Friday, September 19, 2008

Naturalism and the Alpha Male

This is an excerpt from Frank Norris' Mcteague which, thus far (50 pages in) is absolutely badass. It's a naturalist novel about a giant of a man who is living in San Fransisco some time during the 1800's.

McTeague is the protagonist, Marcus is his friend and cousin to the girl speaking. Apparently dating your cousin was OK back then.

If he had confined himself to merely speaking, as did Marcus, to pleading with her, to wooing her at a distance, forestalling her wishes, showing her little attentions, sending her boxes of candy, she could have easily withstood him. But he had only to take her in his arms, to crush down her struggle with his enormous strength, to subdue her, conquer her by sheer brute force, and she gave up in an instant.

But why -- why had she done so? Why did she feel the desire, the necessity of being conquered by a superior strength? Why did it please her? Why had it suddenly thrilled her from head to foot witha quick, terrifying gust of passion, the like of which she had never known? Never at his best had Marcus made her feel like that, and yet she had always thought she cared for Cousin mark more than for any one else.

When McTeague had all at once caught her in his huge arms, something had leaped to life in her-- something that had hitherto lain dormant, something strong and overpowering...

Thinking about that passage in terms of everything pickup is about...very interesting.

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