As another week of sheet-timed productivity marks its close, and we retire to the comforts of our suburban sanctuaries, our slightly tight shoes tumble to the floor and our minds drift away upon the warm evening breeze. Many of us are blessed to come home to the boistrous swell of family. others the easy commune of friends, and some enjoy a quiet little corner of solitary meditation; but no matter who we are, when week's end arrives, it is time for reflective imagination. Talking crap with friends, watching tv, religious devotion, taking drugs, playing games - there are many paths to the summit. At the top the view is sublime!
This critic prefers the literary path. And as he sits in his humble mountain bungalow, listening to cicadas in the rain, he finds himself creased with a smile that threatens to fold the corners of his eyes with the rough permancence of a favourite page. Why so happy? Because he... I mean I... have just discovered, or should I say rediscovered, a cardboard box full of literary treasures!
Over the years I have been fortunate enough to have gained the close companionship of a circle of talented young writers who self-deprecatingly referred to themselves as "Oddsack". Although I had a vague literary ambition in my teenage years, I never considered myself a writer of any great merit, and once I had reconciled myself to the limitations of my talent, opted to instead pursue a career in literary criticism. Why these writers chose to include me in their confidence was always something of a mystery to me. Perhaps they appreciated my capacity for... appreciation, given that none of them ever believed that their work was good enough to publish, but all of them enjoyed watching me beg them to do so.
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