Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Social Gathering (sketch for an unpainted painting)


Various people meet at a party, their intention being to consume alcohol and debase themselve in different ways.

It's significant where they meet. It has to be a very large room, grand and gloomy and sparsely furnished. Such furniture that there is is Empire Style, so heavy it is almost immovable. A fireplace scarcely warms the freezing room.

All the people at this party are male, but sometimes women with loose morals attend. They are all High Tories: utterly reactionary. They declare themselves to be patriots, but they despise their fellow nationals as peasants. They enjoy ceremony: the parties always have a ritualistic feel, with patriotic speeches and toasts. They dress to suit the solemnity of the occasion, in dinner suits.

Alcohol, preferable deep red in colour, is served by waiters whose obsequiousness knows no bounds.

As is often the case with such people, they are surprisingly liberal in terms of private conduct. And although the former part of their meeting is formal, later this liberalism dominates, as the gathering transforms into a bacchanal: not only do they become copiously drunk but they allow their latent homosexual urges and sado-masochistic desires to manifest themselves.

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