Charles Fort Short Stories

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If perhaps not so well known...

Charles Hoy Fort's Short Stories

Charles Hoy Fort attained an international reputation as the author of four iconoclastic books and was described in his obituary as the "Foe of Science" by the New York Times in 1932. Fort expressed his doubts about prevailing scientific doctrines and called into question "data" which was shunned or ignored by most scientists. Fort's heretical views expressed in The Book of the Damned (1919), New Lands (1923), Lo! (1931), and Wild Talents (1932) have attracted an audience largely among those interested in his "data" of strange phenomena, such as sea-serpents and poltergeists, and among science fiction writers, who were inspired by Fort's speculations upon interplanetary visitors. Although these books have been reprinted several times, Fort's other writings have been neglected by all but a handful of writers..

[...]

The short stories of Charles Fort which are collected into this book constitute most, (if not all), of those originally published between 1905 and 1907, one from 1910, and one which was found only in a copy of the typescript. These have all been identified with Fort's name as the author or from other records; but, there are titles to other stories, which may have been published anonymously or which never survived past the galley proofs.

[...]

http://www.resologist.net/introe2.htm

Included therein:

Screenshot_20201006_104233_resize_55.jpg
 

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The Giant, the Insect, and the Philanthropic-looking Old Gentleman

by Charles Hoy Fort


I have forty-eight thousand notes. I've been through everything: chemistry, meteorology, sociology, electricity, magnetism, architecture, music, psychology, astronomy, ethics--taking notes, reading books and going over indexes; hundreds of notes a day, sometimes--geology, entomology, botany, zoology, cytology, histology--over to the library in the morning; out for dinner, pencil and pad with knife and fork in front of me; back to the library; home, to take more notes until bedtime--history, philosophy, evolution, mechanics, mathematics, logic, civil engineering--sounds like a correspondence--school's circular--anthropology, physiology, ethnology, military and naval strategy, sculpture, economics--notes piling up on the mantle piece, and when about three thousand are there, I classify them.

Why?

But to answer that would make me reasonable. What are you doing, and why? Undoubtedly you can give a reason; perhaps you are doing whatever you're doing in order that you shall live. But why should you live? See for yourself: we can give reasons, but when it comes to reasons for reasons--stumped: that's all.

I had a theory. Because of the theory, I took hundreds of notes a day. Well then, that's reasonable, isn't it? But was the theory itself reasonable? If it were I was of the second degree of reasonableness. That's not human; we're rational beings only in the first degree; after that comes--I don't know; spirits or something.

So I wore out eyesight and pencils and breeches-material and got my coat all shiny at the elbows, for a theory that I had never tested, because so to do would be rationality of the second degree, which isn't human.

The theory:

That all things are one; that all phenomena are governed by the same laws; that whatever is true, or what we call true, of planets, plants, and magnets, is what we call true of human beings;

That if, among such widely dissimilar phenomena as the moon, the alimentary canal of an ant eater, and glacial erosions, we can discover uniformities, there we have the associations of events commonly called laws, which may equally be in control of human affairs..
[End]

That will do fine for me! :bdown:
 

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"G'wan, now! Don't be blocking up this artery."

But the wise old corpuscle had provided himself with a permit.

He began: "Fellow leucocytes--"

"Hooray!" from irresponsible, small leucocytes.

"Fellow leucocytes, I look around and see among you some who may remember me. These may recall that a long time ago I withdrew from the activity and excitement of our affairs and may wonder where I have been. I have been secluded in the land of gray soil at the upper end of our world. In a remote convolution of this gray matter I have lived and have absorbed something of a strange spirit permeating it--the spirit of intelligence--and I have learned much from it. I feel that I have a mission among you. Let me start it abruptly with a question. Fellow leucocytes, do you know why we are placed here in this Man?"

"To get all we can out of it!" answered a sleek, shiny corpuscle.

The others laughed good-naturedly, agreeing that this was their sole reason for being.

[...]

"Pursue your analogy!" cried the rival philosopher. "If we populate a living creature, then the creature inhabited by Man must itself be a corpuscle floating in the system of something inconceivably vaster. We are leucocytes to Men; Men are to the Earth; then hordes of Earths are to a Universe? You speak of many Men. Are there hordes of Earths?"

[...]

This struck a certain resonance...

An extract from:

A Radical Corpuscle

http://www.resologist.net/story24.htm
 

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Whoever put together the online collection of Fort's short stories is surely deserving of recognition.

Who is 'Mr X'...?
 

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Whoever put together the online collection of Fort's short stories is surely deserving of recognition.

Who is 'Mr X'...?
Mr X is a Canadian Fortean researcher. He changed his legal name to Mr X. He’s very meticulous and has some wonderful things on his website.
 

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There a second edition of that out...
I was surprised to see this available for free online, however, if there's a new edition, perhaps thst explains it.

Our, 'Mr X' is indeed proving to be elusive!

Was he solely responsible for the almost unfathomable dedication to present Fort's short stories in such perfect format?

On which, I am quite simply dumbfounded by Fort's literary eloquence.

If I may, the following passage from,
'The Giant, the Insect, and the Philanthropic-looking Old Gentleman', is spellbinding and hopefully illustrates why this collection of his work is so worth a visit:

I had a theory. Because of the theory, I took hundreds of notes a day. Well then, that's reasonable, isn't it? But was the theory itself reasonable? If it were I was of the second degree of reasonableness. That's not human; we're rational beings only in the first degree; after that comes--I don't know; spirits or something.

So I wore out eyesight and pencils and breeches-material and got my coat all shiny at the elbows, for a theory that I had never tested, because so to do would be rationality of the second degree, which isn't human.

The theory:

That all things are one; that all phenomena are governed by the same laws; that whatever is true, or what we call true, of planets, plants, and magnets, is what we call true of human beings;

That if, among such widely dissimilar phenomena as the moon, the alimentary canal of an ant eater, and glacial erosions, we can discover uniformities, there we have the associations of events commonly called laws, which may equally be in control of human affairs--

Oh, yes, I know all about the antiquity of this philosophy; back to Comte anyway, and leave it to someone else, who is inevitable, to bring the Greeks into it; but we'll go into my own especial interest in this matter:

That, with uniformities discovered, we can apply them to our own affairs, controlling, preventing, predicting, utilizing, as has been the way in chemistry, for instance; or as is done in all the old, established sciences.
 
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