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Ghosts I have Met and Some Others


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Author Topic: Ghosts I have Met and Some Others  (Read 1137 times)
Keeper of the Seven Keys
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« Reply #90 on: November 03, 2009, 02:10:45 am »

not only my own welfare, but that of my children, who must be
provided for; and if my post with you is taken from me, then are all
resources gone. I have not the courage to face dismissal, for I have
not sufficient confidence in my powers to please elsewhere to make
me easy in my mind, or, if I could please elsewhere, the certainty
of finding the immediate employment of my talents which is necessary
to me, in view of the at present overcrowded condition of the
literary field.

To explain, then, my seeming jest at your expense, hopeless as it
appears to be, is my task; and to do so as completely as I can, let
me go back to the very beginning.

In August you informed me that you would expect me to provide, as I
have heretofore been in the habit of doing, a story for the
Christmas issue of the _Idler_; that a certain position in the make
-up was reserved for me, and that you had already taken steps to
advertise the fact that the story would appear. I undertook the
commission, and upon seven different occasions set about putting the
narrative into shape. I found great difficulty, however, in doing
so. For some reason or other I could not concentrate my mind upon
the work. No sooner would I start in on one story than a better one,
in my estimation, would suggest itself to me; and all the labor
expended on the story already begun would be cast aside, and the new
story set in motion. Ideas were plenty enough, but to put them
properly upon paper seemed beyond my powers. One story, however, I
did finish; but after it had come back to me from my typewriter I
read it, and was filled with consternation to discover that it was
nothing more nor less than a mass of jumbled sentences, conveying no
idea to the mind--a story which had seemed to me in the writing to
be coherent had returned to me as a mere bit of incoherence--
formless, without ideas--a bit of raving. It was then that I went to
you and told you, as you remember, that I was worn out, and needed a
month of absolute rest, which you granted. I left my work wholly,
and went into the wilderness, where I could be entirely free from
everything suggesting labor, and where no summons back to town could
reach me. I fished and hunted. I slept; and although, as I have
already said, in my sleep I found myself leading a life that was not
only not to my taste, but horrible to me in many particulars, I was
able at the end of my vacation to come back to town greatly
refreshed, and, as far as my feelings went, ready to undertake any
amount of work. For two or three days after my return I was busy
with other things. On the fourth day after my arrival you came to
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