In Nikolai Gogol’s satirical short story The Nose, main character Ivan Yakovlevich finds out one morning and in a horror that his nose has fallen off, and later he even loses it. I remembered this story today when I saw the sea. It has stepped back again and left behind a strange planet, a wonder world full of seaweed and salty mud. I adore the smell of the sea and today it was three times stronger because of the scenery. I walked around the strange seaside planet, to be explored by nose, not by eyes or ears. The amazing dimension of smell.
“To my mind, we live too completely by the eye. .. Our whole English tradition neglects smell. In English, the nose is still something of an indelicate organ .. . Our literary pictures, our poetic landscapes are things to hang on mind’s wall, things for the eye. .. Of all such appeals to sensory recollection, none are more powerful, none open a wider door in the brain than an appeal to the nose. .. We ought to keep all senses vibrant and alive.
One reason for my love of this great beach is that living here, I dwell in a world that has a good natural smell, that is full of keen, vivid, and interesting savours and fragrances. .. So well do I know them, indeed, that were I blindfolded and led about the summer beach, I think I could tell on what part of it I was at any moment standing.”
Henry Beston, The Outermost House, 1928