mechanised
[beneath the rule a country hides]

Wednesday, September 10th, 2003

Time:3:26 am.
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........#3 - Appendix: Pale Fire [December 2005]


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In the last few months, the hospital has fallen victim to a series of fires. The main hall is now little more than a shell, while several wards have been reduced to charcoal. Light switches hang in midair, and all that remains of the flooring are a few buckled girders. The roof in both sections has also been destroyed - soft winter light streaming through the charred supports.

The damage to the interiors is brutal, and yet the collapse of the roofs seems to me triumphant. The asylum is dark, restrained and oppressive – the views of clouds, birds and vapour trails, a gesture of defiance. Underfoot - bricks, mortar and metal. Above - the vaulted sky.1

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[1]Main Hall






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[2]Wards




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[3]Coda




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1. “The grass below - above, the vaulted sky” - John Clare. [The final line from a poem written by Clare during his thirteen-year stay at Northampton County Asylum, later known as St. Crispin’s]

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