Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A South Seas book collection - like bologna, and Stilton

An antiquarian shows the island travellers his book collection:

"Upon gaining the vault, forth flew a score or two of bats, extinguishing the flambeau, and leaving us in darkness, like Belzoni deserted by his Arabs in the heart of a pyramid. The torch at last relumed, we entered a tomb-like excavation, at every step raising clouds of dust; and at last stood before long rows of musty, mummyish parcels, so dingy-red, and so rolled upon sticks, that they looked like stiff sausages of Bologna; but smelt like some fine old Stilton or Cheshire."

Mardi, Ch. 123

Much of what is wrong with Mardi is on display here ("relumed"), but I don't care. I want to look at those mummyish, sausagey, aromatic scrolls.

Some titles:

King Kroko, and the Fisher Girl
Sonnet on the Last Breath of an Ephemera
Grunts and Groans, by a Mad Boar
Pudding for the Pious
On the Best Gravy for Wild Boar's Meat
Three Recipes for Bottling New Arrack

Hmm, maybe I don't want to look at them. Maybe just those last two.


  1. You scorn Pudding for the Pious? I'm sure it is highly educational, and not at all delicious.

  2. I'm thinking of maybe franchising a pudding restaurant, where I will perhaps put Pudding for the Pious on the menu.

    Careful with the link; dang thing plays techno music.

  3. Oooh. I predict (based on no evidence) that sales of pudding, and especially pious pudding, would be countercyclical. If you made millions off the recession, you wouldn't be "stupider" for reading Mardi anymore.

  4. My get-rich-quick book will be called Practical Pudding Entrpreneurship: a Primer. My second book will be Melville Made Me Millions! A Memoir.