I walked down the long corridor of the great Mansion at Botendaddy Manor Estates, High above Olde Uniontowne on the ancient haunted plateau of House Utonic.
One of the servants, the lowly, hirsute, deformed, groveling, possibly evil sidekick and laboratory assistant Anton Šafránková Schweik, I believe, was playing Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in an unknown alcove.
The mysterious music echoed throughout the mansion. I spotted the melancholy, brooding Botendaughter. She had been reading the following:
- Shirley Jackson’s “The Night we all Had Grippe”, with the boozing, smoking parents and the lost blanket mystery.
- Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”.
- Kurt Vonnegut’s “Harrison Bergeron” (does it seem too much like today?) and
- “Refund” by Frigyes Karinthy featuring the beloved idiot ‘Wasserkopf’.
“Once your brother dies, we will be the last of the Botens. I fear our house shall fall like the tragic House Utonic and the ill-fated House of Usher. It is our fate. I shall never marry nor have children. I shall someday, when you are in your sepulcher with my beloved mother, the lovely, sweet Annabel Lee, yea I shall walk the halls of this once magnificent manor alone until the last stone crumbles and decays into ancient hoary humus.” She looked up dramatically at the magnificent ceiling, stretching her arms wide like a dangling modifier. “It is my fate, our fate, the fate of our ancestors. Great houses, like great empires must fall.”
I took a long roak off of my ancient oversize pipe. I nodded in agreement with the Boten-Daughter. Fate would take its course and the ancient house of Boten would fall like House Utonic and thus be thus consumed by the primeval forest.
I was still trying to accumulate the entire “Man” series of Books. Trying to assemble them 47 years after they came out is not easy. They were published from 1970-1971 by McDougal Littell & Co.
They are the singularly greatest series of academic literature books ever written.
It consists of the following:
- Man in the Literary Mode: Volume 1-6 (I have all six)
- Man in the Dramatic Mode 1-6 (I have 2, 3, 4 and 6, 1 and 5 are on order)
- Man in the Poetic Mode 1-6 (I have none) (2-6 are on order, I can’t find book 1 yet)
- Man in the Expository Mode 1-6 (2, 3, 4 and 6 are on order)
- Man Series Teacher’s Edition (UPDATE: They don’t have the book!!!)
So, to complete my set, I need:
- Books 1 and Book 5 of Man in the Expository Mode and
- Book 1 of Man in the Poetic Mode.
- Man Series Teacher’s Manual
Here is a picture of it:
- If you find any of these books (just the ones I’m missing) at an old bookstore anywhere, please let me know the name and location of the bookstore so I can contact them.
- If you have any o these books, please let me know
It’s a quest. I need to have the entire set on my shelf.
I’m also still trying to re-create my parents’ 1970’s paperback collection.
Peace be the Botendaddy