Tuesday, May 03, 2022

"A dazzling sharp glass case of sharp instruments": Abortion in John Dos Passos's "Manhattan Transfer"

In John Dos Passos's "Manhattan Transfer" (1925), Ellen rings the bell at a "smudged white door" and is welcomed: "You are the lady my friend phoned me about." Ellen explains her situation: "You understand, Dr. Abrahms that it is absolutely necessary. I am getting a divorce from my husband and have to make my own living." He directs her into the operating room: "The bright searing bud of light swells in the center of the ceiling, sprays razorsharp nickel, enamel, a dazzling sharp glass case of sharp instruments." After the abortion, she goes to get a taxi: "The roar of the streets breaks like surf about a shell of throbbing agony." (Andrew Shields, #111words, 3 May 2022)

 [posted on 4 May after internet problems on 3 May]

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