by Dr. Phong Tzu Xec Berklowitz,
Cassidine State University
Dostoyevsky. Joyce. Rand. Certain writers and their literary legacies have survived the chaos and confusion of Ancient Earth to be influential and inspiring even today. But can any of these archaic authors truly stand up to the phenomenon that is Marjorie Farrell?
Seems like there was a time you couldn’t walk to the corner hover-bus depot without tripping over ten people with dog-eared copies of Lady Barbara’s Dilemma tucked under their arms. Indeed, whole chapters of Miss Ware’s Refusal have been canonized into the Orange Catholic Bible as recently as two hundred years ago. Yes, Marjorie Farrell has left an unquestionable mark upon the development of modern civilization. Horrific wars with many megadeaths have been waged over verse interpretations of Lady Arden’s Redemption, and Farrellism is the dominant philosophy/religion on most civilized planets in the Banana Primus cluster.
However, recent diggings at the ruins of QuamranniIII have unearthed what may be the most ancient existing copies of her three major works (in the original English!) This in itself is much cause for excitement, for these manuscripts prove how true to the archetypes subsequent translations have been through the millennia (giving fuel to The Cult of Jimmy Carl Black’s claim that their translations have been faithful because they are divinely inspired by Frank.)
But more importantly, the excavations at the QuamranniIII athenaeum have unearthed a fourth manuscript, previously unknown to modern scholars and readers alike. Farrell Fundamentalists and scholars immediately set about trying to establish the authenticity of the new work. Debate raged for several months over whether the document was authentic scripture or spurious and apocryphal.
At long last, however, we have tentatively verified that the new work is legitimate. As with other of Farrell M’s works, this one is a highly erotic, sensuous romance filled with titillating imagery and innuendo. It deals with aspects of an amorous relationship between a male and a female. As with Marjorie’s other works, it is a historical romance, this one taking place (from context) somewhere between 1 and 85 Post Cambrian (1945 to 2030 on the then-used GreyGoryAum calendar). Most importantly, both Carbon 14 and Radiographic Residue dating place the age of the manuscript itself within that period, so it was definitely written at the same time as her other works, though its order in the series is still a point of contention. Pope Matthew Thomas XXIII of the First Church of Farrellogy says the lack of sex and stereotypes indicates a developing style, and is thus the earliest of her novels. Dr. Jg'St'Tek of the Daegstrom Institute on New Ra’Math holds that it is actually the last, citing the same evidence as artistic maturity.
But whatever its place on the Timeline, this document stands on its own against the others that came either before and/or after it. The work itself was either untitled or the title became lost, but it has become affectionately known as Lady Gretta’s Discovery. It is divided into three chapters, each named after an obscure Holy Day of an archaic holiday called Easter Weekend. According to Dr. Andrew Lloyd Alucard of the Daegstrom Annex on Conning’s Star, Easter was a curious Earth festivity that took place at a (seemingly) random date each spring. People would go to an island in the Pacific Ocean inhabited by enormous statues, and there they would hunt for colourful eggs hidden by a giant invisible rabbit named “Harvey.” The relationship between this event and the story is, at best, vague, and is but one of the many cryptic features of the vignette that makes it all the more endearing. In regard to such enigma, we offer an extensive—though by no means exhaustive—annotation to help the lay reader cope with such obscurum. If a passage offers more than one interpretation, we attempt to offer a variety of options to its decoding.
We are thus pleased to present this fragment of history, unedited or expurgated, for the first time in millennia. We can only hope that it brings as much hope to this and future generations as it undoubtedly did to those who read it when it first appeared.