primo levi // the mirror maker

'Isabella's father sprouted wings when he was already over fifty. He did not draw great profit from them: with fear and vertigo he took a few lessons from his daughter, and he twisted an ankle in landing. The wings wouldn't let him sleep, they filled his bed with feather and down, and he found it difficult to put on his shirt, jacket, and coat. They also were a hindrance when he was behind the counter in the store, and so he had them amputated.'

The Mirror Maker
(The Great Mutation)
(Page 22)

'JOURNALIST: I see. Now tell me, there are rumors abroad concerning your, let us say, matrimonial behavior . . . only rumors, let's be clear about it, I personally have never seen anything objectionable, but as you know, people will gossip . . .
SPIDER: Are you alluding to the fact that we eat the male? Is that all? But of course, certainly. It's a sort of ballet; our males are rather skinny, timid, and weak, they aren't even all that good at making a proper web. When they are overcome by desire, they venture onto our web step by step, uncertain, hesitant, because they too know how it will end up. We wait for them: we don't take the initiative, the game is clear to both parties. We females like the males as much as flies, if not more. We like them in every sense of the word, as husbands (but only for the minimum indispensable length of time) and as food. Once they have fulfilled their function, they lose all appeal except that of fresh meat; and so, in a single stroke, we fill our stomach and matrix.
JOURNALIST: Do the marriages always end like this?
SPIDER: Not always.'

- Five Intimate Interviews: IV
(Page 41)

Rating: 4/5

Primo, Charlie and me.