Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"The Phoenix." Silvia Townsend Warner.

One-minute review: Lord Strawberry had the largest and most comfortable aviary in the world. He collected living birds of every kind. He sought out a phoenix—“Unique. The world’s old bachelor. Has no mate and doesn’t want one. When old, sets fire to itself and emerges miraculously reborn.” Lord Strawberry went to Arabia and found the phoenix. It was a most affable bird. Got along with all the other birds.

After Lord strawberry died, his aviary was sold to a Mr. Poldero who had an establishment that attracted thousands of visitors.

However, the Phoenix didn’t do anything. He decided, by various means, to make the phoenix grow old so that it would create a pyre, go up in flames and be reborn. He invited visitors and the movie people to come to view the grand event. The phoenix gathered his pyre, then exploded into flames killing all the spectators, the movie people and Mr. Poldero.

75 Short Masterpieces: Stories from the World’s Literature. Ed. Roger B. Goodman. New York: Bantam Books. 1961. These summaries do not do justice to the vividness of the stories. RayS.

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