THE VATS by Walter de la Mare


A brief story in words that somehow mean more and more the less and less they are read. The ultimate perhaps is never to read this work at all and depend on osmosis as solely generated by this review.

A story with characters deployed by one of them as narrator. Two “clock-vexed men” discussing the nature of time itself, and walking upon an unearthly terrain that started off as idyllic England — not that they are in a SF vision, but inside one of Zeno’s Paradoxes, the reader needing to be no more nor less than “half-woken” enough to continue sensing a half-meaning that ever promises more.
A number of vast vats placed monumentally upon some morphed Salisbury Plain, with Time tantamount to the water in the vats, and we can dive in and out, with cross-references to the Bible and to whatever else the reading mind conjures up as its occult source.

It is full of “hugger-mugger, feverish, precipitate” words that ever threaten over-spilling. A time-elongating story’s momentous, prophetic synergy with my reading of it. The second character, the narrator’s friend.


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