result in failure, to suppose that one must bend mind or will / Page 674 / upon the expected phenomena. On the contrary, a slightly diffused attention, with conversation, was recommended. And Hans Castorp was cautioned, whatever else he did, not to lose control of the medium's extremities. '

We will now form the chain," finished Dr. Krokowski; and they did so, laughing when they could not find each other's hands in the dark. Dr. Ting-Fu, sitting next Hermine Kleefeld, laid his right hand on her shoulder and reached his left to Herr Wehsal, who came next. Beyond him were Herr and Frau Magnus, then K. Ferge; who, if Hans Castorp mistook not, held the hand of the ivory Levi on his right - and so on. "Music!" the doctor commanded, and behind him his neighbour the Czech set the instrument in motion and placed the needle, on the disk. "Talk!" Krokowski bade them, and as the first bars of an overture by Millocker were heard, they obediently bestirred themselves to make conversation, about nothing at all: the winter snow-fall, the last course at dinner, a newly arrived patient, a departure, "wild" or otherwise - artificially sustained, half drowned by the music, and lapsing now and again. So some minutes passed.

The record had not run out before Elly shuddered violently. trembling ran through her, she sighed, the upper part of her body sank forward so that her forehead rested against Hans Castorp's, and her arms, together with those of her guardians, began: make extraordinary pumping motions to and fro.

"Trance," announced the Kleefeld. The music stopped, so also conversation. In the abrupt silence they heard the baritone drawl of the doctor. "Is Holger present? "

Elly shivered again. She swayed in her chair. Then Hans Castorp felt her press his two hands with a quick, firm pressure.

"She pressed my hands," he informed them.

"He," the doctor corrected him. "He pressed your hands. He is present. Wel-come, Holger," he went on with unction." Wel-come, friend and fellow comrade, heartily, heartily wel-come. And remember, when you were last with us," he went on, and Hans Castorp remarked that he did not use the form of address common to the civilized West - "you promised to make visible to our mortal eyes some dear departed, whether brother soul or sister soul, whose name should be given to you by our circle. Are you willing? Do you feel yourself able to perform what you promised? "

Again Elly shivered. She sighed and shivered as the answer came. Slowly she carried her hands and those of her guardians to her fore- / Page 675 / head, where she let them rest. Then close to Hans Castorp's ear she whispered: "Yes."

The warm breath immediately at his ear caused in our friend that phenomenon of the epidermis popularly called goose-flesh, the nature of which the Hofrat had once explained to him. We mention this in order to make a distinction between the psychical and ·the purely physical. There could scarcely be talk of fear, for our hero was in fact thinking: "Well, she is certainly biting off more than she can chew!" But then he was straightway seized with a mingling of sympathy and consternation springing from the confusing and illusory circumstance that a blood-young creature, whose hands he held in his, had just breathed a yes into his ear.

"He said yes," he reported, and felt embarrassed.

"Very well, then, Holger," spoke Dr. Krokowski. "We shall take you at your word. We are confident you will do your part. The name of the dear departed shall shortly be communicated to you. Comrades," he turned to the gathering, " out with it, now! Who has a wish? Whom shall our friend Holger show us? "

A silence followed: Each waited for the other to speak. Individually they had probably all questioned themselves, in these last few days; they knew whither their thoughts tended. But the calling back of the dead, or the desirability of calling them back, was a ticklish matter, after all. At bottom, and boldly confessed, the desire does not exist; it is a misapprehension precisely as impossible as the thing itself, as we should soon see if nature once let it happen. What we call mourning for our dead is perhaps not so much grief at not being able to call them back as it is grief at not being able to want to do so.

This was what they were all obscurely feeling; and since it was here simply a question not of an actual return, but merely a theatrical staging of one, in which they should only see the departed, no more, the thing seemed humanly unthinkable; they were afraid to look into the face of him or her of whom they thought, and each one would willingly have resigned his right of choice to the next. Hans Castorp too, though there was echoing in his ears that large-hearted "Of course, of course" out of the past, held back, and at the last moment was rather inclined to pass the choice on. But the pause was too long; he turned his head toward their leader, and said; in a husky voice: "I should like to see my departed cousin, Joachim Ziemssen."

That was a relief to them all. Of those present, all excepting Dr. Ting-Fu, Wenzel, and the medium had known the person asked / Page 676 / for. The others, Ferge, Wehsal, Herr Albin, Paravant, Herr and Frau Magnus, Frau Stohr, Fraulein Levi, and the Kleefeld, loudly announced their satisfaction with the choice. Krokowski himself nodded well pleased, though his relations with Joachim had always been rather cool, owing to the latter's reluctance in the matter of psycho-analysis.

" Very good indeed," said the doctor. "Holger, did you hear? The person named was a stranger to you in life. Do you know him in the Beyond, and are you prepared to lead him hither?

Immense suspense. The sleeper swayed, sighed, and shuddered. he seemed to be seeking, to be struggling; falling this way and that, whispering now to Hans Castorp, now to the Kleefeld, something they could not catch. At last he received from her hands the pressure that meant yes. He announced himself to have done so. and-

"Very well;-then," cried Dr. Krokowski. "To work, Holger Music," he cried. "Conversation! "and he repeated the injunction that no fixing of the attention, no strained anticipation was in place, only an unforced and hovering expectancy.

And now followed the most extraordinary hours of our hero's young life. Yes, though his later fate is unclear, though at a certain moment in his destiny he will vanish from our eyes, we may assume them to have been the most extraordinary he ever spent.

They were hours - more than two of them, to be explicit, counting in a brief intermission in the efforts on Holger's part which now began, or rather, on the girl Elly's - of work so hard and so prolonged that they were all toward the end inclined to be faint­hearted and despair of any result; out of pure pity, too, tempted to resign an attempt which seemed pitilessly hard, and beyond the delicate strength of her upon whom it was laid. We men, if we do not shirk our humanity, are familiar with an hour of life when we know this almost intolerable pity, which, absurdly enough no one else, can feel, this rebellious "Enough, no more! ' which is wrung from us, though it is not enough, and cannot or will not be enough. until it comes somehow or other to its appointed end. The reader knows we, speak of our husband- and fatherhood, of the act of birth, which Elly's wrestling did so unmistakably resemble that even he must recognize it who had never passed through this experience, even our young Hans Castorp; who, not having shirked life, now came to know, in such a guise, this act, so full of organic mysticism. In what a guise! To what an end! Under what circumstances! One could not regard as anything less than scandalous the sights and sounds in this red-lighted lying-in chamber, the / Page 677 / maidenly form of the pregnant one, bare-armed, in flowing night­robe; and then by contrast the ceaseless and senseless gramophone music, the forced conversation which the circle kept up at command, the cries of encouragement they ever and anon directed at the struggling one: "Hullo, Holger! Courage, man! It's coming, just keep it up, let it come, that's the way!" Nor do we except the person and situation of the "husband" - if we may regard in that light our young friend, who had indeed formed such a wish­ sitting there, with the knees of the little "mother" between his own, holding in his her hands, which were as wet as once little Leila's, so that he had constantly to be renewing his hold, not to let them slip.

For the gas fire in the rear of the circle radiated great heat. Mystical, consecrate? Ah, no, it was all rather noisy and vulgar, there in the red glow, to which they had now so accustomed their eyes that they could see the whole room' fairly well. The music and shouting were so like the revivalistic methods of the Salvation Army, they even made Hans Castorp think of the comparison, albeit he had never attended at a celebration by these cheerful zealots. It was in no eerie or ghostly sense that the scene affected the sympathetic one as mystic or mysterious, as conducing to solemnity; it was rather natural, organic - by virtue of the intimate association we have already referred to. Elly's exertions came in waves, after periods of rest, during which she hung sidewise from her chair in a totally relaxed and inaccessible condition, described by Dr. Krokowski as "deep trance." From this she would start up with a moan, throw herself about, strain and wrestle with her captors, whisper feverish, disconnected words, seem to be trying, with sidewise, jerking movements, to expel something; she would gnash her teeth, once even fastened them in Hans Castorp's sleeve.

This had gone on for more than an hour when the leader found it to the interest of all concerned to grant a brief intermission. The Czech Wenzel, who had introduced an enlivening variation by closing the gramophone. and striking up very expertly on his guitar, laid that instrument aside. They all drew a long breath and broke the circle. Dr. Krokowski strode over to the wall and switched on the ceiling lamp; the light flashed up glaringly, making them all blink. Elly, bent forward, her face almost in her lap, slumbered. She was busy too, absorbed in the oddest activity, with which the others appeared familiar, but which Hans Castorp watched. with attentive wonder. For some minutes together she moved the hollow of her hand to and from in the region of her hips: / Page 678 / carried the hand away from her body and then with scooping, raking motion drew It towards her, as though gathering something and pulling it in. Then, with a series of starts, she came to herself, blinked in her turn at the light with sleep-stiffened eyes and smiled.

She smiled affectedly, rather remotely. In truth, their solicitude· seemed wasted; she did not appear exhausted by her efforts. Perhaps she retained no memory of them. She sat down in the chair reserved for patients, by the writing-desk near the window, between the desk and the screen about the chaise-longue; gave the chair a turn so that she could support her elbow on the desk and look into the room; and remained thus, receiving their sympathetic glances and encouraging nods, silent during the whole intermission, which lasted fifteen minutes.

It was a beneficent pause, relaxed, and filled with peaceful satisfaction in respect of work already accomplished. The lids of cigarette-cases snapped, the men smoked comfortably, and standing.in groups discussed the prospects of the seance. They were far from despairing or anticipating a negative result to their efforts. Signs enough were present to prove such doubting uncalled for. Those sitting near the doctor, at the far-end of the row, agreed that they had several times felt, quite unmistakably, that current of cool air which regularly whenever manifestations. were under way streamed in a definite direction from the person of the medium. Others had seen light-phenomena, white spots, moving conglobations of forces showing themselves at intervals against the screen. In short, no faint-heartedness! No looking backward now they had put their hands to the plough: Holger had given his word they had no call to doubt that he would keep it.

Dr. Krokowski signed for the resumption of the sitting. He led Elly back to her martyrdom and seated her, stroking her hair. The others closed the circle. All went as before. Hans Castorp suggested that he be released from his post of first control, but Dr. Krokowski refused. He said he laid great stress on excluding, by immediate contact, every possibility of misleading manipulation on the part of the medium. So Hans Castorp took up again his strange position vis-a.-vis to Elly; the white light gave place to rosy twilight, the music began again, the pumping motions; this time it was Hans Castorp who announced 'trance." The scandalous lying-in proceeded.

With what distressful difficulty! It seemed unwilling to take its course - how could it? Madness! What maternity was this, what delivery, of what should she be delivered? " Help, help,". the child / Page 679 / moaned, and her spasms seemed about to pass over into that dangerous and unavailing stage obstetricians call eclampsia. She called at intervals on the doctor, that he should put his hands on' her. He did so, speaking to her encouragingly. The magnetic effect, if such it was, strengthened her to further efforts.

Thus passed the second hour, while the guitar was strummed or the gramophone gave out the contents of the album of light music into the twilight to which they had again accustomed their vision. Then came an episode, introduced by Hans Castorp. He supplied a stimulus by expressing an idea, a wish; a wish he had cherished from the beginning, and might perhaps have profitably expressed before now. Elly was lying with her face on their joined hands, in "deep trance." Herr Wenzel was just changing or reversing the record when our friend summoned his resolution and said he had a suggestion to make, of no great importance, yet perhaps - possibly - of some avail. He had - that is, the house possessed among its volumes of records - a. certain song, from Gounod's Faust, Valentine's Prayer, baritone with orchestral accompaniment, very appealing. He, the speaker, thought they might try the record.

"Why that particular one? " the doctor asked out of the darkness.

"A question of mood. Matter of feeling," the young man responded. The mood of the piece in question was peculiar to itself, quite special- he suggested they should try it. Just possible, not out of the question, that its mood and atmosphere might shorten their labours.

"Is the record here? " the doctor inquired.

No, but Hans Castorp could fetch it at once.

"What are you thinking of? " Krokowski promptly repelled the idea. What? Hans Castorp thought he might go and come again and take up his business where he had left it off? There spoke the voice of utter inexperience. Oh, no, it was impossible. It would upset everything, they would have to begin all over. Scientific exactitude forbade them to think of any such arbitrary going in and out. The door was locked. He, the doctor, had the key in his pocket. In short, if the record was not now in the room -

He was still talking when the Czech threw in, from the gramophone: "The record is here."

" Here? " Hans Castorp asked.

"Yes, here it is, Faust, Valentine's Prayer." It had been stuck by mistake in the album of light music, not in the green album of arias, where it belonged; quite by chance - or mismanagement / Page 680 / or carelessness, in any case luckily - it had partaken of the general topsyturvyness, and here it was, needing only to be put on.

"What had Hans Castorp to say to that? Nothing. It was the doctor who remarked: "So much the better," and some of the others chimed in. The needle scraped, the lid was put down. The male voice began to choral accompaniment: "Now the parting hour has come."

"No one spoke. They listened: Elly, as the music resumed, renewed her efforts. She started up convulsively, pumped, carried the slippery hands to her brow. The record went on, came to the middle part, with skipping rhythm, the part about war and danger, gallant, god-fearing, French. After that the finale, in full volume, the orchestrally supported refrain of the beginning.

"O Lord of heaven, hear me pray. . . ."

Hans Castorp had work with Elly. She raised herself, drew in a straggling breath, sighed a long, long, outward sigh, sank down and was still. He bent over her in concern, and as he did so, he heard Frau Stohr say; in a high, whining pipe: "Ziemssen! "

He did not look up. A bitter taste came in his mouth. He heard another voice, a deep, cold voice, saying: "I've seen him a long time."

The record had run off, with a. last accord of horns. But no one stopped the machine. The needle went on scratching in the silence, as the disk whirred round. Then Hans Castorp raised his head, and his eyes went, without searching, the right way.

"There was one more person in the room than before. There in the background, where the red rays lost themselves in gloom, so that the eye scarcely reached thither, between writing-desk and screen, in the doctor's consulting-chair, where in the intermission Elly had been sitting, Joachim sat. It was the Joachim of the last days, with hollow, shadowy cheeks, warrior's beard and full, curling lips. He sat leaning back, one leg crossed over the other.

On his wasted face, shaded though it was by his head-covering, was plainly seen the stamp of suffering, the expression of gravity mid austerity which had beautified it. Two folds stood on his brow, between the eyes, that lay deep in their bony cavities; but there was no change in the mildness of. the great dark orbs, whose quiet, friendly gaze sought out Hans Castorp, and him alone. That ancient grievance of the outstanding ears was still to be seen under the head-covering, his extraordinary head-covering, which they could not make out. Cousin Joachim was not in mufti. His sabre seemed to be leaning against his leg, he held the handle, one thought to distinguish something like a pistol-case in his belt. "But that was / Page 681 / no proper uniform he wore. No colour, no decorations; it had a collar like a litewka jacket, and side pockets. Somewhere low down on the breast was a cross. His feet looked large, his legs very thin, they seemed to be bound or wound as for the business of sport more than war. And what was it, this headgear? It seemed as though Joachim had turned an army cook-pot upside-down on his head, and fastened it under his chin with a band. Yet it looked quite properly warlike, like an old-fashioned foot-soldier, perhaps.

Hans Castorp felt Ellen Brand's breath on his hands. And near him the Kleefeld's rapid breathing. Other sound there was none, save the continued scraping of the needle on the run-down, rotating record, which nobody stopped. He looked at none of his company, would hear or see nothing of them; but across the hands and head on his knee leaned far forward and stared through the red darkness at the guest in the chair. It seemed one moment as though his stomach would turn over within him. His throat contracted and a four- or fivefold sob went through and through him. "Forgive me! " he whispered; then his eyes overflowed, he saw no more.

He heard breathless voices: "Speak to him! "he heard Dr. Krokowski's baritone voice summon him, formally, cheerily, and repeat the request. Instead of complying, he drew his hands away from beneath Elly's face, and stood up.

Again Dr. Krokowski called upon his name, this time in monitory tones. But in two strides Hans Castorp was at the step by.the entrance door and with one quick movement turned on the white light.

Fraulein Brand had collapsed. She was twitching convulsively in the Kleefeld's arms. The chair over there was empty.

Hans Castorp went up to the protesting Krokowski, close up to him. He tried to speak, but no words came. He put out his hand, with a brusque, imperative gesture. Receiving the key, he nodded several times, threateningly, close into the other's face; turned, and went out of-the room.


ELLY BRAND



Ellie Bland



Daily Mail

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mail Foreign Service

Girl, 4 dies in car horror on holiday beach

"She was beautiful, a princess': Ellie Bland

Page 28

A BRITISH girl of four was killed by a car as she walked along a popular U.S. beach with her family.
Ellie Bland was holding her great uncle's hand when she stepped into a car lane that runs along Daytona Beach, on Florida's east coast.

Although police said the vehicle was driving within the 10mph speed limit, she was sent flying.

Horrified witnesses screamed as the car halted. But before they could reach Ellie, the driver, Barbara Worley, 66, panicked and hit the accelerator, surging forward and hitting the girl - killing her instantly.

Ellie's parents, who were at home in Nottingham, learned of their daughter's death by phone. It is thought they flew out to Florida yesterday.

Enlarge Investigation: Florida Highway Patrol said Worley could face charges

Relatives said that her great uncle, John Langlands, 53, and his wife Karen, 44, had brought up Ellie and her five-year-old sister, believed to be called Kacey, since they were babies.

Ellie had survived serious health problems including a heart murmur and a digestive tract condition.

Last year she nearly died after contracting swine flu. The family regularly took holidays in Daytona Beach, where it is thought they had a holiday home.

The recent trip, with a group of friends from Britain, was Ellie's sixth. The Langlands had planned to take her to Disney's Magic Kingdom yesterday to dress up as the star of the film the Princess and the Frog.
Ellie was with her sister at the time of the tragedy and an older child, who has not been named.

Mrs Langlands said of the crash: 'It just took her. It's not real. You just bring them to the beach for the day. . . I can't believe it.'

Mr Langlands told police the car came 'barrelling down' on them and clipped Ellie. He broke down as he added: 'She was beautiful, a princess.'

Daytona Beach is one of the few beaches in America where cars are permitted to drive, because of its hard, compacted sand.

There are clearly marked lanes monitored by police, but officials said the high tide may have brought pedestrians and cars closer together than usual. It was also one of the first warm Saturdays of the year, meaning the beach was packed.

Last night, Ellie's family in Nottingham spoke of their grief.

A woman relative, who did not want to be named, said: 'Karen will be completely devastated.

'She can't have kids herself so she lived for Ellie - she took her all around the world.'

Worley, a U.S. tourist from Georgia, sat weeping in her car after the accident. She was not speeding or under the influence of alcohol, police said.

She is likely to a face only a minor traffic infringement charge rather than the more serious one of vehicular manslaughter, which could have led to a 15-year jail term.

A police spokesman said: 'We are still conducting our investigation, but everything points to a very tragic accident.
'Witnesses have said the girl ran into the traffic lane. She could have been distracted by the sight of the waves and sea.'


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Pictured: British girl, 4, killed by car on Florida beach while walking hand-in-hand with uncle 'after driver panicked'

By Mail Foreign Service
Last updated at 10:23 AM on 22nd March 2010

Comments (81) Add to My Stories
A four-year-old British girl was killed by a car as she walked along a popular U.S. beach with her family.
Ellie Bland was holding her great uncle's hand when she stepped into a car lane that runs along Daytona Beach, on Florida's east coast.
Although police said the vehicle was driving within the 10mph speed limit, she was sent flying.

Victim: Ellie Bland was killed by a car as she walked along Daytona beach with her great uncle
Shattered: Barbara Worley sits in her Lincoln Town Car moments after the accident on Saturday afternoon

Horrified witnesses screamed as the car halted. But before they could reach Ellie, the driver, Barbara Worley, 66, panicked and hit the accelerator, surging over the little girl - killing her instantly.

Florida Highway Patrol said an investigation had been launched and that charges were pending for Worley, from Elberton, Georgia.

Ellie's parents, who were at home in Nottingham, learned of their daughter's death by phone. It is thought they flew out to Florida yesterday.

Enlarge Investigation: Florida Highway Patrol said Worley could face charges

Relatives said that her great uncle, John Langlands, 53, and his wife Karen, 44, had brought up Ellie and her five-year-old sister, believed to be called Kacey, since they were babies.

Ellie had survived serious health problems including a heart murmur and a digestive tract condition.

Last year she nearly died after contracting swine flu. The family regularly took holidays in Daytona Beach, where it is thought they had a holiday home.

The recent trip, with a group of friends from Britain, was Ellie's sixth.

The Langlands had planned to take her to Disney's Magic Kingdom yesterday to dress up as the star of the film the Princess and the Frog.

Ellie was with her sister at the time of the tragedy and an older child, who has not been named.
Mrs Langlands said of the crash: 'It just took her. It's not real. You just bring them to the beach for the day. . . I can't believe it.'

Mr Langlands told police the car came 'barrelling down' on them and clipped Ellie. He broke down as he added: 'She was beautiful, a princess.'

Daytona Beach is one of the few beaches in America where cars are permitted to drive, because of its hard, compacted sand.

There are clearly marked lanes monitored by police, but officials said the high tide may have brought pedestrians and cars closer together than usual. It was also one of the first warm Saturdays of the year, meaning the beach was packed.

Last night, Ellie's family in Nottingham spoke of their grief.

A woman relative, who did not want to be named, said: 'Karen will be completely devastated.

Daytona Beach is on the east coast of Florida

Daytona Beach is one of few coastal resorts in the US where cars are permitted to drive on the sand
'She can't have kids herself so she lived for Ellie - she took her all around the world.'

Worley, a U.S. tourist from Georgia, sat weeping in her car after the accident. She was not speeding or under the influence of alcohol, police said.
She is likely to a face only a minor traffic infringement charge rather than the more serious one of vehicular manslaughter, which could have led to a 15-year jail term.

A police spokesman said: 'We are still conducting our investigation, but everything points to a very tragic accident.
'Witnesses have said the girl ran into the traffic lane. She could have been distracted by the sight of the waves and sea.'

Print this article Read later Email to a friend Share this article: Digg it Del.icio.us Reddit Newsvine Nowpublic StumbleUpon Facebook MySpace Fark Comments (81)Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not debate this issue live on our message boards.

The comments below have been moderated in advance.

Newest Oldest Best rated Worst rated View all The reason vehicles are allowed on the sand in Daytona Beach is, like most of the beaches on the U.S. Atlantic coast, frigging hotels dot every last bit of open space. The only other way to get to the beach is to pay a parking fee to a hotel to use a parking lot (car park), or fight with someone to get a parking space at one of the few free city mantained lots. In many Atlantic coastal cities, there are so many hotels you can't even SEE the beach. The alternative is to find a beach that is in the jurisdiction of the National Park Service, such as Pea Island National Bird Sanctuary in the Outer Banks. No frigging hotels allowed!
- haywoodzarathustra, Fat City, Atlantis, 22/3/2010 13:14

Click to rate Rating 48 Report abuse

I was so sad when reading this. I have a 4 year old daughter and I can only imagine the family's grief and great sadness. I am heartbroken. My deepest sympathy goes out to the family.
- Mrs. Badcrumble, Columbus, OH, 22/3/2010 13:10

Click to rate Rating 69 Report abuse

This is so sad and horrible for all involved, and I include the driver in this.
We can just blame her, or blame those who did not keep Ellie's hand in theirs and keep her out of the car lane--or we can just see the truth. Accident, all it is, and unfortunately those involved will blame themselves enough for all of us.
Have mercy on them.
Humans make mistakes, that's all.

Mr. Ellis in Southampton (22/3/2010 08:46), thank you and bless you for such a reasonable comment.

- Linda, Farmington, USA, 22/3/2010 12:51

Click to rate Rating 79 Report abuse

RIP Ellie For Gods sake take an English course, Or shut up.
- P.Widdowson, loule portugal, 22/3/2010 12:48

Click to rate Rating 49 Report abuse

We went to Daytona when my son was small and when I saw the traffic on the beach, I was terrified. It seemed to me to be so easy for an excited child to run towards the sea and be hit by a car. Paranoia, maybe, but it looked to me like an accident waiting to happen. It was impossible to settle and enjoy a holiday there, so we packed up and went back to the Florida Keys.
- Pato, Hale, Chesh., 22/3/2010 12:15

Click to rate Rating 40 Report abuse

For everyone slamming American drivers and those of us fortunate enough to live in Daytona Beach, a little history. Cars have been on our beach since the early 1900s when racing began in Daytona (Daytona International Speedway, anyone?). The original race track was the beach, because of its hard packed sand. As a teenager, one of the best things in life was to cruise the beach with your friends. The speed limit is 10 miles per hour, strictly enforced. Until the overcrowding of our beloved beach, it was extremely rare for a sun bather to get run over by a car. The last accident of the sort was 22 years ago, when another child darted out into the traffic lanes. Our beach is 23 miles long, there is driving on only a small portion of that, most of the beach has sand that is too soft for cars. People are free to go there to play where there are no cars allowed. In the core tourist area driving has been banned for the last ten years, again people are free to go there. RIP dear Ellie.

- Dynah Moe Humm, Daytona Beach, Florida USA, 22/3/2010 12:15

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldne ... z0jMmSgekQ


Daily Mail

Wednesday December 3. 2014

Page 55

Put your faith in God, not a ouija board!

Spooky truth behind surge in sales of Ouija boards

Beware: The Rev Bob Short warns against seances.

Inset: Mondays Mail on how new film Ouija has renewed interest in the 'game'

THE supernatural is once again on people's minds, with a fascination with ouija boards and Spurs footballer Emmanuel Adebayor complaining about people 'putting juju' on him (Mail). In the Sixties, ouija boards were a must-have family game, but some people have obviously forgotten that many youngsters had psychological problems caused by playing this. It was produced by a top board game company and can be purchased `used' today.
I was involved in helping to lead a youth group in my church at the time. A group of these young people had been invited to go to a ouija seance, and they asked me to accompany them. I didn't know much about seances but decided to go. For a good while, I sat like everyone else

with my finger on the upturned glass, praying it wouldn't work. Nothing happened, and the person who was running the session said there must be someone present who didn't agree with what was going on. I confessed: I told them I was very uneasy with the whole thing and was praying it wouldn't work. I then decided to leave.
Later, the young people told me that after I'd left, all sorts of weird things were said, some quite frightening, and at the end of it the glass exploded.

The Bible teaches very clearly that we • shouldn't meddle in occult practices such as trying to contact the dead, probably because of the danger of contacting spirits which ultimately can't be controlled. For Christians, the Holy
Spirit is much stronger, but that doesn't give us permission to play around with this sort of thing.

My advice for young people worried about friends being involved in seances _ is that they shouldn't go but simply pray that the channel, as it were, is blocked. I would recommend that Emmanuel Adebayor reminds himself that God's Spirit, which lives in him as a believer, is more powerful than any 'juju'. He should also remember that his name — Emmanuel — which we focus on at Christmas time, means 'God with us'. He also has the God-given talent to start scoring goals again if he can refocus himself and not be side-tracked by other voices.
Rev BOB SHORT, Beeston, Notts.


THE SIRIUS MYSTERY

Was Earth visited by intelligent beings from a planet in the system of the Star Sirius

Robert K.G. Temple 1976

Page 145

THE ORACLE CENTRES

We must note Stecchini's remarks about Delphi as follows :38

The god of Delphi, Apollo, whose name means 'the stone', was identified with an object, the omphalos, 'navel', which has been found. It consisted of an ovoidal stone. . . . The omphalos of Delphi was similar to the object which represented the god Amon in Thebes, the 'navel' of Egypt. In 1966 I presented to the annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America a paper in which I maintained that historical accounts, myths, and legends, and some monuments of Delphi, indicate that the oracle was established there by the Pharaohs of the Ethiopian Dynasty. This is the reason why the Greeks portrayed Delphos, the eponymous hero of Delphi, as a Negro.

Stecchini also explains his theory that the oracles originally functioned through the operations of computing devices :

An object which resembles a roulette wheel, and actually is its historical antecedent, was centred on top of the omphalos. The spinning of a ball gave the answers; each of the 36 spokes of the wheel corresponded to a letter symbol.

In studying ancient computing devices, I have discovered that they were used also to obtain oracular answers. This is the origin of many of the oracular instruments we still use today, such as cards and ouija boards. . . . The roulette wheel of Delphi originally was a special kind of abacus for calculating in terms of angles
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