6th october 2005
He found himself not in a hayloft but in a very large low-ceilinged apartment that was evidently a bedroom. In the winter twilight he could see that the table, the mantelshelf and even the armchairs were cluttered with tall vases, expensive objects of every description, and old weapons. One end of the room was cut off by hangings which no doubt concealed an alcove.
Meaulnes had closed the window, partly because of the cold, partly for fear of being seen from outside. He crossed the room, drew aside the hangings, and discovered a broad low bed heaped with old books in gilt bindings, lutes with broken strings, candelabra - all thrown down pell-mell. Pushing everything into a corner he lay down to rest and sort out the elements of this strange adventure into which he had plunged.

Alain-Fournier, Le Grand Meaulnes

I looked around the room. An astonishing medley of objects lay around in piles which in place reached up to the ceiling. The contents of the room had a sort of strange cohesion and homogeneity, and they seemed to adhere to the walls like the contents of a half-empty jam jar. Yet here was every kind of thing. It was like a vast toy shop that had been hit by a bomb. In my first glance I noticed a French horn, a set of red-striped tin trumpets, some Chinese silk robes, a couple of rifles, Paisley shawls, teddy bears, glass balls, tangles of necklaces and other jewellery, a convex mirror, a stuffed snake, countless toy animals, and a number of tin trunks out of which multi-coloured costumes trailed. Exquisite and expensive playthings lay enlaced with the gimcrack contents of Christmas crackers. I sat down on the nearest seat, which happened to be the back of the rocking-horse, and surveyed the scene.

Iris Murdoch, Under the Net