03 May Trevanian

Nor did Doctor Gross particularly advantageous position in the stream of sexual opportunity engender the jealously one might have expected among his peers, for he was protected form their envy by a fully deserved reputation as the ugliest man in Gascony, perhaps in all of France. His was a uniquely thoroughgoing ugliness embracing both broad plan and minute detail, an ugliness the total of which was greater than the sum of the parts, an ugliness to which each feature contributed its bit, from the bulbous veiny nose, to the blotched and pitted complexion, well warted and stained, to the slack, meaty mouth, to the flapping wattles, to the gnarled irregular ears, to the undershot chin over-balanced by a beetling brow. Only his eyes, glittering and intelligent within their sunken rheumy sockets, escaped the general aesthetic holocaust. But withal there was a peculiar attraction to his face, a fascination at the abandon with which Nature can embrace ruin, that lured one’s glance again and again to his features only to have the gaze deflected by self-consciousness.