Thursday, August 16, 2012

Phraselet No. 116

The Reds and Greens as a phenomenon simultaneously fascinated and repulsed Lake. In short, the Greens saw the recent death of the (great) composer Voss Bender as a tragedy while the Reds thought the recent death of the (despotic) composer Voss Bender a blessing. They had taken their names from Bender’s favorite and least favorite colors: the green of a youth spent in the forests of Morrow; the red flags of the indigenous mushroom dwellers who he believed had abducted his cousin.

No doubt these two political factions would vanish as quickly as they had appeared, but in the meantime Lake kept a Green flag in his right pocket and a Red flag in his left pocket, the better to express the correct patriotic fervor. (On a purely aural level, Lake sympathized with the Reds, if only because the Greens polluted the air with a thousand Bender tunes morning, noon, and night. Lake had hardly listened to Bender while the man was alive; he resented having to change his habits now that the man was dead.)

- Jeff Vandermeer, "The Transformation of Martin Lake," City of Saints and Madmen

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