Inchmale's club in Portman Square

quote:
Originally posted by UberDog:
So the club also doubles as some sort of Cornell Box you can sleep in?

Hmm.


The juxtaposition of strange objects, some ancient, some ultra modern, or involving advanced technology / magic favoured by English eccentrics, might also be found in the set decoration of the Harry Potter films.

Another parallel to draw between the first piece of text and the Home House Club is the word "Cabinet", the name of Inchmale's club. This word implies secrets, involving national security / espionage, political skulduggery and high society gossip, all of which permeate the history of these Portman Square aristocratic town houses.

A Cabinet of Curiosities or Wunderkammer might also be conjured up by the tantalising samples of text so far, which do have several natural history exhibit or diagram allusions to tortoiseshell / turtles, whales, a bird cage etc. as well as to Eskimo anthropology.

quote:
Originally posted by UberDog:
Number Four London in Google doesn't give me much.

Two streets, don't look like they are infused with a special history.


Apart from Numbers 10, 11 (and sometimes 12) Downing Street, the centre of political power in the UK, you might find a reference to "Number One, London", which is Apsley House very near to Portman Square, at the western end of Oxdord Street at Marble Arch, which was the residence of the Duke of Wellingon, the famous general and Prime Minister. This is more of a palace than the Portman Square town houses, but shares the same original architect Robert Adam (although it was made much grander once the victor over Napoleon took over)

quote:
The house was given the popular nickname of Number One, London, since it was the first house passed by visitors who travelled from the countryside after the toll gates at Knightsbridge.


You might, of course find a few references to Number Six in London, made famous by the recently deceased Patrick McGoohan in The Prisoner

The Prisoner - Number Six's flat - 1 Buckingham Place



This looks stylistically similar to the Home House Club.
quote:
Originally posted by Memetic Engineer:
quote:
Originally posted by UberDog:
So the club also doubles as some sort of Cornell Box you can sleep in?

Hmm.


The juxtaposition of strange objects, some ancient, some ultra modern, or involving advanced technology / magic favoured by English eccentrics, might also be found in the set decoration of the Harry Potter films.

Another parallel to draw between the first piece of text and the Home House Club is the word "Cabinet", the name of Inchmale's club. This word implies secrets, involving national security / espionage, political skulduggery and high society gossip, all of which permeate the history of these Portman Square aristocratic town houses.

A Cabinet of Curiosities or Wunderkammer might also be conjured up by the tantalising samples of text so far, which do have several natural history exhibit or diagram allusions to tortoiseshell / turtles, whales, a bird cage etc. as well as to Eskimo anthropology.



And Bill says I infer too much!

I thought the Cabinet name had to do with "ministers of...", that kind of thing.

Inchmale doesn't normally get involved in spy games, he is a rock star turned producer.
quote:
Originally posted by UberDog:

And Bill says I infer too much!


I am still getting the hang of this Prof. John Sutherland style "future of literary criticism".

I am trying to bring my own Wunderkammer of obscure otaku knowledge to bear, before augmenting it with the help of web search engines etc.

quote:

I thought the Cabinet name had to do with "ministers of...", that kind of thing.


There is a famous London dance music club, record label, DJ promotion etc. empire called the Ministry of Sound, whose founder, James Palumbo, did have links with dodgy New Labour Government Cabinet Ministers like Peter Mandelson.

quote:

Inchmale doesn't normally get involved in spy games, he is a rock star turned producer.


If Bigend, an advertising executive, can have, as described in the last chapter of Spook Country

quote:

...his foray into the secret world...


then why not a rock star turned producer, especially after having been drawn in by his relationship with Hollis, and new business partnership with the locative art hackers Bobby and Alberto ?
The third fragment of new writing on William Gibson's blog seems to confirm the locations of the first two as Inchmale's club Cabinet. It is still unclear if he is the owner of this establishment or just an investor or member.

Hollis Henry, Hubertus Bigend and Pamela Mainwaring reappear from Spook Country and/or Pattern Recognition


quote:

Sunday, February 01, 2009

CRICKET
posted 9:46 PM

[...]

She saw herself taking an early cab to Paddington, the street in front of Cabinet utterly deserted. Catching the Heathrow Express.

[...]

quote:
Originally posted by UberDog:

I thought the Cabinet name had to do with "ministers of...", that kind of thing.

Inchmale doesn't normally get involved in spy games, he is a rock star turned producer.


'Cabinet' in the context of Government comes from the room found in many large houses - a cabinet was the private 'den' of the (usually male) owner of the house. It had lockable doors that ensured privacy and was a place where even the servants didn't go (or at least none but the most senior). This privacy and the fact that you had to be invited in ensured that it was the place where the important discussions and decisions tended to take place. Being where the inner circle met has lead to it being adopted as the name for the UK's governing committee - the Cabinet. Ministers are actually 'Cabinet Ministers' and No.10's 'Cabinet Room' is actually a sort of tautological name.

As a name it has intonations of secrecy and privacy - a cupboard becomes a cabinet when it has a set of lockable doors. The British tend not to keep their valuable booze in a cupboard, they have a 'drinks cabinet', all of which makes it a rather suitable name for a private members club.

I'm with KL in supposing that Number Four is an individual or collective artist, possibly some wanky design firm. Given the slightly trippy imagery the first thing that the name brings to mind for me is, of course The Prisoner, where there were numbers 6, 2 and 1 but no 4, but I'm probably way off.
I do not think Number Four is an artist, I think it's the room itself. It seems to me like it is at least a location, maybe the display box, I don't know. But "Number Four's many artifacts" sounds like the room to me. Room number four has all this stuff in it. I don't know what the other rooms have in them. It kind of reminds me of theme dressing of a love hotel.
I remember doing research* on the beginnings of museums, and while what I'm about to post wasn't something I came across at the time, it's sufficiently like what I came across that I think it's relevant:

"Before museums existed, objects of natural history, art, and technology were held in private collections. Curiosity cabinets — also known as cabinets of wonders or chambers of curiosities — of the 16th and 17th century included all sorts of attractive or interesting objects. Rare items were especially prized."

From: http://hua.huh.harvard.edu/FNA..._lesson_classify.pdf

So "Cabinet," and the types of things in "Number Four," become references for this prior, pre-museum form of collecting.

Staying at Cabinet must be like living in a Cornell box.

* I took a class on the Transcendentalists; Ralph Waldo Emerson was a big proponent of lecture tours and other methods of collecting and presenting knowledge; cabinets were one aspect of this.

And now I see that Memetic Engineer beat me to it (I hadn't looked up thread). I think that's pretty much spot-on, in terms of what Gibson describes in the room.
quote:
Originally posted by UberDog:
I do not think Number Four is an artist, I think it's the room itself. It seems to me like it is at least a location, maybe the display box, I don't know. But "Number Four's many artifacts" sounds like the room to me. Room number four has all this stuff in it. I don't know what the other rooms have in them. It kind of reminds me of theme dressing of a love hotel.


I am NOT a #! I am a ROOM!

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