Hans Reiter is a child of the water, in a one-eyed, one-legged family. Mmmmkay. Diving, swimming, drowning, enlisting, befriending, spying, and a woman obsessed with Aztecs. Mmmmmmkay.
This is the sense I’ve missed since Amalfitano, but I just can’t get engaged. Is this the guy who winds up, somehow, in the prison in Santa Teresa? From this?:
“Then his mother stared at him with her blue eye and the boy held her gaze with his two blue eyes, and from the corner near the hearth, the one-legged man watched them both with his two blue eyes and for three or four seconds the island of Prussia seemed to rise from the depths” (644).
Somehow via the Third Reich?
“It was around this time, as they walked under the sun or the gray clouds, enormous, endless gray clouds that brought tidings of a fall to remember, and his battalion left behind village after village, that Hans imagined that under his Wehrmacht uniform he was wearing the suit or garb of a madman” (670).
Makes me think of Amaranta in One Hundred Years of Solitude and Rosa in House of the Spirits. Not through any clear parallel, but as a cyan negative to their passion and vitality.