10 January 2021


When Mercurius descends in person to the great ballroom at Belbury and unmakes Language, his first victim is Jules/H G Wells. Some snatches of his speech ...

 ... as gross an anachronism as to trust to Calvary for salvation in modern war ... the future density of mankind depends on the implosion of the horses of Nature ... the madrigore of verjuice must be talthibianised ... accept the challenge of the past by throwing down the gauntlet of the future ... aholibate ... the surrogates esemplanted in a continual of porous variations ... we shall not till we can secure the erebation of all prostundiary initems ...

"Aholibate" seems singled out by Lewis for particular emphasis. I wonder why.

It evokes for me Ezekiel's Whore-Queen Aholibah whose 'magificent nonsense' flooded off Swinburne's pen (did he drug?) and which Peter Wimsey called upon his bride to recite ... "I am the Queen Aholibah/ My lips kissed dumb the word of Ah/ Sighed on strange lips grown sick thereby ... " while all the time Ms Twitterton lurked nearby ... and what was Wimsey doing to make his wife fear that he would break the chair?

 Is this the corruption of language that we see in the day-by-day disintegration of our own language? Does Mercurius call, loud and intolerably glad above our own riot of nonsense


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