On the Road to Nowhere
Chapter Five: "A complex dance of guilt and desire": Leviathan and Moon Palace 107
CHAPTER FIVE "A complex dance of guilt and desire": Leviathan and Moon Palace Part One: Leviathan Solomon Barber, the obese and pathetic historian who turns out to be Fogg's missing father in Moon Palace (1989), wrote in his youth a novel based on his own father's disappearance. Some time after meeting Fogg, Barber sends him a copy of his book, Kepler's Blood, to give him some idea of the extent to which his father's absence has affected his imagination. As Fogg incredulously reads the madcap narrative, he has a sudden insight: The whole story is a complex dance of guilt and desire. Desire turns into guilt, and then, because this guilt is intolerable, it becomes a desire to expiate itself, to submit to a cruel and inexorable form of justice. (Moon Palace, p. 263) Kepler's Blood is a self-reflexive parody on the convoluted plots of Moon Palace, where guilt and desire figure prominently in the lives of three generations of fatherless sons and son-less fathers. But Fogg's reading of Barber's youthful oeuvre reverberates beyond the confines of the framing narrative and adumbrates the subterranean plot of a subsequent novel-Sachs's story in Leviathan (1992). Leviathan is structured around three major quests that reflect on each other-Peter Aaron's, Sachs's and Maria's; over all hovers the FBI investigation into the bombings ofthe replicas ofthe Statue of Liberty, which provides the novel's narrative framework. Peter Aaron's quest, mirroring that of the narrator of The Locked Room, is an investigation into the whereabouts of his...
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