The conscience is moved by the news from Haiti. The media reports seem almost completely untrustworthy. We are asked to believe that survivors have been protesting the slow arrival of aid by building road blocks out of corpses. It is such a delicious meme – rich with the spectre of Baron Samedi (think Geoffrey Holder in Live and Let Die).
You notice the victims are black, the rescuers mostly white. You re-read The Comedians – meeting again Brown, Smith and Jones – and are dazzled all over again.
The eye falls on the evocation by Brown of Frère Laurent, in the French version of Romeo and Juliet: “a sentence that I had reason to remember: Le remède au chaos n’est pas dans ce chaos. “