Foreword to Volume VI

It is something of an oddity of the human mind that as we grow older, our ambitions become increasingly more complex and increasingly less ambitious. Over the course of his life an inventor eventually lessens his aspirations from his five-year-old dream of “a blue fire that makes everything cold” to a new control valve on programmable thermostats. An athlete’s initial goal of leaping over the Atlantic ocean eventually lead her to a record setting performance in a tennis tournament, on either grass or clay. It is a thing of growing older, both the world and ourselves. We learn as we get older that we can only do so much and so much has been done already. Adam set the world record for everything just by waking up and walking out the door.

The first stories were like the first people. Their lives and forms were simpler than ours. But they were no less meaningful. Like art, life is always equally meaningful. In each instance you either see it or you don’t. But in these crude forms life and art and meaning are quite easily apprehended. Later on in life when we have seen the complexity of things we are tempted to dismiss the meaning we saw with simpler eyes, but it is always there.

That is not to say that simplicity is always done in the pursuit of truth. The stories in this issue are fables. They are lies and departures from the world. But these lies are attempts by their authors to move the audience with an ancient literary arithmetic. They are also attempts to speak to you; to communicate with you and show you some ideas that they have or what they care about. Sometimes literature can be just as simple as that.

— Goodloe Byron

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