I’m rereading From Hell because of the TCJ column I plan to do about Watchmen. Sorry to say, the book is hard going this time around. Maybe my blood sugar is low.

Last night I finished the classic fourth chapter, in which the villainous Dr. Gull tours London sights and expounds on their hidden significance to his coachman, Netley. Meanwhile, Netley gets more and more queasy-like in his guts, until finally he has to vomit. Dr. Gull is eating grapes, and later he will feed poisoned grapes to his victims, but these grapes aren’t poisoned and he doesn’t give any to Netley. Maybe he slipped something into Netley’s food when they had lunch at the tavern, enough to give his system a shake but not to kill him. But why?

Most likely the situation comes clear later in the book. For now, though, I feel like I have one more gnat flying around my head. When I’m digging a Moore work, I love seeing how all the mysteries, plot threads, and symbols juggle themselves together. But right now I just feel hapless and irritated.

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