Tuesday, January 31, 2023

The Door in the Wall

In connection with the recent reappearance of the Green Door theme, I was rereading Aldous Huxley's little book about psychedelics, The Doors of Perception. Yesterday I read this on p. 42:

Art and religion, carnivals and saturnalia, dancing and listening to oratory -- all these have served, in H. G. Wells' phrase, as Doors in the Wall. And for private use there have always been chemical intoxicants.

I've read a smattering of H. G. Wells's better known works but had never run across that phrase, so I looked it up, found that it was the title of a short story of his, and downloaded a collection including that story from Gutenberg. I haven't opened it yet, though, as I'm already in the middle of several other books.

Less than 24 hours later -- early this morning -- I received an email with the subject line "The Door In The Wall." It said simply "Just found out my son is reading this in school!" and had this screenshot attached:

Now it's not by chance that I've been reading and downloading lots of stories about doors, green and otherwise; nor is it surprising that one of my readers, knowing my current interest in such stories, would send me an email like this. Still, the timing -- and the unexpected fact that Wells's door is green -- is striking.

By the way, I'm quite sure that I've written before about H. G. Wells and Hg wells -- wells of mercury -- in connection with the subterranean quicksilver lakes of Qin Shi Huang and those under the Feathered Serpent Pyramid in Teotihuacan -- but a search of my blogs doesn't turn up anything. Perhaps it was in the comments or an email. If anyone knows what I'm talking about, do leave a comment.

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