Rereadables; Das Parfüme

One of my favorite novels – included in the “forever re-readables” I mentioned in my earlier post – is Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. It is a literary historical cross-genre novel by Patrick Süskind, which explores the sense of smell and its relationship with the emotional meaning that scents may carry (a movie was made, but seriously, don’t bother with it). It’s a disturbing piece of fiction in many ways, and also an interesting look at people, the horrible but oh so common ways we treat each other because of greed, lust, selfishness, sheer stupidity and general uncommon sense. All seen through the eyes of the emotionally stunted, but extremely olfactory gifted, fascinating and horrifying Grenouille.

Anyways, now that you’re all dying to read it (seriously, read it, it’s great), there is a passage in there about a tick, a loathsome little tick that huddles in a tree, curling in on itself – waiting, biding its time – patiently sniffing the air for another animal to pass by, so that he can let caution go and fall towards it. This is what I am doing right now, I’m preserving myself, biding my time, waiting to drop. I thought about it waking up this morning, after a night of wine and laughing and serious talking, and the passage of the tick presented itself in my mind.

I’m not after blood, however. I promise.


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