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Selected Stories: Follies and Vices of the Modern Elizabethan Age


Published by O Books on 11 December 2015
ISBN 9781780997537
Price £12.99/$21.95 Paperback


The Back Cover Says:

These stories serve as an introduction to Nicholas Hagger’s five volumes totalling 1,001 stories (an echo of The Thousand and One Nights, or Arabian Nights). They are grouped in two parts which reflect the two aspects of the fundamental theme of world literature outlined in his A New Philosophy of Literature: ‘Follies and Vices’ and ‘Quest for the One’. These stories condemn follies and vices in relation to an implied virtue – more than 150 vices are listed in a Preface – and present moments of heightened consciousness in which the universe is perceived as a unity.

This selection introduces Philip Rawley’s growth, development and reflections over five decades; a sample of the wide range of characters he encounters; their follies and flaws; and his glimpses of the One during his quest. Death lurks behind the social situations. These miniature stories (or mini-stories), a new literary form, have vivid titles and each expresses a truth and offers a complete literary experience in a few minutes. Inspired by Dr Johnson’s description in his ‘Life of Cowley’ of the wit of the Metaphysical poets as “a combination of dissimilar images”, they blend image and statement in the Universalist manner. They are vivid verbal paintings that present an image in action, reveal a poet’s eye for significant detail and have the power to startle the soul into a new mode of perception and enlightenment.


New approach

Hagger’s short stories present a thousand experiences in the life of Philip Rawley spanning five decades. They reveal his quest for Reality and condemn the follies and vices of the Age. They bring a new approach to the short story and are very readable.


A poet with a a vision of the infinite who calls for a revolution in literature

by Geoff Ward, 1 March 2016.

Geoff Ward is an author, journalist, editor, media consultant, lecturer and tutor in literature and creative writing (MA Lit.), and a musician



Nicholas Hagger