Six Stories Written in the First Person Singular

Six Stories Written in the First Person Singular

Six Stories Written in the First Person Singular

Six Stories Written in the First Person Singular

Excerpt

I venture to trouble the reader of these pages with a little explanation. It is usual nowadays, owing to the law of libel which enables, for instance, a lawyer called Smith at least to threaten an action if a lawyer in a novel is called Smith, for an author to preface his book with the declaration that no character in it represents a living person, and I can honestly make the same statement about all the characters in these stories save one. It is because there is an exception that I feel it my duty to write these lines. I am a little sensitive on the point, since I have at one time or another been charged with portraying certain persons so exactly that it was impossible not to know them. I have been accused of bad taste. This has disturbed me, not so much for my own sake (since I am used to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune) as for the sake of criticism in general. We authors of course try to be gentlemen, but we often fail and we must console ourselves by reflecting that few writers of any consequence have been devoid of a certain streak of vulgarity. Life is vulgar. I have long known that journalists, in private free in their speech and fond enough of bawdry, are in print great sticklers for purity, and I have no doubt that this is as it should be; but I fear that if they become too refined there will . . .

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