On the Amateur, and other Fledglings: A Correspondence

       The Secretary Locotenant of the Order of the Third Bird has recently asked if we at Communiqués would have any interest in publishing a selection of the Locotenant’s vast correspondence with various members and practitioners of the Order. The enthusiasm of our response cannot be overstated; the following will be the first in a punctuated series reproducing choice fragments of this archive.

       The first letter in the correspondence reproduced below (spanning 9 months) was originally addressed by a member of the Order to the community of Birds at large, and the Locotenant appears to have stepped in on behalf of the Order. These documents reach us “as is,” with little comment or explanation (some of the redactions and paraphrases are the Locotenant’s, some are our own), but they do also speak clearly for themselves, and include tantalizing allusions to the Order’s internal affairs, including the choosing of “Bird names.”

       Several things should nonetheless be mentioned: the July 15 letter makes reference to a lecture that ESTAR(SER) itself delivered on the “traveling attention artist” Inyard Kip Ketchem (1847-1919) and his famous “reduction screen.” It also refers, quite puzzlingly, to the Order’s “founding myths,” and even more so, to “invented progenitors.” Most likely, this is a subtle jab at some misunderstanding perpetrated by ESTAR(SER) itself, its inevitable ignorance with respect to the arcane doings of the Order, or the incompleteness of its historical knowledge. May we only comment that, if our knowledge of the Order were not incomplete, we would hardly have reason to continue our loving pursuit of its mysteries?

July 15, 2015

July 29, 2015

August 3, 2015

January 13, 2016

March 10, 2016