This pattern of mythic-allusive rhapsody immediately counterpointed by the narrator's realistic deflation-cum-explicit - disapproval striates the story, climaxing in that moment when Aschenbach seeks to justify his erotic besottedness
with a boy as the sort of infatuation that even the greatest ancient heroes had suffered when the love god took possession of them.
There is a difference, however, between companionable gaiety and besottedness
, as Travis well knew.
However that may be, as the danger to Poniatowski of his besottedness
over Catherine (and hers over him) became clear, the ambassador took steps to protect his private secretary.
So wrapped up in his character's preening and besottedness
for West's Plowright, Shaughnessy is an egotist, certainly, but not exactly a schemer.
One longs here for a Pasternak, a Mandelstam, a Ginzburg; for the savagery of Solzhenitsyn, the phantasmagorias of Aksyonov, the higher linguistics and Hobbesian yawp of Zinoviev, the besottedness
of Dovaltov, Bulgakov's dog-man Sharik, even a Voinovich guffaw.