"If, when the patient horologist has finished his attempt and the clock, when thumbed at the great wheel, does squeek and gibber rather than hum and whir with brass logic, this process must be reversed and tried again with calm reason until the imps of disorder are banished."
Clock Gears in a Chinese Skelton Watch
GNU Free Documentation LicenseClock Gears in a Chinese Skelton Watch - Credit: Hustvedt

 This is the first of four excerpts from The Reasonable Horologist - a book by the fictional Rev. Kenner Davenport, 1783 - describing the mechanics, history and metaphysical nature of clocks and time. 

In Harding's interview with Dave Weich of Powells Books, he describes Davenport as an "amalgam of the old critic Hugh Kenner and the old writer Guy Davenport because they did all these funny little books about automatons and strange things like that. It's a little homage to them, and a way to give the writing access to that strain of thinking.” Guy Davenport’s literary friendship with Hugh Kenner resulted in their collaboration on 2 books in the 1960's, with  Kenner as author and illustrations by Davenport. They both perceived the world in unconventional and visionary ways – ways that linked seemingly unrelated ideas and concepts to create greater insight.