About?…

An introduction to Following In His Own Footsteps by E. Perrigrine Stynge

“A brilliant evocation,” “filing the void,” “shattering the mist”… These are just a few of the things that Jim Regan asked me to say about his writings in my introduction.

But before the reader dismisses Regan as a megalocephallic tatterdemalion of nubilous qualifications, let us rather, ‘ecce homo’, and see if learning something about the author can help to give his works more significance than ‘just a bunch of words’.

It is unlikely, but let us try.

Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and raised by a complex system of pulleys and counterweights, Regan spent much of his childhood in New Brunswick and Ontario, returning to Metro shortly after the police had completed their enquiries. An accomplished monoglot, and a philogynist (not a very accomplished one, though), Regan disputes claims that success has changed him over the years – pointing out that in order for success to change one, one must first experience success.

But what of the inevitable comparisons to writers like Shakespeare, Tolstoy, and Dickens. Well, Regan has more hair than Shakespeare, is taller than Tolstoy, and never read Dickens. (Of course, Dickens never read Regan either, as so they can be said to be equals on this point.)

But comparisons will not help us, for it must be admitted that Regan possesses a (what for want of a better word, we’ll call) ‘style’ all his own. So, what, finally, ultimately, in a nutshell, do these essays contain? Well, more than just ‘words,’ certainly. More accurately, as Shakespeare said through the voice of the Melancholy Dane, “Words, words, words.” But is “words, words, words” a helpful description? Perhaps not. but it is all but impossible for me to do justice to this work, because I haven’t actually read it …as such …per se …in so many words, as it were.

Still, in my skimming I have found Regan to be concise, poignant, and, if pointless, then ruthlessly so. Banished, one hopes forever, are the faded idioms, the enervated ideologies of other, vastly more successful writers. Plots and concepts, so often infordle in other letters of this sort, are now clear and tangible, standing like a cromlech on the horizon. He gives us an isagoge to our own zeitgeist, whether we want one or not.

Regan is always reaching beyond himself; and his friends, (if, indeed, he has any) often see him falling over for no apparent reason. But the post-magniloquent promulgations so familiar to Regan’s previous work (if, indeed, he has any) still resonate through the paragraphs, and succeed in both colouring our vision, and freeing us of our repressed emotions, truly gamboging us. And how many authors can make that claim?

As for his attempts at photography, his snapshots, let us just remember the adage that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words,’ and be grateful for the reading that each image spares us.

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Seriously? This is just a bit of an experiment, perhaps a temporary one, to see if I can artificially replace a muse. (But that’s another story.) Some aimless wanderings around Halifax and my own past to see what turns up.

And for those who ask, “Infordle?” This term was first recorded in modern English in a review by E. Perrigrine Stynge himself, after viewing the first public showing by a local artist in August of 1994.

Not long after, it was discovered that the term was used much earlier in history – discovered in the translated chronicles of the ancient and long-and-best-forgotten land of Codwallop (or, Codswallop, depending on the translator). These narratives, which all appear to have taken place during the … “Happy and Glorious reign of Queen Wanda the Infordle,” tell inspiring tales of wizardry, valour, quests, and cooking. Four have been translated so far, and they may appear in this space at some future date.

As for a definition of the word, well, it means not fordle. Simple enough, yes?

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And finally, for the legal end of things – all writings, photos, music and lyrics contained at this blog are copyright, all rights reserved, et cetera and all that, Jim Regan.

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