The Lament Configuration
The Lemarchand box that has become known in the film series as the Lament Configuration was introduced in The Hellbound Heart as "the Lemarchand Configuration". It appeared as an antique black lacquered puzzle box of unparalleled workmanship. A clever individual with a passion for solving the puzzle might spend the better part of a day loosening the first piece. As described by Barker on the first page of the novella,
- The interior surfaces were brilliantly polished. Frank's reflection — distorted, fragmented — skated across the lacquer.... Lemarchand, who had been in his time a maker of singing birds, had constructed the box so that opening it tripped a musical mechanism, which began to tinkle a short rondo of sublime banality.
The tune continues to evolve as each additional piece is moved:
- And there was music too; a simple tune emerged from the box, played on a mechanism that she could not yet see. Enchanted, she delved further. Though one piece had been removed, the rest did not come readily. Each segment presented a fresh challenge to fingers and mind, the victories rewarded with a further filigree added to the tune.
The puzzle draws the player onward until suddenly the puzzle is solved and the gateway is opened. As the puzzle is nearly completed, the sound of a large bell can be heard tolling mournfully. The sound comes from the realm of the Cenobites, and announces their impending arrival. Once the gate is opened, the box begins reassembling itself.
An important difference between the book and film versions — aside from the name — is that the film version of the box is merely twisted into new alignments or shapes, whereas the version in the novella is completely disassembled and reassembled. The film version is also trimmed in brass or gold, and appears to have arcane symbols etched on its surface. The novella version is completely smooth and has no obvious designs save for an almost imperceptible etching along the seams between the pieces, but seems to display the faces of its victims in the reflection of light over its surfaces.
Read more about this topic: Lemarchand's Box
Famous quotes containing the word lament:
“Nae living man Ill love again,
Since that my lovely knight is slain.
Wi ae lock of his yellow hair
Ill chain my heart for evermair.”
—Unknown. The Lament of the Border Widow (l. 2528)