Saturday, November 25, 2000

Love, My Dear Moth?

It’s true we receive questions out of the blue...such as this one from Dan Rigney:
I'm a big fan of The Face in the Frost but sadly don't own a copy. I'm wondering if I am remembering correctly about an encounter with a giant moth? I manage the New York City band the Moths and we're looking for references and illustrations for a gallery page for the 2.0 version of our website. If you can remember any other mentions of moths in Bellairs work, please let me know. Much appreciated!


Lucky for Dan there are a few instances of moths flying through both John and Brad’s work, beginning with Roger Bacon’s insect encounter in Face:
Suddenly Roger looked up, because some movement near the porch ceiling caught his eye. A huge gray moth, at least two hand spands across, came flapping down from the shadows. It went straight for Prospero, and before he could raise his hand it plastered itself against his face. Roger gave a sharp cry and rushed forward, shooing at the thing until it dropped to the floor with a light plop and an unpleasant rustling sound. But before Roger could step on it, the moth rose, dived at his head, and then floated off into the night [11].

In The House with a Clock in its Walls Lewis has a rather strange encounter with a moth while exploring a third floor room of his uncle's mansion:
He was about to dash for the door when he saw something come floating up out of the darkenss inside the organ. A moth. A moth with silver-gray wings. They shone like leaves in the moonlight. ... He swatted at the moth and crushed it. Lewis felt a horrible runny stickiness in his hair, and all the fear came rushing back. He wiped his hand frantically on his trouser leg... [128].
 Johnny Dixon actually dreams of being a moth in The Curse of the Blue Figurine:
That night Johnny dreamed a lot. At first he dreamed that he was a moth, fluttering about on a summer night. He kept hovering outside a lighted window. And through the window he could see Mr. Beard, the little man he had met in the church. The man was sitting at a table, reading. But no matter how much Johnny the moth beat at the window with his wings, the man never looked up [87].

Last but not least, in The Beast Under the Wizard's Bridge Lewis and Rose Rita walk home at night – Strickland comes up with some interesting imagery for the moths collecting under a street lamp:
Above them, white moths whirled around the bulb, like tiny planets madly orbiting a star [98].
Any more?  Happy reading!

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