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Once again I find myself in a most absorbing, and, I confess, somewhat indulgent state of contemplation. I am fortunate indeed in my position! And so I sit at my desk and look out my window, with rooftops and water-towers and chimneys and spires and the assorted aerial architecture of the city as my companion. This day is a fine one indeed, and I fancy my spirits are lifted even more by the sun as it beats down on millionaire and pauper alike. The weather is perhaps the only natural democracy! I wonder what our politicians would have to say about that. Much bluster, I should think.
But in truth, Dear Reader, I have much better company than this city in these few tales you now hold in your hand. Stories are a force of nature too, perhaps – much like the wind, and the rain, and the sun. Wherever you might find yourself reading these words, whether on a bus, or a park bench, in your club, or in the scullery, you and I share in the ideas contained herein, ideas that nestle in our minds and give rise to thought, and the comforting knowledge of the existence of a Great Art in the world, one that we may all be a part of. It is a most fascinating subject of enquiry.
Take, for example, Ms. Eva Holland’s Life in Two Dimensions. A jewel of a narrative, as precisely and elegantly delineated as the narrator’s betrothed – a love story, but in Ms. Holland’s capable hands, something quite, quite different. Or the traditional house-tale, with which we are most familiar, but which Ms. Jane Roberts uses to most ingenious ends in The House Rules – suggesting that we, perhaps, are prisoners of our own imagination. Yes! Even you, Dear Reader! A most provoking conceit indeed!
And if you find that amusing, you must surely enjoy Mr. John Keating’s To The Reader – a story for you if ever there were one! Mr. Keating’s imagination takes us – dare I say it – to a place beyond the very pages you now hold in your hand. But perhaps you prefer a calmer, more soothing form of fiction? A gossipy, scandalous story, as one might find in The Cheltenham Looker-On. I’m afraid you will be most disappointed, in that case! For Mr. Steven Mace’s sinister The Legacy of Steeple Hill will give you no comfort, with its spectral presences and sleepless nights.
But we leave you, at least, with a tale of great pathos, and one from which a lesser periodical might shy away – Mr. Sam Carter’s Gammon and Spinach. For who would dare suggest the Great Novelist Himself were anything other than a saint? Well we do, Dear Reader. We do!
But I fear I have kept you too long. I do so yearn to discuss these tales with you some day. Will we ever meet, Dear Reader? I hope so, very much. But in the meantime, will you write? I would be most delighted to hear your thoughts on these stories, as well as any other matters you might care to discuss.
Yours truly, until our next number,