the library at the Ambiente Hotel

For some years a sub-basement beneath the hotel’s parking facility was used to store texts generated by the guests. These, ranging from thin volumes of verse to literary horror novels the thousand pages of which might be read in any order, were discovered in predictable circumstances: an immaculately tidy room with fifty years of stored nail clippings & a mysteriously opened window; urgent written or recorded warnings against reading or even turning the pages of the manuscript; the death, wandering-off or unexplained evaporation of the writer in circumstances which suggested they too had been an item in a text. During the pre-war period, the Theory Cadre threw open this library three times a year, but though its contents drew visitors from most major universities, no scholarship emerged & in May 1946 the sub-basement, along with the passage that leads to it, was sealed.Elements of the Closed Architectonics Committee of the Theory Cadre visit Le Tourniquet, circa 1930.

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6 responses to “the library at the Ambiente Hotel

  1. Yesterday, I had a strange visit from a vacuum cleaner salesman. He was shabby and looking and I cursed myself for the momentary impulse to let him into my house. Since he was here I thought we’d better get the whole thing over with. So he began his pitch.

    “Listen,” he confessed. “I don’t sell many of these things.”

    He looked down at his shoes sadly. I could see why.

    “This cleaner is the only vacuum cleaner you’ll ever own, environmentally friendly, no power consumption, life time guarantee, all parts fixed or replaced.”

    I had to admit it was the best USP I’d ever heard.

    “So what’s the catch?” I said.

    “It only works when you believe in it,” he answered.

    “That sucks” I said without thinking.

    “Thing is,” he continued, “I can never figure out who needs one. It takes me so long to find a customer I can never sell enough to make any money.”

    He brightened up and took a small object from his pocket; it looked like a laminated turd frosted with glitter with pretty ribbons wrapped carefully around it.

    “Don’t tell my boss I’m moonlighting and I’ll throw in this handy signpost to the infinite for half the retail value.”

    “Is that a metaphor?” I asked.

    He didn’t answer, he climbed out of the window and before I could collect myself enough to see where he went, he was gone. I still have the signpost, can’t figure out why, but I put the brand new vacuum cleaner outside in the alleyway with the rest of my trash. It didn’t work anyway.

    Even stranger, my trash was still there this morning but someone had taken the cleaner!

  2. Martin Maw

    Rumoured titles include: Henry Darger’s book on after-dinner speaking; “How to Kiss Your Own Lips” by the Bewlay Brothers; and the unique Penguin of “Doctor Faustus” with mistakes in the ritual corrected in pencil by Tony Blair.

    My memoir “I, Christ” is also said to preserved in the library, but lacks both the anatomical charts and the apologetic preface by Bono.

  3. CoreyHaim8myDog

    If only it was real…. Very nice.

  4. uzwi

    Clorax_Hurd tweets, “Is M John Harrison represented in the library at the Ambiente Hotel ?” I was represented, Clorax, for a few months in 1972, not by a book but by a pair of shoes placed on a chair.

  5. This makes me happy: “…which suggested they too had been an item in a text.” Yes yes.