Opinion

Biting the elbow

I’ve just finished reading the short story, “The Unbitten Elbow” by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky, taken from his book, “Autobiography of a Corpse”. It recounts a man’s obsessive attempts at biting his elbw and the social, economic and philosophical consequences of his endeavours. The opening sentences not only introduced the topic but, unwittingly, served as kindling for my own childhood memories, of my own tries at getting teeth onto elbow. Curiously, the author doesn’t make any reference as to why the main character (known only as No. 11111) wanted to bite his elbow so desperately. I would have loved to know his motivation simply to see if it matched mine. During my schooldays – I must have still been in primary – rumour had it that this was a guaranteed way of changing sex. Now to be clear, I had no particular wish to become a girl but I was certainly piqued to succeed where no one else had.

Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky came wailing into the world in 1887 and took his last breath in 1950, a decade-and-a-half before I drew my first. The only tenous link I can trace to the author is the continental proximity, with Sigizmund having been born in the Ukraine to Polish parents, while I was born in Malta to Maltese parents. Evidently though, this fascination with biting one’s elbow was not restricted to my time or my town. So I ask you readers out there, do you have similar childhood memories? Did you also go through this time-wasting phase, intent on tasting the joint where the arm bends? What, allegedly, would have happened had you succeeded?

Advertisements
Standard

2 thoughts on “Biting the elbow

  1. Pingback: Autobiography of a Corpse | magrelinhos

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s