So glorious, the Large Door. Behind it, one prince in one palace. A cage bird in a birdcage. Ruffled feathers and one cardboard box on its side. Clever men with enormous brains next to an armoire. Salutes made hilarious by puppetry. There are pianos and machine guns.
There is one prince. There is a chatelaine with a wooden leg. There is a cage bird in a birdcage. There is blood on the rug. There is a cake in the pantry. There are candles on the cake. A clever man with an enormous brain has put a cardboard box over his head.
Electricity has been installed. Jasper in overalls. Millet strewn under the birdcage. Echoes of chivalry or typhoid. Weeping widow in widow’s weeds behind an arras weeping. Also wooden leg. Wood from banister railings. Interior railings be damned! Breadcrumbs in the millet.
Intricate wiring courtesy of Jasper. Chatelaine’s oxygen pump. A vase of genetically modified lupins. Such tiny lupins. Such a hysterical prince. One prince without a cardboard box. The throwing of fits. The tidiest annexe. The marmaladeless larder.
Grief embroidered on a pin cushion. Tallow candles guttered. A worm in the birthday cake. Slime and cobwebs near the clever men at the armoire. The result of the Honved cup tie. Smoke from the attic. Hippies encamped in the grounds in tents in perpetuity. Elsewhere harpies.
Platitudes of sausage and gristle. One eye of one prince in one palace. Milk, lumber, string. Delirium of Jasper besotted. Bluebottle splattered on the wainscot dead. Funereal violins. Jug on the mantelpiece. Warped perspective of cardboard box and birdcage.
Saturday tennis. One lupin wilted and turned to stone. There is a freak thunderstorm. A bat was seen. One bat in one sky in one hour. Muffled gunfire o’er the hills and far away. Jasper running with scissors. The chatelaine’s leg hankering for its balcony.
Terrible giddiness of one prince. Enter the clairvoyant pig. Ten tin drums and a tuba. Vinegar blush of cloth-eared gran. A clever man hangs a Hazchem banner from the ceiling. Startling vulgarity of the firstborn. Dix Pap, Cray Lars. The bluebottle was a doll.
Drastic measures of Jasper in extremis. One prince chucks one golliwog from one window. Pity and guff. Heresies enumerated by the chatelaine in sight of the cage bird in the birdcage. Soup before marmalade. Fenland memento mori.
This could continue interminably.
Buñuel would be proud.
Indeed. And perhaps discreetly charmed…
Oh my dear GOD, you can write! I don’t know what [hwaet!] you’re on about, half the time, but I know it’s beautiful. I think (if I may be so bold) you’re the cream of a tradition, the English Nonsensico-Surrealist tradition: William Blake, Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear, A.A. Milne (oh, if he’d ever stopped being quaintsy-waintsy for one minute and grown a spine commensurate with his gift for the English language) Mervyn Peake (especially Peake, I think)…and you. And oh, I think it was such a bold move to begin the story with the word “So”; beginning a narrative with “So” is almost as bold a move – I think – as beginning a story with “And” (by the way Lewis Carroll’s infamous final novel SYLVIE AND BRUNO begins with the word “And”). “Large Door” is one of the most gorgeous stories I’ve read in a long time.