Thursday, April 12, 2007

Oh, NOW I get it!

Chris Johnson at MCJ has unearthed yet another collection of dim Episcopalian clerics, one of whom launches into yet another chorus of the late, great "Three-Legged Stool" of the Anglicans. Typically, the author describes the concept in one sentence - Scripture, Tradition and Reason - then in the sentence immediately following does the old switcheroo on one of the "legs" and substitutes in "experience" for Reason.

Nowadays, every time I hear the words "three-legged stool", I immediately think of Edward Gorey's miniature romance (for want of a better word), 'The Curious Sofa, a Pornographic Work by Ogdred Weary'. Read the reviewer's synopsis and you'll see how perfectly everything fits:
The Curious Sofa tells of the delightfully open-minded Alice who, approached one day in the park while she's eating grapes, takes a taxi ride with a young gentleman during which she does something that she's never done before. The story then proceeds to a country house, during which various upper-class folk introduce Alice to a dizzying variety of fun, variously involving a French maid, a Countess, a married couple who each have a wooden leg, numerous "exceptionally well-formed" gentlemen and an enthusiastic Old English sheepdog. You don't actually see anything, thanks to Mr. Gorey's discreet placing of trees, bushes, clothed persons and screens between us and the action, so fans of genuine porn can expect to be disappointed. But this is still a highly titillating book. It climaxes, as it were, when the whole party encounters the eponymous and somewhat sinister sofa, at which point events get rather beyond Alice's control in a way that I'll leave to your imagination.
It ALL has to be left to your imagination, as we never actually SEE the mysterious sofa, but we do read an interesting description of it:
It stood in a windowless room lined with polar bear fur and otherwise empty; it was upholstered in scarlet velvet, and had nine legs and seven arms.
Soon to be appearing at Trinity Church, Wall Street.



Anonymous ellie m said...

For people who worship Reason, the revisionists are singularly unreasonable.

10:34 am  

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