Unutterable

Lyrics

(1)

This non-appliance sound
This dead durch sprung Technik - horrible (2)
This the breath of Nick (3)
On dripping post-seizure, [Venetian / finishing] floated brain of intolerable
This the rank post-urings and... posturings and insights of the unutterable (4)

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Notes

1. Zack, who is becoming a master of the summative note, remarks:

"Unutterable" was one of H.P. Lovecraft's favorite words... More of a Smith solo track than a Fall song, "Unutterable" would not have sounded out of place on MES's spoken word album The Post Nearly Man which begins with a "cover" of "The Horror in Clay," the first chapter of Lovecraft's short story "The Call of Cthulhu."

Dan submits:

Arthur Machen, The Great God Pan:
 


I stood here, and saw before me the unutterable, the unthinkable gulf that yawns profound between two worlds, the world of matter and the world of spirit...

^

2. In German "durch" means by or through, "sprung" means leap, and "Technik" covers both technology and technique. "Vorsprung durch Technik" (advancement through technology) is the motto of the Audi automobile company.  

^

3. "Old Nick" is a cognomen for the devil (see also "2 x 4" and "Zandra"). "The breath of Nick" could mean the breath of the devil, or, more figuratively, it could just mean really bad breath.

Dan submits:



Hyoscine (Hyoscine hydrobromide, produced by the nightshade family of plants) is also known as "devil's breath."

According to Wikipedia, "It is used to treat motion sickness, postoperative nausea and vomiting, and also to reduce saliva production."

The saliva-reduction bit is interesting, given the reference to "dripping."

"Post-seizure" sounds like something to do with epilespsy, which is seems MES suffered from at least intermittently. It seems hypscine can cause convulsions in susceptible patients.

^

4. "Unutterable" is, in fact, an English word; although I thought "inutterable" was the more usual word, the OED pronounces it "now rare," whereas it doesn't comment on the frequency of "unutterable" (nor does it, however, produce an example of its use more recent than 1883).

^

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Comments (6)

dannyno
  • 1. dannyno | 04/04/2013
Vorsprung durch Technik was an advertising slogan for Audi: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vorsprung_durch_Technik, of course.
bzfgt
  • 2. bzfgt | 04/04/2013
Not really "of course," or it would already have been in my notes...
Zack
  • 3. Zack (link) | 02/11/2016
"Unutterable" was one of H.P. Lovecraft's favorite words according to the website linked above.

More of a Smith solo track than a Fall song, "Unutterable" would not have sounded out of place on MES's spoken word album 'The Post Nearly Man' which begins with a "cover" of "The Horror in Clay", the first chapter of Lovecraft's short story "The Call of Cthulhu."
dannyno
  • 4. dannyno | 02/01/2018
"The Unutterable", of course, is a track from Philip Glass' soundtrack to Godfrey Reggio's 1988 documentary Powaqqatsi: Life in Transformation:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powaqqatsi.

The film features the remains of a 1969 Audi 100: "This dead durch sprung Technik"?

http://www.imcdb.org/i135019.jpg

This may all be an utter coincidence. But still.
dannyno
  • 5. dannyno | 14/10/2019
Arthur Machen, The Great God Pan:


I stood here, and saw before me the unutterable, the unthinkable gulf that yawns profound between two worlds, the world of matter and the world of spirit...


(popped up on twitter the other day)
dannyno
  • 6. dannyno | 14/10/2019
"This the breath of Nick
On dripping post-seizure"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyoscine

Hyoscine (Hyoscine hydrobromide, produced by the nightshade family of plants) is also known as "devil's breath".

It is used, according to wikipedia, to treat motion sickness, postoperative nausea and vomiting, and also to reduce saliva production.

The saliva-reduction bit is interesting, given the reference to "dripping".

"Post-seizure" sounds like something to do with epilespsy, which is seems MES suffered from at least intermittently. It seems hypscine can cause convulsions in susceptible patients.

https://bnfc.nice.org.uk/drug/hyoscine-hydrobromide.html

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