Thursday, April 2, 2009


#92, Kossuth tér, Pest, Budapest

This number always reminds me of a line from Edward Gorey's The Disrespectful Summons , a delightfully ghastly illustrated tale wherein a fiendish flying imp named Beelphasaur presents a lady, recently visited by the Devil, with a book called Ninety-Two Entirely Evil Things to Do . This she proceeds to read in bed with great curiosity. I love books within books, especially when they're books that don't exist. Borges and his libraries come to mind, as does Leopold Bloom buying The Sweets of Sin for his wife in Ulysses.

For the curious browser, there is, fortunately, the The Invisible Library, which has catalogued a list of titles of "imaginary books, pseudobiblia, artifictions, fabled tomes, libris phantastica, and all manner of books unwritten, unread, unpublished, and unfound." Gorey's fictions-within-fictions appear here, including not just Ninety-Two Entirely Evil Things to Do but also The Toothpaste Murder. The Invisible Library is also the place for you if you are looking to peruse the complete list of works by Philip Jose Farmer (via Kilgore Trout, via Kurt Vonnegut), including classics such as Quarantine!, No Nose Means Bad News, and What Am I Doing on Your Table? Have fun wandering the stacks.


Jackie said...

like Michael Ende's "Die unendliche Geschichte".... better known to a child of the 80's such as myself as "The Neverending Story." With Artax the horse who sinks into the quicksand. And the Luck Dragon named Falcor who shouts, "Atreyuuuuuuu!" Okay, so that's from the movie version. But I have indeed read the book as well.

Ya with me on the "Neverending Story" love, T?

Ray Gunn said...

Jackie, if she's not, I am! I recently re-watched it with my stepdaughter, and I still cry when Atreyu loses Artax in the Swamps of Sadness. Still.

I love this photo, Tea. And, um, about the entirely evil things to do, didn't you once have a demo tape by the same name?

saftess - feigned ignorance that allows one to avoid an unpleasant task or conversation

Therese Cox said...

Uh-oh. Sacrelige. I missed the whole "Neverending Story" boat, ladies. (I might have passed by on the S.S. Last Unicorn, but that's about it.) I do remember the title made me wary. For some reason a "neverending" story seemed way more about tedium than adventure. I was more in the camp of Bilbo's imaginary memoir in "The Hobbit": "There and Back Again." I was like, OK, that I can get into.

Ray, good memory! Now you know where the title came from. As for the tape itself, yikes. Collecting dust somewhere.

Julie said...

Ah, but I put my hand up to man the tiller of the NES boat. My children adored both book, then film to the extent that our next dog was named Falkor. My son is different to this day; because he can.