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a distraction, like any other

Dan Yack took the book and read the title :
On the Discovery of the Constant Relationship between Appearance and Disappearance,
Work and Rest,
the Minimum and Maximum Extent of the Webs and Attaching-threads of Spiders of Different Species,
and Atmospheric Variations

"My God, what's this?" Dan Yack asked Goischman, whom he regarded over the top of the book.

"Poems," replied Goischman.

[Goischman explains that it's the story of a man who, while imprisoned for 25 years, had devoted himself to the study and observation of various subjects, including spiders. One of his important discoveries had to do with the relationship of spiders and humidity.]

Dan Yack responds, "I really must read a book some day... But why should he be interested in fine weather, since he could never leave his cell?"

"My God," Goischman replied, "it was a distraction, like any other."

ex Blaise Cendrars, Le Plan de l'Aiguille (The map of the Needle), 1927, and Englished by Nina Rootes as Dan Yack (1987).

26 May 2013
tags: Blaise Cendrars; Quatremère-Disjonval; Araneae; distractions; meteorology; poems; spiders