Archive for the '60 Years Old' Category

Sixty Year Old: Mynheer Peeperkorn


Frau Chauchat complied with the demands of Western civilization and introduced the gentlemen to one another. An acquaintance from before, she said, referring to Hans Castorp – from her previous stay here. Herr Peeperkorn’s presence needed no further explanation. She said his name, and the Dutchman attentively turned his gaze to the young man, his eyes pale beneath the almost idol-like arabesques of his creased brow and temples, and extended a hand – the back of it was all freckles, a sea captain’s hand, Hans Castorp thought, if you discounted those lancelike nails. He was standing now directly under the influence of Peeperkorn’s massive personality (“personality” – one glance at him, and the word would leave your mind; suddenly you knew what a personality was and the more saw of him the more you were convinced that this was the only way a personality could look); and malleable youth felt crushed beneath the weight of this broad-shouldered, red-faced sixty-year-old, with white flames that encircled his head, painfully ragged lips, and a long, narrow beard that reached down to his high-buttoned, clerical-style vest. Peeperkorn was courtesy personified, by the way.

“My dear sir,” he said, “by all means. No, permit me, sir – by all means. I am making your acquaintance this evening – the acquaintance of a promising young man – and I do so, my dear sir, quite deliberately, fully engaging all my energies. I like you, sir. I – don’t mention it. Settled. You appeal to me.”

Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain

Published in: 60 Years Old | on December 22nd, 2011 | No Comments »

Sixty Year Old: Dolly Augusta Talbo



A searching party of deputies was gathered; telegrams were hurried off to Sheriffs in other towns. Many years later, when the Talbo estate was being settled, I came across the handwritten original of this telegram – composed, I believe, by Dr. Ritz. Be on lookout for following persons travelling together. Dolly Augusta Talbo, white, aged 60, yellow grayish hair, thin, height 5 feet 3, green eyes, probably insane but not likely to be dangerous, post description bakeries as she is a cake eater. Catherine Creek, Negro, pretends to be Indian, age about 60, toothless, confused speech, short and heavy, strong, likely to be dangerous. Colin Talbo Fenwick, white, age 16, looks younger, height 5 feet 7, blond, gray eyes, thin, bad posture, scar at corner of mouth, surly natured. All three wanted as runaways. They sure haven’t run far, Riley said in the post office; and postmistress Mrs. Peters rushed to the telephone to say Riley Henderson had seen us in the woods below the cemetery.

While this was happening, we were peaceably setting about to make the tree house cozy. From Catherine’s satchel we took a rose and gold scrap-quilt, and there was a deck of Rook cards, soap, rolls of toilet paper, oranges and lemons, candles, a frying pan, a bottle of blackberry wine, and two shoeboxes filled with food: Catherine bragged that she’d robbed the pantry of everything, leaving not even a biscuit for That One’s breakfast.

Later we all went to the creek and bathed our feet and faces in the cold water. There are as many creeks in River Woods as there are veins in a leaf: clear, crackling, they crook their way down into the little river that crawls through the woods like a green alligator. Dolly looked a sight, standing in the water with her winter suit-skirt hiked up and her veil pestering her like a cloud of gnats. I asked her, Dolly, why are you wearing that veil? and she said, “But isn’t it proper for ladies to wear veils when they go travelling?”

Truman Capote, The Grass Harp

Published in: 60 Years Old | on December 22nd, 2011 | No Comments »