Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Bad days, worse nights

October 30, 1928

I don't know why I bother! Yesterday I went to visit the funeral home where the Rosy [sic, should be Roby] bodies were taken after the murder [Dr. Hampton included a newspaper clipping on this page of the journal. It is not reproduced here]. Those damn English think they're quite amazing, don't they? What with their "the colonies" this and "damn yanks" that. I was in such a huff I didn't even try to get any information out of that pretentious director.

Lord knows I don't need this aggravation in addition to the trials I have at night. I've been having the damndest time getting to sleep. And then it's scarcely worth it! It's the London weather, I swear. Too damp, not enough light. Perhaps I should have Dermot rig up the Apparatus and I'll leave it on through the night.

[The following note was scribbled in the margin]
Must remember to speak with Graham Roby and Dr. Trollope

October 31, 1928

[The following entry was largely scratched out]
Had attrocious [sic] dream last night. [Illegible] horrible city, then hills, and then nine [illegible]. Stars disappeared and [illegible] reached for me.

October 31, 1928
Quite exhausted today. Will make only a brief entry.

Met Dr. Highsmith on train to St. Agnes Asylum. Had an interview with Roby - nonresponsive until we mentioned the possibility of discharge. Mentioned names: Malcolm Quarry, Edwards, Delia. Also says he needs to "finish his work" and seeks to "divert the King's (in Yellow, I presume) attention away from Earth."

Despite his questionable credentials, I must agree with Dr. Kirkwall. Roby is not fit for release.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Meeting Mr. Jensen

[I neglected to include the following entry which describes Dr. Hampton's meeting with Langdon Jensen about the commissioned slides. I offer it here to amend the omission].

October 21st, 1928

I met with Mr. Jensen today and I can not describe how satisfied I am with his slides! They are all simply marvelous and I can scarcely wait to begin experimentation upon returning home.

The first slide is of a deep reddish tint with subtle swirls of orange. It is quite an exciting combination of colors, evocative of fire light and sunsets and such. I think I would hesitate to use it on more excitable patients. I must confess to feeling a certain thrill run through me. Perhaps it is because the colors are so similar to that star [see entry from October 19, 1928]

The second slide is a pale green with a distinct spiral of blue radiating from the center. It gives the impression of a calming, tranquil, sea, I think.

The last slide is by far the most impressive. Mr. Jensen is simply a marvel at his work. The colors are just so perfectly blended so as to create a depth and sense of movement, even on this flat bit of glass. I am fortunate to have commissioned such a talented artist, for I never would have thought to use these colors in my phototherapy experiments.

The majority of the third slide is a dull gray, yet light shows through it quite well. In those places it almost looks like the lens were projecting shadows! Then, through the middle of the lens is such a bold swacth [sic] of the most vibrant yellow. The colors seem at once to be so alive and vivid and still stoic and calm and almost immobile.

Wait ‘til the boys at the sanatorium see these!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A Play and an Invitation

October 19th, 1928

Last night Dermot and I waited in the awful Winter cold outside the Scala Theater for a chance to see a wonderful play! The London press is nothing like what we have back home. They completely ignored me in favor of interviewing, of all people, a skeptic! Dr. Kirkwall and his nephew, oh what was his name? Algernon, I believe, but everyone called him Algae [sic].

The beginning of the play was quite dull. The usual "oh woe is our kingdom" nonsense so typical of today's playwrights. But by the end I found myself captivated by the idea of this kingdom passing from one form to another! There was something about that sign, and the lighting, that had an undeniable impact on myself and the crowd.

Ha! But the final scene was the most powerful. It got everyone's blood boiling, and it felt like old times for me indeed. It recalled memories of attending low-class pubs and clubs and watching the blue-collars seethe with envy! Oh how fun it was to engage in fisticuffs again. Luckily for me Dermot was on his game as usual.

But what is this? Through the cloudy sky I can see only one star. It is so bright. [Three whole pages are written in an illegible scrawl].

October 29th, 1928

After receiving a letter from Dr. Highsmith [the letter was enclosed in these pages of the journal], Dermot and I were unpleasantly surprised to find "Doctor" Kirkwall and his nephew in attendance at the interview yesterday. Perhaps Dr. Highsmith's praise of my work was merely a fanciful use of his pen. We shall see who will solve this mystery first!

It became clear to me, though, that Dr. Highsmith has contacted this skeptic as an insurance policy. Perhaps to assuage the fear of the patient or his family that nothing beyond the realm of science is at work.

[Dr. Hampton continues with an academic discussion of the file on the patient - Mr. Alexander Robey, which is not transcribed here due to the tedious nature of the writing, the frequent rewrites, and additional notes included in margins. A summary: the patient experiences attacks of anxiety during the winter, exhibits severe fear of the dark, but otherwise seems competent enough to be released. Dr. Hampton indicates a desire to research biographical information on Mr. Robey, but no such information is recorded in his journal.]

Arrival and a Meeting

[Excerpts from the journal of Dr. Percival Hampton]

October 8th, 1928

It's colder here than back home! Dermot [Frobish - Dr. Hampton's valet] seems to be handling it well.

October 13th, 1928

I met Jérome's contact [Langdon Jensen] today. He really is quite odd. Despite, or perhaps because of, his oddities his glasswork is quite impressive. His use of color in his work is unique and ... [Dr. Hampton goes on to describe the work in great detail]

... the greatest potential application of his slides lies in the application of mixed slides. Yes! Why didn't I think of it before? One glass slide with a mixture of color, imperfectly swirled together, could have untold ramifications on the science of photo-therapy. [Dr. Hampton spends two pages theorizing on ways to apply these "mixed slides"].

... I have commissioned three such mixed slides and have arranged to pick them up in one week. In the meantime, Mr. Jensen has offered us tickets to see a play on the 18th. It seems Dermot and I will have an opportunity to go "slumming" after all!


[excerpts from the journal of Dr. Percival Hampton]

September 5th, 1928

Jérome [Pineault] has been insisting in his letters that I travel to London. A friend of his there, another artist, works with glass as his preferred medium. Jérome thinks perhaps this man can create a new type of lens for my apparatus. We shall see. I've arranged to travel by steamer at the end of the month. We should arrive in London before the 5th of October.