We’ve had On Farting and a study of Fecopoetics, with a call for a new discipline called ‘waste studies’ But now there’s Between Two Stools, a study of eschatology:

Christina picked this one up in Chicago last week. More rich and earthy resources for my study, ‘The Music Album Musical Bum of the Bible’.


From a French medieval tale/tail:

Two peasants are on the road and find a place to rest for the night with a married couple. One of the peasants falls ill during the night, so his friend, Rogier, gets up to find him some gruel. But Rogier returns to the wrong bed, where the wife’s bare arse sticks out from under the bed covers. He mistakes it for the head of his friend. Since it is dark, Rogier decides to put his finger to the hole (le trau) to see if it is hairy, since his friend has a beard. It is indeed hairy. Rogier now sticks his nose in the hole, thinking his friend has fainted and wanting to revive him with a kiss. ‘While he kisses the opening, a strong wind blasts forth from her fundament, gusting so noisily that he thinks that the companion is blowing on the gruel’. Rogier complains about his friend’s bad breath and lack of cooperation, but the wife farts away in blissful oblivion until, in complete exasperation, he pours the gruel over her bum.

From Valerie Allen, On Farting, pp. 54-5.

Some thoughts begin to gather for a study of biblical farts, as part of my ongoing ‘earthy Bible’ interest.

To begin with, Isaiah 16:11 reads: ‘Therefore my bowels (מֵעַ֣י) play like a harp for Moab and my innards (וְקִרְבִּ֖י) for Kir-heres’. Given that instruments have traditionally been regarded as replacements for the music of the body, here we have the musical bum at work.

And then, according to the venerable Augustine, once upon a time we were able to play that bodily instrument at the direction of our will:

Hence man himself too may once have commanded even from his lower members [membra inferiora] an obedience that by his own disobedience he has lost … Certain human beings … can at will do with their bodies some things that others find utterly impossible to imitate and scarcely credible to hear. For some people can actually move their ears, either one at a time or both together … Some people produce at will without any stench [sine paedore ullo] such rhythmical sounds from ‘down there’ [ab imo] that they appear appear to be making music [ut … cantare videantur] even from that quarter (City of God 14.24, 4).

Thus, both the involuntary nature and the noted odour of anal bugling is actually a result of the Fall. One imagines Adam and Eve playing sweet music together as they rest in the shade of the evenings. But it also means – given that the Fall is overcome in heaven – that people such as Mr Methane or Roland the Farter provide glimpses of what the choirs of angels in heaven might actually be doing.

A title?  How about ‘The Music Album Musical Bum of the Bible’