- Ducornet, Rikki
The Jade Cabinet
Dalkey Archive Press, Normal, Illiinois, 1994, Illustrated Wraps, , First Paperback Edition, Very Good
158 pp. Wear to edges, a black mark on back wrap. ''Let's suppose that the memory is like a jade cabinet, but a cabinet belonging to an infinitely resolute collector. Each time we look inside, the jade appears to be the same, yet the mind is forever replacing one chimera for another that resembles it. Let's suppose that the memory is a cabinet of chameleons and the mind as unstable as the moon.'' 'The novel travels from Oxford to Egypt where one million ibis mummies wait to be transformed into fertilizer, where Baconfield the architect will cause a pyramid to collapse, and where a scorned and bloated hunger artist who speaks in tongues will plot a bloody revenge.'--from the jacket. ''Our father, Angus Sperry, once described how certain butterflies risk their lives sailing the infinite airs above the seas to flock together at the resonant place (as he called it): an obscure tree, a ragged expanse of beach, a certain plain littered with glacial rubble--utterly transforming the landscape for a few, brief hours, before sailing off to regions unknown, in one great, lucent cloud. This seemed a miracle to me, and if I recall it today, it is because one morning in November something similar took place in Baconfield's mind: he awoke to see spots, powdery, bright and ringed with black--like the eyes on the wings of butterflies. His mind was vagrant with moths, each with two pairs of eyes burning on the wings. And Baconfield could hear their small voices, the voices of angels, very high and thin, the sound the rim of a crystal champange glass makes when rubbed with a wet finger.''--from Chapter 23.