LITERATURE: The Unconsoled – Humor

Haven’t given up on this book, but it’s clearly not a favorite. There seems to be “much ado about nothing” and yet I’m sure that if I could just reach that level of understanding the story would be more meaningful to me. However, there is a bright bit of humor that I’m glad to have stumbled into.

At one of the great dinner parties held for the resurrected and carefully tended pianist Brodsky, there is our narrator in his bathrobe (typical dream scenario) while everyone is carefully adjusting themselves to Brodsky’s assumed mood in view of his grief over his beloved pet, Bruno, that day. As one by one the speakers express their sympathy and some strange overly solicitious memories of the dog, they build up to erecting a statue to commemorate the animal. Brodsky remains silent throughout the testimonials and at one point Ryder gets up to speak but quickly sits back down when he realizes that his bathrobe is open and he is exposed. Just as he is about to get up again, Brodsky pushes himself upright at his table and addresses the crowd:

For a second I thought Brodsky would crash across the table. But he maintained his balance, surveying the room for a moment. When he spoke his voice had a gentle huskiness about it.

“Look, what is this?” he said. “you think that dog was so important to me? He’s dead and that’s it. I want a woman. It gets lonely sometimes. I want a woman.”  (p. 144)

That’s enough to keep me at this for a while longer.

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