Momus

A Passage from Luminous Airplanes, or Things As They Were: A Hyperromance


The name printed on Momus’s checks was William Morgan. His father was a Texas oilman; he had spent his childhood in a farrago of American Schools that erased all markers of locality from his character, and left him a pale universal, a human being built in the International Style. When asked why he called himself Momus, he said it was because of his secular humanism; he cited Erasmus, Linnaeus, Gustavus Adolphus—though the print on his wall of a picture by Balthazar Klossowski, a/k/a Balthus, of a girl in erotic repose, suggested a more modern derivation.

The name had another history as well, but I wouldn’t learn it until much later.


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