lørdag den 29. juli 2017

The Clown

The Clown turned his powdered face to the mirror,
   "If to be fair is to be beautiful," he said, "who can compare with me in my white mask?"
   "Who can compare with him in his white mask?" I asked Death beside me.
   "Who can compare with me?" said Death, "for I am paler still."
   "You are very beautiful," sighed the Clown, turning his powdered face from the mirror.
- Robert W. Chambers, The King in Yellow.

The King in Yellow is a collection of short stories, first published in 1895. The title references a lost play, which is said to be of such a poisonous nature, that anyone who reads it, or meets its protagonist must die. The King wears a crown of cheap deceit, a cape of yellow, the miscoloured skin of jaundice, or the flesh of the already dead. He comes with insanity and despair, and he kills off any and all signs of love. To meet the king in yellow is to get the joke, and meet the horror of pointless flesh that is already always rotting on our bones.
Some say he is an angel and the book is the lost, and final part of the old biblical scrolls.

original front page illustration by Chambers