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Money is only significant (that "dead, unlovely" notion again) in the context of a dehumanizing system; it is "an absurd God, the absurdest that men, in their madness, ever bowed down before and worshipped" (8).
Nor was TB by any means his only ailment: My dear James, My bloody health has played me it in once more in the absurdest fashion, and the creature who now addresses you is but a stringy and white-faced bouilli out of the pot of fever: sub-acute rheumatism, whispers the doctor; the congested kidney, the genial pleuritic rub, the familiar recalcitrant liver, the aching constipated gall-duct, the swimming headache, and the devil to pay in every corner of the economy.
Dumas' version of the Orestes was `one of the absurdest things I ever saw'.