Format: Single

…’But you said the other day that he was red-haired.’
‘I couldn’t have. Make him black-haired of course. You’ve no imagination.’
Seeing that I had just discovered the entire general principles on which the half-memory falsely called imagination is based, I felt entitled to laugh, but forbore, for the sake of the tale.
‘You’re right. You’re the chap with imagination. A black-haired chap in a decked ship.’
‘No, an open ship, like a big boat.’…


This is from ‘The Finest Story in the World’, in ‘Many Inventions’.

The narrator has a friend, a young bank clerk, who is an aspiring writer, who in dreams and imaginings starts to recall fragments of tales of sea-faring hundreds of years ago. The young man thinks he is making it up, but the narrator realises that in reality he is recalling his past lives on a Viking lonship, and an ancient greek galley.