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Om In Pursuit of Lavender
In this novel-length road story, the female protagonist, who is haunted by an audio hallucination twenty ells of linen are worth a coat’ that plays over and over in her mind, escapes from a mental hospital with a young man. This is the story of their journey together. [NP] The hallucinatory words come from a passage in Marx's Das Kapital, but the protagonist knows nothing of that; nor does she understand what they literally mean. After she starts to hear them, she attempts suicide and is then diagnosed as manic and placed in a mental hospital. Unable to stand life in the prison-like hospital, she makes a daring escape with Nagoyan, another patient. [NP] She is 21 and fluent in the Hakata dialect of northern Kyushu. Nagoyan is a 24-year-old company employee suffering from depression who insists that he is a native of Tokyo, though he is actually from Nagoya. This strange pair, just escaped from their Hakata hospital, struggle with the mental crises that constantly assault them as they head southward in a junky car, picking destinations at whim as they go. On the way, they sightsee, quarrel and yearn for the fragrance of lavender.