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This report is taken from PN Review 138, Volume 27 Number 4, March - April 2001.

'Long Live Honourable Publisher' John Killick

It is ten years since I retired as editor of a small press. Such an occasion is a cause for reflection, not just upon one's modest successes in finding new writers of quality (never, alas, matched by quantity of financial reward!) but upon those who got away and went on to fame if not fortune with other more prestigious publishers. One thinks, too, of those would-be authors who filled one's letter-box with packets of the unreadable and unbelievable. They fell (the operative word) into a number of categories, and in attempting to categorise these I can assure you that all the quotations are genuine.

First comes the Polymath, one who masquerades as an expert in a variety of fields, like one man who offered me works on psychology, business and commerce, ancient history, cosmetics, political analysis, mental science and poetics, assuring me of my 'complete satisfaction' on sending for any or all of these manuscripts. The appended samples of original poetry were not entirely reassuring of the accomplishment of the author, though his industry had to be admired. Perhaps I might be forgiven for refusing the eleven full-length manuscripts on offer when the précis of one of them, entitled The ABC of Wisdom read as follows:

Nowhere in the world is a UNIVERSITY OF LIFE, but there are many striking and inspiring evidence around to remind us that there is a SUPREME, IMMUTABLE, UNDEVIATING AND CONSTANT POWER in charge of this universe who cannot ...

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