Q: Then why did you say earlier that the venture
was only "more or less" successful?
A: We anticipated a whole line of numinous
items and have had but two! The reason for this is clearly that
we were constrained to ignore the absolutely central factor of context.
The number of variables would have been too vast even for Maud.
Therefore the objects are conceived of as existing in a vacuum or
rather in the pure negation of context. It irks us all no end. In
a comedy I saw as a child Harlequin is made to remark that something
is "as out of place as a piece of cheese in a library."
Whenever Maud destroys an object, one, it may be, that I've been
or more in the cellar manufacturing, this line comes to mind. For
who's to say but that an object which seems to lack salience here
in the lab might be powerfully numinous in a niche, say, among dictionaries
in the Bibliotheque Nationale?
1. These are stacks, from 6 1/2 in. to 12 ft. hight, of discs of diverse materials (yeast, lineolum, silver, wax, wool, etc.) all with a central perforation allowing access to a "spine" either of lead or zinc which runs the length of the pile and prevents it toppling.
2. "beings or things which possess the terrible virtue of being unforgettable and whose image finally drives people mad." - J.L. Borges.
3. "Autobiography of a Schizophrenic Girl" - M. Sechehaye