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Posts Tagged ‘cellar door’

The Way Through The Woods

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

It has long been observed that the phrase ‘cellar door’ is the most beautiful in the English language, perhaps because of its poetic sound and/or because of some romantic notion behind the meaning – the mystery of what lies beyond, the possibility of escape, of adventure, of release, of leaving the mundane world behind.

Literary admirers of cellar door include Dorothy Parker, JJR Tolkien and CS Lewis,the latter observing that writing the phrase as ‘Selladore’ you produce ‘an enchanting proper name’, one that would definitely be at home in Lewis’ Narnia universe! More recently the mysterious loveliness of cellar door was incorporated into the mind-mangling plot of Donnie Darko, a movie I caught three times on its release in 2001.

Now I want to suggest to you a contender for an ‘anti-cellar door’. A phrase that has its own mystery and poetry but which, to my mind, possesses a darker and more troubling aspect. The phrase: ‘cabin in the woods’.

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