Smilla's Sense of Snow by Peter Hoeg

Smilla's Sense of Snow by Peter Hoeg

Author:Peter Hoeg
Language: eng
Format: mobi
Published: 2011-04-15T21:00:00+00:00


The rib bones are the closed ellipses of the planets, with their focus in the sternum, the breastbone, the white center of the photograph. The lungs are the gray shadows of the Milky Way against the black leaden shield of space. The heart's dark contour is the cloud of ashes from the burned-out sun. The intestines' hazy hyperboles are the disconnected asteroids, the vagabonds of space, the scattered cosmic dust.

We're standing in Moritz's consultation room at the light box, on which three X-rays have been clipped. In the clinical reduction of photon photography it's more apparent than ever that the human being is a universe; a solar system seen from another galaxy. And yet this person is dead. With a jackhammer someone dug him a grave in the permafrost of Holsteinsborg, put stones on it, and poured cement over it to keep the Arctic foxes away.

"Marius Høeg, dead on the Barren Glacier, Gela Alta, July 1966."

I am standing with Moritz and forensics expert Dr. Lagermann in front of the light box. Benja is sitting in a wicker chair sucking her thumb.

The floor is yellow marble, the walls are covered with light brown fabric. There is wicker furniture and an examination table painted avocado green and covered with natural-colored leather. There is an original Dali on the wall. Even the X-ray machine looks as if it feels comfortable with this attempt to make advanced technology seem homey.

This is where Moritz earns a portion of the money which helps to make his later years golden, but at the moment he is working for free. He is examining the X-rays which Lagermann, in defiance of six paragraphs of the law, has taken from the archives of the Institute of Forensic Medicine.

"The report from the expedition in '66 is missing. It has simply been removed. Damn."

I told Moritz that they are looking for me and that I have no intention of turning myself in to the police. He detests illegalities but he acquiesces because, with or without permission from the police, it's better for me to be here than not.

I told him that I'm going to have a visitor and that we will need the light box in his clinic. His clinic is his inner sanctum, as private as his investments and his bank accounts in Switzerland, but he agrees.

I said that I wouldn't tell him what it was all about. He acquiesces. He's trying to pay back some of his debt to me. It's thirty years old and fathomless.

Now that Lagermann has arrived and unpacked and hung up the pictures with little clips, the door opens, and Moritz slouches in.

Standing there in front of us he is three people in one. He is my father, who still loves my mother and maybe me as well, and is now sick with anxiety that he can't control.

He is the great doctor, M.D., and international injection star who has never been excluded, always the one who knew things before anyone else did.

And he is the little


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