Friday, June 01, 2007

Sev's Book Club


I've been meaning to post a selection from a book in my collection, Social Abominations, published in the 1880's. This wonderfully subtle book warns us against the pitfalls of Swearing and Cursing, Clandestine Marriages, Hypnotism in Relation to Crime, The Dance, and Whisperers. Gotta watch out for those Whisperers--they'll lead you to Hell in a heartbeat.

I also expect you'll have to watch out for voyeristic cherubs with opera glasses like the little bastard on the cover. He's clearly attempting to stop the canoodling couple on the cover from holding hands too long or Whispering or some such.

Have a go at this little tidbit of The Dance:

The conditions of the ball-room, with its gay company, its elegant robes, its exciting music, and whirling movements are caclulated to arouse to its highest pitch every sense of the body, and as the circling of the waltz proceeds, as hand clasps hand, arm encircles waist, the hot breath of each reaches the other, heart beats to heart, and eye responds to eye, as they move onward in the giddy and exciting maze, under the stirring notes of the music and sometimes the exhilarations of the wine cup, the dancers are, to say the least, not under the holiest possible moral influences, and soon, getting beyond their own judgement, some at least will go whirling on in the "dance of death."

I'm confused. Wasn't there an old hardcore song called "Dance of Death"?

I don't know about you but I think I want to try some of this waltzing jazz. Sounds like more action than I've had in a while. Just so long as there isn't some half-naked cherub in a winding sheet spying on the proceedings.

Next time: J. Harvey Kellog's infamous Plain Facts For Old and Young

10 comments:

Scott said...

We want J. Harvey Kellog!

Didn't the Ugly Americans do "Dance of Death"?

BlackCrow said...

I wonder if what they would have made of pogo dancing...probably safer than waltzing.

Obsidian Kitten said...

"arm encircles waist, the hot breath of each reaches the other, heart beats to heart"...is this where anne rice was getting her stuff from?

i'm hatching chicks today. well, actually, they're hatching themselves, thanks to my policy of non-interference. they're very small, and they're stacking themselves up very nicely, thank you, oh dream prophetess.

ok, now i'm off to the new, uh, thing you done there.

Jane said...

This title totally belongs in my collection of Books for the Weird. However, I own nothing that competes with the title, which sounds like the name of a punk band from 1892 (if there were such a thing). I've been meaning for many, many months to post a few excerpts from my own collection of vintage self-help books but it takes me for freakin' ever to do anything (the only reason my clothes are clean is because my apt-bldg basement has not yet been overrun by weird Xian cultists). If I ever post anything interesting from my books I'll let you know.

And congrats on the semi-move!

Anonymous said...

where did you get this book? I must have it. ravel supaenzi

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