Study Guide

The Diary of a Madman Section 17: Madrid. Thirtieth Februarius

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Section 17: Madrid. Thirtieth Februarius

  • Poprishchin writes that he is now in Spain. It happened so fast that he hasn't been able to make sense of it yet.
  • He says the deputies came with a carriage and they made it to the Spanish border in half an hour.
  • He says Spain is a strange land and in the first room, there are a lot of people with shaved heads. You know what this means, right? Yep, he's in an insane asylum. They used to shave the inmates' heads upon arrival.
  • Poprishchin says that the "lord chancellor" (probably a guard) pushed him into a room and told him he would beat him if he kept calling himself King Ferdinand. Poprishchin insists he is the king, and is beaten.
  • He's left alone and starts to think about world affairs. He's really on a roll here.
  • He realizes that China and Spain are the same country. Shmoop will keep that in mind for its next Geography Learning Guide.
  • Poprishchin says he's upset by something that's going to happen the next day. At seven o'clock the earth is going to sit on the moon. This troubles him because the moon is made in Hamburg out of tarred rope and olive oil and so very fragile that humans can't live on it, only noses.
  • He tries to talk to the other men in the asylum, but then the "lord chancellor" comes in and hits him with a stick, which he thinks must be a popular custom in Spain.

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