Hooting Yard: Dobson’s Card Index

The astonishing thing about the “little placards” displayed by Father Sogol, the Professor of Mountaineering in Daumal’s novel, is how similar they are to the immense card index maintained by Dobson, upon which he relied when writing his out of print pamphlets. Dobson would have approved, too, the Professor’s method of displaying the cards – at least, sometimes. One of the pamphleteer’s more irritating characteristics was his inability to settle on the keeping of his cards. At times, like Sogol, he pinned them up on every available surface. Then a frenzy would take him and he would tear them all down and shove them into one of his innumerable cardboard boxes. Marigold Chew reports that Dobson spent hours upon hours arranging the cards when they were in their boxes, ordering and reordering them according to various abstruse cataloguing systems. No sooner was he done than he would once again tip them out of their boxes and pin them up on walls and screens and pinboards and what have you. And of course, all the time he was adding new cards to the collection.

This episode was recorded on the 16th April 2009. A complete transcript of this episode can be found on Frank Key’s Hooting Yard website. Accompanying Hooting Yard On The Air, the three publications Gravitas, Punctilio, Rectitude & Pippy Bags, Unspeakable Desolation Pouring Down From The Stars and Befuddled By Cormorants are available for purchase.