November 26, 2007

A hundred oriels, minarets, and pinnacles.

The ending of Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Domain of Arnheim' is a beautiful and extraordinarily long sentence: here, it provided a perfect image of death.  However, the style was too convoluted to uphold for a longer story, and too imposing to disregard.

 


 

Everything all the time, everything in your life has come easily, and has come beautifully; with grace, and a confident glide, you embodied a forceful, elegant sweep through the mustered courtesy and foolish blustering, the trappings of current that you were content to wilfully ignore.


Those fawning barnacles that attached themselves to you over time dropped with more, or were removed, but never grew disillusioned from your grace; and therein lay your power to move through the crowd without any noxious trail of discontent, and the plain, unmemorable pleasantry of your meetings with members from all walks, and from all races.


You realise, now, the immaculate simplicity of the relations you have held in your pocket-book – as indeed, with those in your bedroom – and how it forms a twining thread of ferrous silver through your self; – from its earliest signs of emergence, in stifled grunts of reciprocal passion, to this end-lit climb.


Mindful of what must come, you open, and you embrace; it comes easily, and it comes beautifully. There is a gush of entrancing melody; there is an oppressive sense of strange sweet odour; – there is a dream-like intermingling to the eye of tall slender Eastern trees – bosky shrubberies – flocks of golden and crimson birds – lily-fringed lakes – meadows of violets, tulips, poppies, hyacinths, and tube-roses – long intertangled lines of silver streamlets – and, upspringing confusedly from amid all, a mass of semi-Gothic, semi-Saracenic architecture, sustaining itself by miracle in mid-air; glittering in the red sunlight with a hundred oriels, minarets, and pinnacles; and seeming the phantom handiwork, conjointly, of the Sylphs, of the Fairies, of the Genii, and of the Gnomes.


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November 2007

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