Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bits, Bobs, and Oddments

I have been away from the rehearsal process for a bit (working on another play) so I am feeling a bit disconnected. I am looking forward to coming back and witnessing what has happened while I have been gone. In the meantime I am including some bits and pieces, quotes and facts and tidbits from things I have been reading that resonate with Neverwhere.

"If you look at a thing 999 times, you are perfectly safe; if you look at it for the 1000th time, you are in danger of seeing it for the first time." – G. K. Chesterton, The Napoleon of Notting Hill

"But when first the two black dragons sprang out of the fog upon the small clerk, they had merely the effect of all miracles--they changed the universe. He discovered the fact that all romantics know--that adventures happen on dull days, and not on sunny ones." – G. K. Chesterton, The Napoleon of Notting Hill

"He was a genuine natural mystic, one of those who live on the border of fairyland. But he was perhaps the first to realise how often the boundary of fairyland runs through a crowded city." – G. K. Chesterton, The Napoleon of Notting Hill

" Of the thousand millions of human beings that are said to constitute the population of the entire globe, there are -- socially, morally, and perhaps even physically considered -- but two distinct and broadly marked races, viz., the wanderers and the settlers -- the vagabond and the citizen -- the nomadic and the civilized tribes." – Henry Mayhew, London Labour and the London Poor

“The Street-sellers of Mineral Productions and
Curiosities -- as red and white sand, silver sand,
coals, coke, salt, spar ornaments, and shells.

These, so far as my experience goes, exhaust
the whole class of street-sellers, and they appear
to constitute nearly three-fourths of the entire
number of individuals obtaining a subsistence in
the streets of London.

The next class are the Street-Buyers, under
which denomination come the purchasers of hare-
skins, old clothes, old umbrellas, bottles, glass,
broken metal, rags, waste paper, and dripping.

After these we have the Street-Finders, or
those who, as I said before, literally "pick up"
their living in the public thoroughfares. They are
the "pure" pickers, or those who live by gather-
ing dogs'-dung; the cigar-end finders, or " hard-
ups," as they are called, who collect the refuse
pieces of smoked cigars from the gutters, and
having dried them, sell them as tobacco to the
very poor; the dredgermen or coal-finders; the
mud-larks, the bone-grubbers; and the sewer-

Under the fourth division, or that of the
Street-Performers, Artists, and Show-
men, are likewise many distinct callings.”

Henry Mayhew, London Labour and the London Poor

“It is not down in any map; true places never are.” – Herman Melville, Moby Dick

A station agent at King’s Cross station said there were two suicide attempts per week – Stephen Smith, Underground London

The closed Angel station was used as a bomb shelter during World War II - Stephen Smith, Underground London

“This author’s endeavour should be to make the Past, the sense of all the dead Londons that have gone to the producing of this child of all the ages, like a constant ground-bass beneath the higher notes of the Present. “ Ford Madox Ford, The Soul of London

The city does not tell its past, but contains it like the lines of a hand.” Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

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