« Sniff Test | Main | What My Life Has Become »

What's the Buzz?

In Joshua Ferris' new novel, The Unnamed, the protagonist finds himself in Bryant Park, where "he sensed the crunch of fallen leaves" (although he knows it's not the right season).

Leaving the park, he realizes that they are not leaves,

but rather a thin blanket of dead bees. He lifted his feet as if to avoid stepping on them, but they were everywhere. The thinned out only when he reached the street. He looked back in amazement at the hundreds, the thousands of delicate brown and yellow carapaces. In a city of odd sights, it took the prize.

JF talked to our MA group the other night (he's great, one of the most pleasant, down-to-earth personalities we've had in the past year or so), and the moderator asked him about this. Why the bees? Was it a Biblical reference? Did it have anything to with something he (the moderator) had read about masses of bees dying in the US?

Ferris nodded along with the questioning, pondered for a moment, and simply said, "I got stung by a bee. And it really hurt."

So he killed them.

Perhaps there is truth to the theory that all fiction is revenge.