Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Paul Bowles me over

I feel no less ravished than Kit by her Arab captors in the brutal Sahara! Bowles' characters flee "civilization" only to find it inescapable--their existentialism makes them romantics, their romanticism dooms them to sickness, death, debauchery, insanity. In Bowles' maddening novel, poised somewhere betwixt Kafka and Hawkes, we learn that prisoners are the most free, that communication is easier without language, that the brutality of authentic experience happens in European hotels as much as in scorpion-infested mud huts.

I'll visit this world again; Bowles has the wisdom to inhabit it with people who do unfathomable, senseless, bizarre, and awful things.