Pg. 17


“Lance, there’s nothing so pleasing to most tastes as a good mouthful of molasses. But not too thick. You hate this setup enough to make the story sing. And tears and ink will make any story jump.” Carl placed a paternal arm about his charge. “What do you say, boy? Give Papa some nice molasses — a couple columns of it.”


It would be unfair to compare Cocteau with the monolithic classical writers of the twentieth century; for them writing was a profession, while Cocteau wanted only to be himself and say what he felt. He showed childish delight when he was elected to the Academie Francaise but it would be more appropriate to see him as an academy of one.


Next day, now look, the picture shows

How lank and lean Augustus grows!

Yet, though he feels so week and ill,

The naughty fellow cries out still —

“Nor any soup, for me I say:

O take the nasty soup away;

I won’t have any soup to-day.”


Meanwhile, the disease thus wonderfully generated betrayed more terrible symptoms. Fever and delirium terminated in lethargic slumber, which in the course of two hours, gave place to death. Yet not till insupportable exhalations and crawling putrefaction had driven from his chamber and the house every one whom their duty did not detain.


Dick Watchett liked Mr. Rabb, as did all juniors who came in contact with him. The midshipmen adored him. And indeed he was a likeable person, with his crisp hearty voice, his clean mind, and his courteous manner with the young or the poor — the best type of Englishman.


With a suitcase full of clothes and underwear in my hand and an indomitable will in my heart, I set out for Vienna. I too hoped to wrest from fate what my father had accomplished fifty years before; I too hoped to become “something” — but in no case a civil servant.


Obsessive compulsive disorders (OCD) such as these are recognised in humans and are also found in the domesticated species where, according to some sources, cats are more heavily represented than dogs. In the treatment of such cases behaviourists follow the developments in the human field where the environmental and managemental stress factors, which are contributing to the condition, are removed as far as possible. Medical treatment is also available and its effectiveness seems to be influenced by the presence of conflicts as well as by the time during which the OCD has been apparent. As yet knowledge about the causes and successful treatment of these cases is limited, and so the pooling of expertise within an organisation such as the APBC is invaluable.



Me again. I thought that, if I selected seven paragraphs of moderate size from the page sevens of a more or less random selection of books, the passages would begin to talk to one another and perhaps even form a narrative. I was right! I didn’t expect it to be so grimly topical, though.

The extracts come from The Dark Page, by Samuel Fuller; Cocteau’s World, by Jean Cocteau, introduced by Margaret Crosland; Struwwelpeter, by Dr. Heinrich Hoffmann; Wieland, by Charles Brockden Brown; In Hazard, by Richard Hughes; The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, by William L. Shirer (the narrator of this section is Hitler); and finally Why Does My Cat…? by Sarah Heath.


3 Responses to “Pg. 17”

  1. ehrenstein47 Says:

    “Childish Delight” has always been at the heart of Cocteau. IMO. “Les Enfants Terrible” is all about young adults regressing into childhood, and it’s not accident that his most beloved film is an adaptation of a fairy tale. Child-like too is his last film “Testament of Orpheus” which is my favorite of all his works.

  2. Jeff Gee Says:

    ‘Wieland’ is a really nuts book. It’s like he sat down down to write the ultimate vehicle for Klaus Kinski, except there was no Klaus Kinski in 1798. And now there is no Klaus Kinski again!

  3. The Kinski Window of Opportunity has closed. Though his son is a really interesting performer, I’m surprised we haven’t seen more of him.

    I love The Testament of Orpheus too, I really enjoy the idea of an author wondering about in the domain of his imagination. And that kind of discursiveness is part of what I’m aiming for here, by almost pure chance.

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