West Tower, Bleak College

A Passage from Luminous Airplanes, or Things As They Were: A Hyperromance


From The Black Guide to Bleak College (1969), a staple-bound booklet in 8° by Rollo Walter Brown, published by the Anti-Contemporary Press (New London, CT), which also published Replenishing Jessica, a collection of poems, also by Mr. Brown:

The oldest structure in the College, and the only one to survive the Long Wait [i.e., the years between the burning of Prosperity Bleak’s original college and its reconstruction], West Tower is remarkable in that the door to the interior stairs has been sealed off; the only way to the top now is to climb up the outside. This too is in accordance with the philosophy of Mr. Bleak. “Climb not the stairs,” Bleak wrote in On the Mechanics of Happiness, “but go up the outermost walls, hoist yourselves upon the parapets, and in this way ye shall know that ye possess Wisdom, and are not as those who have gone up Within, and know not to what height they may have ascended.” The wisdom of climbing West Tower's nearly featureless exterior is doubtful, but there's a good view of New Haven from the top, and you can see the bracket where the Episcoscope was formerly mounted.


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