Saturday 22 April 2023 — A meeting to discuss Chapter 4, Hell’s Museum, from JCP’s novel Weymouth Sands led by Sonia Lewis.
Venue: The Old Fire Engine House,25 St. Mary’s Street, Ely, Cambridgeshire.
11:00 am to 4:00 pm (with lunch break)
All are welcome. The event is free with the exception of lunch which is optional and may be taken in the restaurant at the venue. A contribution towards the cost of refreshments is voluntary. If you wish to participate please e-mail Hon. Secretary.
At the beginning of Chapter 4 of Weymouth Sands we meet Richard Gaul, one of JCP’s philosophical characters: Mr Gaul was a dodging and debouching youth dedicated to remain poor. Gaul’s ‘philosophy of representation’ may perhaps have been inspired by Schopenhauer’s The World as Will and Representation. Like Schopenhauer Gaul studies world religions and the psychology of human instincts. He also provides the ending for the novel:… she handed him the stone which had been in the Jobber’s pocket so long… “It’s for my old friend, Mr Gaul. It will keep the Philosophy of Representation from blowing away!” JCP makes good use of locations in Weymouth, evoking the places he had known in his childhood, such as the bow windowed houses of Brunswick Terrace. Richard Gaul lives on the top story of one of these houses. This chapter provides opportunities for JCP to explore his observation of the details of everyday things such as his description of the grey level of the sea’s horizon. We also meet Daniel Brush and his pathological institution, Hell’s Museum, a place for insane people and a symbol of JCP’s loathing for scientific materialism, his fear of vivisection and scientific experiments. JCP describes Magnus Muir’s approach to the sanitarium: He could not resist his sick aversion and distaste. The chapter concludes with Magnus Muir and Curly Wix meeting amidst the ancient grassy ramparts of the prehistoric Camp of Maiden Castle whilst below them on the Dorchester Road can be heard the sound of a very modern car-horn: Tirra-lirra! Tirra-lirra!
Chris Thomas, Hon Secretary