In a paper on the psychoanalytic symbolism of The English Patient the psychoanalyst Norman Doidge, M.D. talks about explosions as a metaphor for emotion as it is experienced by the schizoid individual:
“Even though a schizoid person’s affect is constricted, he is not without affective investments. One schizoid patient, who seemed Spock-like talking to people, had a passionate fascination with machines. His experience of emotions when dealing with people was almost digital: he was on or off, without the analogical crescendos and decrescendos of passion. The smallest surge of emotion is like a bomb going off. This state of affairs finds its objective correlative [in “The English Patient”] in the mined villa, and in Kip, the bomb defuser who must turn off all his fear.”
It is worth noting that The Emerald Archive contains numerous references to explosions. Oscar Berg (a notably schizoid character) lost his eyesight in an explosion at a railway station, sexual intercourse is compared to a nuclear explosion, the Tsar is witness to an explosion, the World Trade Center is destroyed in an explosion, Beethoven’s Great Fugue is compared to “an explosion of energy.” The book contains several references to bomb shelters.