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Sorta Off Topic > The Carcosa Hotel

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message 1: by Ronald (new)

Ronald (rpdwyer) | 557 comments There is a hotel named Carcosa Sero Negara:

Wikipedia explains the hotel's name:

The choice of name was explained by Sir Frank Swettenham:

To the Editor of “British Malaya”

[British Malaya, May 1936]


In the April magazine your correspondent in Malaya asks me, in courteous terms, to tell him why I gave the name “Carcosa” to the house that was designed and built for me at Kuala Lumpur by the late Mr. C.E. Spooner, assisted by Mr. A.B. Hubback – as he was in those days – and I have no objection to answer the question even though the simple truth may spoil a number of excellent stories. When this house was finished and occupied I read a book which interested me. It was called “The King in Yellow” and at the beginning of this book there were some verses with a note explaining that they came from Cassilda’s song in “The King in Yellow”, Act 1, Scene 2. Here are two verses: -

“Strange is the night where black stars rise, And twin moons circle in the skies, But the stranger still is Lost Carcosa.”

“Song of my soul, my voice is dead; Die thou, unsung, as tears unshed Shall dry and die in Lost Carcosa.”

I did not call the Resident General’s dwelling “Government House,” or “King’s House,” because neither seemed an appropriate name in Protected States. I did not give it a Malay name, because it was to be the residence of a British Officer; so I took a book name as has often been done before.

As to the word Carcosa, I imagine it was the Castle of the King in Yellow, but the book explains nothing about either the place or its occupant. That apparently can be found in the play, to which there are only occasional allusions. Probably it is a word created by the author’s fancy, though it looks like a combination of the Italian words cara and casa and would mean “desirable dwelling,” as indeed I found it.

The only curious fact is that this name was prophetic for, as I understand, the house has lost its name and is thus, “Lost Carcosa.” The occupant, I am told, is now styled “F.S,” instead of “R.G.”

Yours obediently,

19 April 1936.

message 2: by Latasha (last edited Dec 07, 2015 03:03AM) (new)

Latasha (latasha513) I love it! the hotel is so beautiful.

message 3: by Char (new)

Char That's pretty cool.

On a side note, I was just looking at the collection Cassilda's Song: Tales Inspired by Robert W. Chambers King in Yellow Mythos.
I didn't remember the passage about Cassilda, but I knew it was a KiY type of collection, written by female authors.

message 4: by Randolph, Randy (new)

Randolph (us227381) | 161 comments I always stay at the Carcosa Hotel when I'm in Kuala Lumpur. Ambrose Bierce recommended it to me.

message 5: by Latasha (new)

Latasha (latasha513) lol exactly!!

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