Thursday, May 14, 2009

Clown alley, the generic name...

Clown alley, the generic name of all lodgings of all clowns, temporarily located in this city in the rotten wooden tenement where damp fell from the walls like dew, was a place where reigned the lugubrious atmosphere of a prison or a mad-house; amongst themselves, the clowns distilled the same kind of mutilated patience one finds amongst inmates of closed institutions, a willed and terrible suspension of being. At dinner time, the white faces fathered round the table, bathed in the acrid stream of the baboushka's fish soup, posessed the formal lifelesness of death masks, as if, in some essential sense, they themselves were absent from the repast and left untenanted replicas behind. -- Nights at the Circus <1984), Angela Carter



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