Clive Fisher

  • Fabulous Fabulist

    As every published writer learns, the regrets of authorship come to matter more: Time’s passage qualifies the enormity of our misdeeds, but our misjudgments, enshrined in print, assume a treacherous immortality, testifying to our fallibility not simply after we are silent but in theory until the day mankind is engulfed in analphabetic extinction. All it takes is one blatant rhyme to betray the elliptical poet, one cheap anachronism to corrupt convincing historical fiction—and one alluring but unsubstantiated anecdote to compromise eternally the scrupulous reconstructions of the biographer.

    If

  • Burning Bright

    Loyalty, blind obedience, and a keen sense of smell, though dull attributes in a human being, are considered sterling in a dog—a fact that might explain why the inscrutable cat alone inherits such a history of symbol and suspicion. A deity in pharaonic Egypt, in ancient Rome the incarnation of liberty, and in medieval Europe a diabolic familiar consigned with all sorcery to the flames, the cat has embodied intensities of good and evil to an extent that no born dog lover could ever claim for the canine. But of course, dog lovers are not born, they develop—their yearning for companionship assuaged