Omnicide, 277–308

Chapter

Labyrintomania (Labyrinths)

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EXCERPT

It was two months ago when they threw a lunatic into that prison at the end of the courtyard. With a broken piece of marble he cut out his own stomach, pulled out his intestines and played with them. They said he was a butcher—he was used to cutting stomachs. But that other one had pulled out his own eyes with his own nails. They tied his hands behind his back. He was screaming and the blood had dried on his eyes. I know that all of this is the supervisor’s fault.

—Sadeq Hedayat

We encounter our first labyrintomaniac in a sparse madhouse surrounded by figures driven to exenteration (the surgical removal of organs). We are in the Persian hezar-tu (i.e., labyrinth, but literally ‘a thousand withins’): one here cuts out his stomach (first labyrinth); another cuts out his eyeball (second labyrinth)…