American Literature

The Thanatos Syndrome: A Novel

By Walker Percy

Returning domestic to the small Louisiana parish the place he had praticed psychiatry, Dr. Tom extra quick notices whatever unusual occuring with the townfolk, a lack of inhibitions. in the back of this secret is a perilous plot drug the neighborhood water provide, and a discovery that takes extra into the bottom of the yank look for happiness.

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At the hyperlinks he may perhaps hack up the golf green, hook and slice and curse with the easiest of them, yet later on within the clubhouse he couldn't suppress his primary American rage. One doesn’t do that. His fellow ROBs didn’t like Communists or liberals or blacks any longer than he did. yet one doesn’t release tirades over bourbon within the locker room. One vents dislikes via jokes. yet Enrique might by no means see the relationship among anger and jokes (unlike Freud and the ROBs). He by no means stuck directly to the delicate yet inviolable American freemasonry of civility. And so he received kicked out. So right here he's years later. and the way is he? Why, he’s as easygoing and fun-loving as Lee Trevino. not just is he again within the ROBs, he’s simply received the Sunbelt Seniors at element transparent. Blood strain: 120/80. He even tells me a shaggy dog story, now not an excellent shaggy dog story. this is the shaggy dog story: there has been this outdated Southern planter who had undesirable center hassle. So his medical professional tells him, Colonel, you were given to have a middle transplant. He says, ok, document, cross correct forward. yet what the planter doesn’t understand is that the one middle the healthcare professional can locate is the guts of a tender black who’s been killed in a razor struggle. So while the previous planter wakes up, the physician is available in and tells him, Colonel, I bought undesirable information and excellent news. The undesirable information is that I needed to offer you a nigger’s center. sturdy God, says the previous planter, that’s negative; perhaps you greater inform me the good news. So the health practitioner says, the excellent news is your deek is ten centimeters lengthy. “You get it, document? ” says Enrique, guffawing. “Yes, i am getting it, Enrique,” I say. “But it may be ten inches, i feel, no longer ten centimeters. ” “You correct, document! Ten inches! ” says Enrique, slapping his leg, guffawing all of the tougher, now not being concerned that he’s screwed up the comic story. So what has occurred to Enrique? I don’t understand. Why is he the following? He wishes anything. and in reality i will be able to support him. It’s approximately his daughter Carmela, a pleasant lady, a completely American, Southern U. S. woman. it sort of feels she has enrolled on the collage of Mississippi as a freshman. She loves it. Her center is determined on being pledged by means of the Gammas, a sorority. All her pals are Gammas. If she doesn't make Gamma, her existence should be ruined. There will be little question she might make it, however it turns out there's a little hitch, says Enrique, and this is why her complexion is sort of brunette like mine, and also you know the way it really is in Mississippi, even supposing she is natural Castilian-German. Now right here it's, the tip of rush week, and he or she has no longer been pledged. Enrique in truth feels like an Indian. “That’s too undesirable, Enrique,” I say, nonetheless considering why he’s right here. “Here’s the article, document. I needless to say the Gamma rush captain is a tender kinswoman of yours, the granddaughter actually of the celebrated girl from the Mississippi Delta who was once the foundress of this very bankruptcy of Gammas. Now the following it truly is on the finish of rush week—” He appears to be like down at his diamond-studded Rolex watch as though mins counted. i glance at him in astonishment. How does he recognize such issues? I had forgotten myself, if I ever knew, that Jo Ann had long gone to Ole leave out, not to mention that she used to be rush captain of Gamma.

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