Tuesday, 18 June 2013
"'We did not invite you to smoke,' Anastasia Herrera said frigidly.
"'Oh, that's alright, don't apologize, I know you got a lot on your minds.' Van Rijn lit the cigar..." (p. 75)
Amusingly, van Rijn pretends to misunderstand while simultaneously demonstrating his complete control of the conversation.
"[Adzel] assumed the quadrupedal equivalent of the lotus position,..." (p. 80)
We wonder what that must look like as the sentence continues:
"...which is quite a sight." (p. 80)
Here, for comical effect, Anderson seriously compromises the remote impersonality of the omniscient narrator. Only someone who had seen the quadrupedal lotus would be able to comment that it is "...quite a sight."
When van Rijn turns the tables on an opponent, the latter has to put a brave face on it:
"'Freeman van Rijn generously" - Kim had a fight to get the adverb out - "offered us advice.'" (p. 82)
"'...Freeman van Rijn will, sub rosa, be our broker.
"'At a fat commission,' Garver groaned.
"Kim could not refrain from groaning back, 'Very fat.'" (p. 82)
"'You have made your own settlement - with van Rijn?' Garver whispered.
"'Yes,' said Kim, like one up whom a bayonet has been rammed." (p. 83)
Humor is a sudden realization of incongruity. In these dialogues, there are repeated realizations of an incongruity between reality and appearance in the exchange between van Rijn and Kim.