Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A sink of malignancy

After a particularly stressful meeting last week, I popped into a used bookstore to destress before heading home. I hesitated over a copy of Bruno Schulz's Sanatorium under the Hourglass but turned it down because it smelled funny — I mean, really funny; but I came out with a gem, The Victorian Chaise Longue, by Marghanita Laski (1953). It's been reissued recently by Persephone Books, and I've heard wonderful things about it in various corners of le bloguemonde (from Danielle, among others). While the recommendations were strong, the cover art on the 1960 paperback I found is irresistible.

Equally enthralling is the ad copy inside:

Are you fond of old-fashioned furniture?

Be careful.

Furniture is inanimate — but it is occupied by animate beings subject to fear, love, despair, hatred, happiness — the myriad feelings of which humans are capable. And who knows what the life-span of terror may be? Who can tell what identity one may find woven into a plush old velvet chaise-longue, or what determines the time and setting for acting out a drama of horror?

Be careful. Your antique bargain may be a sink of malignancy.

Just waiting.

I paid about 5 times the 35-cent price boasted on the spine; still a bargain, but this prospect of malignancy has me a bit concerned.
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