"So that what seemed reposing body was simply the most likely image of the whatever named soul, freed of its salt like seawater evaporating in the sun, so that the actual body, resting in bed, sighing, mumbling, came to be more like a scurf, more like that saline column of myth"
George’s spirit is freeing itself, leaving behind its worldly form. These two references to salt are from classical and biblical literature.
In Book VI of Homer’s Odyssey, Odysseus and his men escape the destruction of his ship by Poseidon as they swim toward land “with a thick scurf of salt coated upon them” (23.231-240)
In Genesis 19:26: Yahweh reveals that he will destroy the wicked city of Sodom unless he finds ten righteous people living there. Having not found even this small number, angels lead Lot and his family out of Sodom to safety, but order them not to look back as they flee. But Lot’s wife turned to look back, and was transformed into a pillar of salt.