Friday, 10 August 2012

The smell of "A Respectable Boarding House"

From Old Man Goriot:

"Our language has no name for the odour given off by this first room, which ought to be called 'essence of boarding house'. It smells of all that is stale, mildewy, rancid; it chills you, makes your nose run, clings to your clothes; it repeats like last night's dinner; it reeks of the scullery, the pantry, the poorhouse. If a method were invented for measuring the foul and fundamental particles contributed by the catarrhal conditions specific to each boarder, young and old, perhaps it really could be described"

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