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This report is taken from PN Review 181, Volume 34 Number 5, May - June 2008.

No, I am not Prince Hamlet Frank Kuppner

After somehow losing my bearings yet again in the still insufficiently understood intricacies and intersections of the local woods, I eventually emerged at the side of a busy road perhaps fifteen or twenty minutes' walk away from where I would have guessed myself to be. But this was, at worst, a very minor disaster. Indeed, in these frequent, multifarious and indisciplined wanderings of mine, a retaining net of traffic-rich boundary-markers act(s) almost as my guardian angels and guides. Whenever, possibly drawn (in a steadily intensifying desperation) towards their reassuring, brute, unnatural thereness by the unusually welcome sound of some more of our unceasing traffic, I finally break out onto one of these sites of frantic movement, I can in a sense relax. I know that this latest mild crescendo of disorientation is over. All I have to do now is turn in the right direction - usually a glance at the nearest road-sign is enough - and then gratefully follow my ambiguous saviour back down into the town.

Of course, getting lost in a forest itself has a certain delightfully timeless quality to it. It seems to be the sort of thing anyone with creative aspirations ought to do, for (as it were) the good of the soul. One feels one-self to be heir to a vast and valuable ancient tradition. And it's all so magnificently organic too. Assuming one doesn't have the sheer bad luck, say, to stumble across some ...


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