Beware meaty quotations as spoilers! 

DECASTROLAND by Andrew Caldecott

“In the middle of the cabin sat a man feverishly painting at an easel. His head moved neither upward, downward, nor aside. There was something sinister, even malevolent, about its fixity. Then, with a shudder, he saw the explanation. Beneath the eyebrows were no eyes, nor eyelids: only a flat, blank ledge of flabby, ashen skin.”°


Sorry, for quoting so much but this story of ships crossing in the night, between the Kongea archipelago and Britain, and the above quoted dream, and involving the satirical  rivalry and styles of painters, and a romcom in the offing with a Miss Cavilege by the end, and voodoo possession and a bit of reprehensible racial slurring of its time, all making this an experience of substantiation — and a half! 

And a supernatural rationale for gestalt real-time reviewing with synchronicities between artworks like paintings crossing in the night from a dream archipelago’s connected islands to the presumed Island Colonizer far away, oceans between! Not forgetting L.P Hartley’s own Island and the MR James Mezzotint. Stories, too, crossing in the night!

“…and it has ever been a weakness of the human mind to translate coincidence and imprecation into causality and agency. The insertion of pins into a material object is an action physically complete in itself; but as to whether accompanying mental or psychic states may or may not have telepathic consequences, I prefer not to speculate.”

***


My reviews of other unconnected horror stories: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2022/07/13/separate-horror-stories-from-many-years-ago/

There may be further Caldecott stories reviewed in comment stream below…

One thought on “Beware meaty quotations as spoilers! 

  1. Sonata in D Minor by Andrew Caldecott

    “‘My wife,’ Mr Tullivant explained, ‘has no use for composers whose names begin with B, H, M or S. That, of course, knocks out all the great masters!’”

    This is possibly the most ridiculous hotchpotch that I have ever read!

    A marital conflict, two murder mysteries, and a gramophone record played at Dulling Towers…
    “SIEDEL’S SONATA IN D MINOR
    Violin: Igor Vidal
    Piano: Moritz Vidal”

    “Whether the fault lay with player or instrument, the tone was indescribably horrible:reminded Morcambe somehow of an animal moaning in pain, or was it rage? The piano, on the other hand, was being played exquisitely and, by contrast, made the violin all the more intolerable. […] As he moved towards the fire the tone of the violin grew even more shrill and strident, and fiercer in its apparent enmity to the piano.”

    And I, too, nearly murdered someone when first listening to Xenakis. Luckily there are not many composers with X to begin their names!

    (Actually, I now love Xenakis music!)
    SIEDEL – a Des Lie?

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