Date: Fri 29 Apr 1994 - 11:48:39 EEST
In a Daily a few days ago I asked:
> Is choral farting really a noble British art? Perhaps Dave and Nick
> could arrange a recital for Convulsion, preferably outside?
I received a personal reply to this question which I feel I must share with the wider RQ Daily audience:
From Nikolai Tolstoy's "The Coming of the King" (an *excellent* book):
Not finished yet was king Gwyddno's royal entertainment, and the seven solemn-faced men in short kirtles who entered were recognized by all as being as skilled in their special art as were the hummers in theirs. Long- snouted and sharp-heeled were they, foxy-faced and bald.
Low before the king bowed the seven newcomers; and bowed low they remained, with buttocks bare gleaming from the ruddy glare of the king's hearth. For they were the far-famed farters of the Island of the Mighty, whose skill in farting surpassed any that might be found in Prydyn, or Ywerddon, or distant Llydaw across the Sea of Udd.
Wonderfully loud was the farting of the royal farters at the feasting of king Gwyddno Garanhir upon the Kalan Gaeaf; wonderfully loud, skilfully sonorous, and evil-smelling beyond the achieving of all others of their calling. At first they emitted with rare delicacy the seven notes of the scale, moving up and down the line in harmony, high and low. Then they blew forth tunes such as cowherds and milkmaids sing. They whistled high and they whistled low in semblance of the whistling of the keepers of the king's kennels, or of unseen birds that pipe in the brake.
But these wonderful feats were as nothing to what followed, and an ecstasy came upon the Men of the North as each of the performers excelled his fellow with some new and marvellous display of art and skill. Marvel- lously true to reality was the snorting of war-horses, the braying of trumpets, the roaring of stags, the rumble of thunder, the bellowing of bulls, the snarling of wildcats and the long, low drone of a homing cockchafer on a summer's eve.
Well-fed were the performers upon dulse and lentils and beans, but not beyond the space of half an hour were they able to sustain their skilful performance. There came a moment when their conductor gave vent to a long, low whistling sound like a serpent retiring to its heathery lair; so sibilantly soft, stealthy-sounding and stalely stinking as to instil an awed silence upon the assembled company. It was a signal for the departure of the troop, and with a final effort of mind and spirit and body they thundered forth a fanfare of such loudness and force and vigour, that men swore afterwards it set the goblets rattling upon the royal board, and all but extinguished the pine-torches flaring in their sockets, and even the great hearth burning beneath the royal cauldron.
Like the gale before which no man is able to stand upright, which blows without ceasing from the mouth of that Cave in the land of Gwent which men call Chwyth Gwynt, was that mightiest of farts which was in the North at that time. There were those in the king's hall, however, who feared lest the performance might arouse storms and tempests in the winter sky, avowing they could hear afar off in the mountains the rolling of Taran's Wheel.
It was amid smoke and confusion and stench that the king's farters flew from the banquet-hall to the hostel set apart for them. It was long before the pleasure passed and laughter died away and tongues were stilled, so delightful was their performance to the Men of the North...
I want to read this book! Thanks to the person who sent me the excerpt!
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