Thursday, 11 February 2016

Samuel Beckett's Molloy On Farting

So I wake up at 2am this morning, which is an awful time to depart from slumber land but at least I had also left a dream about being stalked by a tiger, the result of watching Channel 4's The Secret Life Of The Zoo, no doubt. I reach for the Samuel Beckett trilogy (same edition as pictured) and continue reading the exploits of Molloy, the 'chameleon in spite of himself' and read this passage:

                 And in winter, under my great-coat, I wrapped myself in swathes of newspaper,
                 and did not shed them until the earth awoke, for good, in April. The Times
                 Literary Supplement was admirably adapted to this purpose, of a never failing
                 toughness and impermeability. Even farts made no impression on it. I can't
                 help it, gas escapes from my fundament on the least pretext, it's hard not to
                 mention it now and then, however great my distaste. One day I counted them.
                 Three hundred and fifteen farts in nineteen hours, or an average of over
                 sixteen farts and hour. After all it's not excessive. Four farts every fifteen
                 minutes. It's nothing. Not even one fart every four minutes. It's unbelievable.
                 Damn it, I hardly fart at all, I should never have mentioned it. 

That made me chuckle, such a perfectly composed joke, delivered with expert timing. LJ and I once had to wrap ourselves in newspaper under summer clothes (worn for Lanzarote) that were inadequate for the English winter back at the airport, of course. We used The Guardian. It worked a treat, but I can't recall testing it's toughness with farts.

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