A perfectly horrific way to intimate the dreadful anticipation of a mortal enemy. Here Flay realizes, when the hated Chef finally appears in his teeming, steaming subterranean domain, that he had been sensing him all the time, like the growth of a cancer.
‘… he could make out the vague unmistakable shape of what had really been at the back of his brain like a tumour, ever since he entered the Great Kitchen.’
For another colourful metaphor conveying their mutual loathing, see Flay’s side-stepping of his enemy.
See also our bestellar review of this book, with its lavishly illustrated quote-mosaic, packed with fine phrasing and fresh metaphors.
Source: Mervyn Peake, Titus Groan, introduction by Anthony Burgess (London: Vintage Books, 1998), p. 21
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