4: quite sensible

In July 2008 I read a novel by Stona Fitch, Senseless (2001), that I found previous month in a secondhand bookshop. It was translated in French in 2002, but I missed it and missed too the paperback edition in 2004, although the title as well as the story should have looked attractive to me.
Eliott Gast, a middle-aged American economist, is abducted in Brussels by a shadowy anti-globalization group. He spends forty days in a white apartment, questioned and tortured by his captors, every moment broadcast on the Internet. The torture consists in chirurgically removing his five senses, one after the other, beginning with Taste, then Smell, Touch, Hearing and Sight.

A few months ago, in March, I became interested in Percy Kemp, a British author writing in French. His two first novels were about the loss of a sense, Smell in Musc (2000, 'Musk'), and Touch in Moore le Maure (2001, 'Moore the Moor').
It echoed to me as Gast is abducted because he is an agent of a shadow agency, ruled by a man named Alec Moore (Why don't you take Alec Moore in my stead?, asks Gast). About all what we know about previous Gast's life is that he has a wife, Maura.
Leslie Moore, main character of Moore le Maure, is too a secret agent, and someone who loses Touch, little by little, up to a complete loss as expressed in the last sentence of the novel:
Il était devenu, dans le sens premier du mot, un être insensé.
I would translate 'He had become, in the first sense of the word, a senseless being.', and I suppose any translator would not miss this last joke, quite equivalent in French, used too in Fitch's title, Senseless.
Alec Moore made me think too of a French crime novel, Abel Brigand by Jean-Marie Villemot (2001), which interested me much for its quaternity side. Its geometric aspect reminded me of Queen's The Player on the Other Side, where murders are committed at the four corners of a square; in each case a letter is involved, with a double meaning.
Abel Brigand is a Catholic priest investigating the disappearance of Alice. There are two suspects, Alice's uncles Alec Cooper and Alain Vogt, and important clues are given in letters written by Alice to her uncle, in which she fixes dates with him, in four places at the corners of a rectangle on a map.
The initials of the places give ALEC, while in each meeting only one sense is involved, with successive initials in French giving VOGT. At last neither Alec nor Vogt is the culprit, the letters being faked clues.

So I knew of three novels closely related to the five senses, one with an ALEC MOORE, one with an ALEC, and one with a MOORE, and the original books were published the same year, in October, December, and July 01.
I won't explore how striking is this coincidence as I only mentioned it  to explain how I met my third 'Book of the Week'.
So when it puzzled me in July 08 I suddenly thought I had somewhere among my books (several thousands) a collection of short stories about the five senses, and wondered when it was published. I was lucky enough to find it easily, and it was published in November 01!
Its title is just 5, and it was the result of a 2001 literary contest on 'five senses' theme: everybody could write a short, a jury chose 5 of them, to be published along with 5 shorts by known writers.
I cannot remember how exactly I got this book, it was probably given to me by one friend as I published several books with the same publisher (actually 5, 1 whole novel, and I was involved with shorts and articles in 4 other books, so that's another 4-1 pattern). This allowed me to know it was published in 2000 copies, with many unsold.

So I took another look at it, and was puzzled by the 4th short, Little green apples by Sébastien Fevry, elected by the jury. It's divided in eight sections, titled from Sunday, April 8 to Sunday, April 15, and this was the Holy Week in 2001.
It's cutely written, and not quite clear. Henri is the guardian of a private rubbish dump. From April 8 to April 11 he gets aware he hates the dump and its stinky smell. On April 12 he allows no more trucks to bring rubbish there. On next day he plants there 50 little appletrees, dreaming of their nice smell when they will grow. This same day, Good Friday, Henri's boss comes to tell him he's fired, and Henri kills him. On Sunday the police gives the assault...

With this text came the idea of the Book of the Week. Before that I knew of many books in which Easter dates appeared, on purpose or not, but if I thought of this pattern, only two books were involved.
The parallel is absolute with And on the Eighth Day..., in which 8 chapters are titled with the 8 days of the Holy Week 44, while no explicite allusion to Easter is given.
Yet Queen gave many implicite allusions, while Fevry's text is far from this, except maybe for the killing of the boss, said to be a bit like Henri's father, on Holy Friday, and it seems that Henri will die on Easter Sunday. The appletrees made me think of the Garden of Eden, and of the tree of Knowledge supposed to be an appletree. The Christian tradition sees a parallel between man's creation on Friday and the Crucifixion, Jesus' cross being thought to have been made with the wood of the Tree of Life.
I thought the number of appletrees, 50, was not there by chance, as it's a sacred number for Queen's Quenanites, clearly because Millar Burrows (or another book like The Dead Sea Scrolls) mentions 50 to have been a sacred number for Qumran's Essenians.

I contacted Fevry, who was 25 when he wrote this short story. He easily admitted he chose on purpose the dates of the Holy Week, and that he was thinking of the Garden of Eden, yet his title and the appletrees were inspired by a Tom Jones' song, created by Bobby Russel.
He did not think of Ellery Queen's novel, although he had read it years ago, and had not seen then that its dates followed the 1944 Holy Week.

There was a striking point in common between my three first Books of the Week. Fevry's short was written after the sense of Smell, and Leroux's title is The Perfume of the Lady in Black. Now the first sentence of And on the Eighth Day..., just after the title of the chapter, Sunday, April 2, is
There is a smell of burning sagebrush, but Ellery just smells it and doesn't know where it comes from...

Now I see a funny thing considering Queen's and Fevry's, that have so much in common. The concerned Easter years are 1944 and 2001, adding up to 3945, a number strongly echoing to WWII (39-45). As a direct consequence of my discovery of the exact pattern 4-1 in Jung's life, around 4/4/44, I found another exact pattern 4-1 in WWII duration, around 6/6/44, D-Day.

Another coincidence is quite personal. I happen to participate to literary contests, I did it 4 times up to now, and had 2 shorts published this way.
The first one was in 2001, in a contest where it was asked to write new adventures of Arsène Lupin.
I chose to write an unwritten adventure alluded to in The Sign of the Shadow (a short that is online here), where Lupin is said to have struggled against a Red Sultan in Armenia. As Leblanc's short is about a treasury which can only be discovered on an April 15, I imagined in my story another treasury which could only be found on a 4/15, but in the Islamic calendar. It can be read there, in French.
Then in the beginning of 2001 Fevry and I participated to writing contests, and we both wrote a story in which the important date was 4/15...

Actually 15th of April is an interesting date, as in the lunar Hebraic calendar Pessah always falls on 15th of Nissan, on the full moon.
As I told in my first approach, 1944 was a very special year, the first one in the Gregorian calendar repeating the exact conditions of 30, supposed to be the original Crucifixion year.
2001 is too a special year, not so unique as this happens about one time against ten: Jewish Pessah lasts eight days, as Christian Holy Week, and in 2001 these eight days were from April 8 to 15, in a perfect match with Christian Holy Week.

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