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The Book of the Damned

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Author Topic: The Book of the Damned  (Read 3544 times)
Dusk
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« Reply #45 on: April 21, 2009, 01:29:28 pm »

of anything, is, in some degree or aspect, acceptable of everything. So it is quite proper to speak, for instance, of something that is as firm as a rock and that sails in a majestic march. The Irish are good monists: they have of course been laughed at for their keener perceptions. So it's a book we're writing, or it's a procession, or it's a museum, with the Chamber of Horrors rather over-emphasized. A rather horrible correlation occurs in the Scientific American, 1859-178. What interests us is that a correspondent saw a silky substance fall from the sky—there was an aurora borealis at the time—he attributes the substance to the aurora.

Since the time of Darwin, the classic explanation has been that all silky substances that fall from the sky are spider webs. In 1832, aboard the Beagle, at the mouth of La Plata River, 60 miles from land, Darwin saw an enormous number of spiders, of the kind usually known as "gossamer" spiders, little aeronauts that cast out filaments by which the wind carries them.

It's difficult to express that silky substances that have fallen to this earth were not spider webs. My own acceptance is that spider webs are the merger; that there have been falls of an externally derived silky substance, and also of the webs, or strands, rather, of aeronautic spiders indigenous to this earth; that in some instances it is impossible to distinguish one from the other. Of course, our expression upon silky substances will merge away into expressions upon other seeming textile substances, and I don't know how much better off we'll be

Except that, if fabricable materials have fallen from the sky—

Simply to establish acceptance of that may be doing well enough in this book of first and tentative explorations.

In All the Year Round, 8-254, is described a fall that took place in England, Sept. 21, 1741, in the towns of Bradly, Selborne, and Alresford, and in a triangular space included by these three towns. The substance is described as "cobwebs"—but it fell in flake-formation, or in "flakes or rags about one inch broad and five or six inches long." Also these flakes were of a relatively heavy substance—"they fell with some velocity." The quantity was great—the shortest side of the triangular space is eight miles long. In the Wernerian Nat, Hist. Soc. Trans., 5-386, it is said that there were two falls—that they

p. 61

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