"His nakedness against the sheet, the wanton tangle of bedclothes by his ankle, and the sight of his own genitalia, at his age not yet fully obscured by the swell and spread of his gut, sent vague sexual thoughts floating across his mind like remote summer clouds."

— McEwan, Ian (b. 1948)


Work Title
Place of Publication
New York
Publisher
Double Day
Date
1998
Metaphor
"His nakedness against the sheet, the wanton tangle of bedclothes by his ankle, and the sight of his own genitalia, at his age not yet fully obscured by the swell and spread of his gut, sent vague sexual thoughts floating across his mind like remote summer clouds."
Metaphor in Context
He stretched, shuddered, and yawned. There were seventy-five minutes before the first meeting and soon he would get up to shave and shower, but not yet, not while he was holding on to the day's only tranquil moment. His nakedness against the sheet, the wanton tangle of bedclothes by his ankle, and the sight of his own genitalia, at his age not yet fully obscured by the swell and spread of his gut, sent vague sexual thoughts floating across his mind like remote summer clouds. But Mandy would just be leaving for work, and his latest friend, Dana, who worked at the House of Commons, was abroad until Tuesday. He rolled onto his side and wondered whether he had it in him to masturbate, whether it might serve him well to have his mind cleared for the business ahead. He made a few absent-minded strokes, then gave up. These days he seemed to lack the dedication and clarity or emptiness of mind, and the action itself seemed quaintly outmoded and improbable, like lighting a fire by rubbing two sticks.
(p. 109)
Categories
Provenance
Reading
Citation
Ian McEwan, Amsterdam (New York: Anchor Books, 1999).
Date of Entry
05/14/2011

The Mind is a Metaphor is authored by Brad Pasanek, Assistant Professor of English, University of Virginia.