Decline in the Dining Room

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Olive Reads is not turning into Olive Interiors, but I couldn't help sharing this photo from a spread in the May 2014 issue of Elle Decor. 

You may need to lean in or get out a magnifying glass, but that's a passage from Gibbon's The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire in mural form on the dining room wall! There's a way to keep dinner conversation going: have each guest read a paragraph.

Actually, text passages appear all across this Manhattan apartment (appropriately designed by Jim Luigs, who is also a playwright, lyricist, and director). 

That leads me to today's query to my readers: if you were going to be so bold as Luigs and his client and festoon your walls in literary passages -- I'm not talking about the "Live, Love, Laugh" variety -- what would you choose?

It's King Lear for me.

No, no, no, no! Come, let's away to prison:
We two alone will sing like birds i' the cage:
When thou dost ask me blessing, I'll kneel down,
And ask of thee forgiveness: so we'll live,
And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh
At gilded butterflies, and hear poor rogues
Talk of court news; and we'll talk with them too,
Who loses and who wins; who's in, who's out;
And take upon's the mystery of things,
As if we were God's spies: and we'll wear out,
In a wall'd prison, packs and sects of great ones,
That ebb and flow by the moon.
See more of Jim Luigs here

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