Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Architecture of the Imagination

"I ... made a survey.  I was in a big square sort of a hall, with doors off to the left and in the wall ahead.  To the right, instead of a wall and doors, it just spread out into an enormous living room which contained at least twenty different kinds of furniture.  My eye was professionally trained to take in anything from a complicated street scene to a speck on a man's collar, ... but for the job of accurately describing that room I would have charged double.  Two of the outstanding items were a chrome-and-red-leather bar with stools to match and a massive old black walnut table with carved legs and edges. 

...I advanced to pick out a chair to sit on, saw none that I thought much of, and settled on a divan ten feet long and four feet wide, covered with green burlap.  A near-by chair had pink embroidered silk. 

...'Come this way.' 

She turned and started for the square hall and I followed.  We went through a door, crossed a room that had a piano, a bed, and an electric refrigerator in it, which left it anybody's guess how to name it, and on through another door into a corner room big enough to have six windows....  Every object in it, and it was anything but empty, was either pale yellow or pale blue.  The wood, both the trim and the furniture, was painted blue, but other things--rugs, upholstery, curtains, bed coverlet--were divided indiscriminately between the two colors.  Among the few exceptions were the bindings of the books on the shelves and the clothes of the ... man....  The woman lying on the bed kept to the scheme...."

From: And Be a Villain (Nero Wolfe mystery) by Rex Stout

No comments: