“How unbearable the body of a living being who fights with death, and now seems to win, now to lose. I don’t know how long we remained like that”. The Days of Abandonment, Pp 145. Elena Ferrante explores in this story what happens to us when our lives results in an unbearable absence of sense.
Nose bleed. Now I seem to win, now to lose, he is saying. To begin with the dying experience has to be told from the narrator’s perspective. Because to be able to follow the story there are some essential personal details to fill in and a few other thing we need to know. Rat poison!
The reader gets pulled in. I don’t know how long we remain like that. Unlike her four volume Naples Novels, The Days of Abandonment by Elena Ferrante is under 200 pages long. It is gendered and includes references to other women with unbearable stories of an absence of sense, “the pages in which Anna Karenina goes toward her death…”, “…leafed through the ones about women destroyed”, Pp183. Sophocles’ Antigone, comes to mind as well: these are stories in which, as regards the unbearable absence of sense, the men by and large do not die well.
I haven’t stopped reading simply because I have reached the end. And I don’t know how long we remain like this.