Sunday, September 29, 2013

Links to my Diderot reviews

“Brun complains loudly that Palissot, his guest and friend, has written some couplets attacking him. Palissot had to write the couplets, and it’s Brun who’s in the wrong. Poinsinet complains loudly that Palissot’s attributed to him the couplets he wrote against Brun. Palissot had to attribute to Poinsinet the couplets he wrote against Brun, and it’s Poinsinet who’s in the wrong………………”
 From Rameau's Nephew by Denis Diderot

"After this argument, with which they could have circled the globe without running out of things to say or agreeing, they were overtaken by a storm which obliged them to hurry on their way…"
 From Jacques The Fatalist by Denis Diderot.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Hook-nosed men with patchwork dreams.

The flared trousers that belonged to Bowl were what could only be described as patchwork orange, if it is indeed possible to have different shades of orange to fill the various compartments of the trousers' quilted material. Judy argued that certain shades of so-called orange were more yellow than orange, or more red than orange, or more brown than orange, and only orange was orange, so how could any trousers be described as patchwork orange.

Bowl, Judy's other half of something they used to call an 'item', told Judy that they had once belonged to a showman with a hook nose and a squeaky voice, someone who wore those patchwork orange trews as well as a patchwork green waistcoat, a patchwork blue shirt like unstriped pyjamas, a patchwork white (a colour often called uni-polkadotted) hat and a patchwork pink face that was his real face.

This showman, Bowl told Judy, performed with a puppet crocodile, a tiny doll that he called his wife - plus a doctor and policeman who followed him about - and Bowl had often played the part of the policeman in a patchwork navy blue uniform.

Judy examined the patchwork orange trousers that Bowl had inherited before he started trying them on and she thought to herself that the showman could not have been very fastidious as a part of the trousers seemed to have a different shade of patchwork orange from the rest of the patchwork orange. A crucial patch that was more a patchwork purple patch than any patchwork orange patch. Funny how bodily fluids often ended up a coloured stain different from the colour as which it started out when first expended, she thought.

"Is he still alive, Bowl?" asked Judy.

"Ha, that's the mystery, Judy. The doctor kept him alive by putting him in various stories under various names to keep him alive, the doctor's methods of cure as well as prevention being the transformation of people into fiction with a healthier state than they were before they were transformed."

"What did the policeman do all the time?" asked Judy.

"He kept illness away by a laugh laugh laugh when swivelling his head round round round like this--" said Bowl, demonstrating a trick that was once common in the Good Old Days Shows at the end of every pier.

But there was nobody to watch Bowl because he was in a solitary cell of a prison - in a patchwork striped prison pyjama tunic. Bowl had murdered the man who wore the patchwork orange trews upon his hand like a glove and made them talk in a squeaky voice. Meanwhile, Bowl kept Judy in his head, which was safer for her than anywhere else.

Perhaps it wasn't a prison at all but somewhere safe from danger rather than keeping danger inside safe from those outside it. Somewhere to keep us all safe from hook-nosed men with patchwork dreams.

Each dream filled with shades of black black black.
His crocodile jaws going clack clack clack.