Gurdjieff's teaching: for scholars and practitioners

G. I. Gurdjieff's teaching, research, books, conferences

GURDJIEFF IN TIFLIS


John Robert Colombo Page

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Tiflis now Tiblisi

John Robert Colombo reviews the proceedings of the first-ever
conference on Gurdjieff held in the Caucasus

You can take Gurdjieff out of Tiflis, but can you take Tiflis out of
Gurdjieff? That might sound like a silly question, but it is germane
to the present publication. It is also a question that is eventually
asked by all students of the Fourth Way. I will return to this matter
at the end of this review.

By way of background: I have in front of me a “non-trade” paperback
called “Gurdjieff in Tiflis.” The publication is “non-trade” because
it is not standard in size or in paper stock. It measures six inches
in width, eight inches in height. The cover is printed on stiff,
canary-coloured stock (in brown and black ink). The cover design is a
reproduction of the original, Russian-text edition of “Herald of
Coming Good,” Gurdjieff’s first publication – the one he later
disavowed, the one that P.D. Ouspensky ridiculed. The fetching design
was the work of Alexander de Salzmann in Tiflis in 1919. The text
stock is vaguely yellow in cover (though the text is printed in
regular black ink). The binding is what printers call “perfect
binding” – glue. In all there are 92 pages.

The editors are Dr. Constance A. Jones and Dr. Levan Khetaguri. The
publisher is the Shota Rustavelli Theatre and Film University. The
year of publication is 2008. The ISBN is 978-99940-719-5-1. Here is
how the editors describe their unusual work: “This publication
includes materials from the International Conference, which was held
in Tbilisi on 7th March in 2007. The conference was titled ‘G.I.
Gurdjieff from South Caucasus to Western World: His Influence on
Spirituality, Thought and Culture in Italy, Europe and in the USA.’
The conference was the initiative of Embassy of Italy in Georgia and
hosted by Tbilisi State University of Javakhishvili and Shota
Rustaveli Theatre and Film University.”

As I write this, Georgia is in the news again, with the Russian
incursion on August 6 and the armed response of Georgians. (In
passing, I am writing this review the day of the “Toronto Explosions”
which rocked the northwest part of the city and saw its mass
evacuation – 12,000 people were asked to leave their homes for
eighteen hours; 10 percent complied – and which witnessed the closing
of one of the busiest highway systems in the world for the same period
of time. All this took place five miles from our home where a propane
storage facility created an immense fireball followed by fifty or so
explosions over an hour and a half. My wife Ruth and I live outside
the evacuation area but the first explosion at 3:40 a.m. Sunday, Aug.
10 rocked the foundation of our house.) So we have experienced
unexpected sympathy for the Georgian people. That country has had more than its share of such crises: for instance, in 2003, it experienced
the “Rose Revolution” led by Edvard Shevardnadze.

Any reference to “Tiflis” is a reference to Tbilisi, capital and
largest city of the Republic of Georgia. Tbilisi has a population of
one million, Georgia a population of more than four times that number.
Georgia is described as a “transcontinental country” which is partly
in Eastern Europe and partly in Southwestern Asia. We have Georgian
friends and they describe Tbilisi as a fascinating city of historic
buildings built in hills and valleys which offer breath-taking views.

You will not find any instances of fine English expression in the
pages of this book, yet the prose is fluent and there are numerous
surprises, including reports of original research that was conducted
by Georgian scholars in the Caucasus. I looked for references to any
native Caucasian tradition that might have been the well-spring of
Gurdjieff’s thought, but I found none, not even a whisper of the
Teachings of Kebzeh.

I have no idea how many listeners attended the conference, which was
held on March 7, 2007, but those who were in attendance were offered
some interesting ideas. Let me report on the proceedings as they
appear in printed form. I will do so in a summary fashion, as there
were twelve presentations by almost that many scholars and some of
their papers were somewhat detailed.

The first speaker was Massimo Introvigne, the well-known, Rome-born
sociologist of religion and founder CESNUR (Center for Studies on New
Religions). He titled his talk “A Meeting with Remarkable Men (and
Some Women).” The speaker stressed that colleagues from Georgia and
Armenia whose names and writings are barely known if at all outside
their respective countries have much information to offer Western
scholars about Gurdjieff’s family and early years. The academics
themselves were the beneficiaries: “Equally important was the
possibility for scholars to breathe the very Georgian atmosphere that
inspired Gurdjieff when he established in Tbilisi in 1919 the first
Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man.”

Introvigne noted that the location of the Institute in Tbilisi has yet
to be identified, adding that it was here that Jeanne de Salzmann
first exhibited “their sacred dances.” Because of the sponsorship of
the Italian Embassy, he explained, the presentations stress the role
of Gurdjieff studies in Italy. He touched upon the touchiness of the
subject: “Isn’t Gurdjieff, after all, a believer in things unseen in a
disenchanted scientific era, a dogmatic teacher claiming authority
quite difficult to sell to a postmodern world where any claim to
authority is tantamount to authoritarianism?” He concluded, “We
learned again in Tbilisi that Gurdjieff is always complicated and
elusive.”

Fabrizio Romano, Italian Ambassador to Georgia, delivered the “opening
remarks for the conference.” Why the sponsorship of the Italian
government? He offered three reasons: 1. Gurdjieff “had a remarkable
influence on culture and spirituality in the West.” 2. Two leading
Italian scholars (Introvigne and PierLuigi Zoccatelli) are
participating. 3. “I think that this initiative may help the
intelligentsia of Tbilisi and Georgia – after decades of prohibition
during the Soviet period – to recall the heritage of a man who was a
son of the South Caucasus,” etc.

PierLuigi Zoccatelli, born in Verona, serves as CESNUR’s deputy
director. He is active in a number of organizations and busy as a
writer of books and articles on New Religious Movements and Western
Esotericism. He called his presentation “Notes on G.I. Gurdjieff” and
immediately noted a “curious paradox”: despite the work of scholars,
not all that much is known about him including “the exact details of
his birth or his year of birth.” He observed that Gurdjieff was born
in the Armenian city of Alexandropol which is now called Gyumri.
Curiously Zoccatelli revived the description of Gurdjieff’s followers
as “the forest philosophers.” He alluded to the difficulty of
discussing the “social formation” of esotericism and particularly
Gurdjieff’s place in it, adding about his philosophy: “The sources of
its originality and innovation remain largely unknown even at the
beginning of the 21st century.”

Zoccatelli referred to his own Google-based search of the Web for the
recurrence of “important names related to the field of esotericism.”
Whose names cropped up most often? “Our findings demonstrate that,
among listings accessed on the Internet, Gurdjeiff is staunchly
positioned in second place, immediately after Rudolf Steiner.” (This
study reminds me of the time in the early 1960s when “Time” magazine’s
undertook to grade the efficiency of global corporations and
institutions. Their editors discovered that the most efficient
enterprise was General Motors, followed by the Roman Catholic Church!
I expect that Zoccatelli’s search did not include the name of Carl
Jung.)

“At the heart of Gurdjieff’s teaching is the idea that mankind is born
with great potential for development, but in the state of ordinary
consciousness, does not have the capacity to understand nor to fulfill
this potential.” Zoccatelli went on to discuss Gurdjieff’s
background – Greek father, Armenian mother, etc. – early discontent
with received opinion – formation of “the Seekers of Truth” – “He may
have been a secret advisor to the Tsar, a Russian agent, or a Buddhist
monk and advisor to the Dalai Lama,” etc. He stood on firmer ground
when he entered what might be called the “historical period” with work
in Moscow in 1913. Details of Gurdjieff’s later life were summarized.
His death in 1949 was described. There was no summary but there are
three pages of source-notes.

The title of the presentation of Avetik Melik-Sargsyan took the form
of a quotation: “Genius Has No Fatherland, He Has a Birth-Place.” The
presenter is identified as an Armenian historian and scriptwriter who
was born in 1956 in Gurdjieff’s birthplace of Leninakan, Gyumri.
Without hesitation he hailed Gurdjieff as “the greatest philosopher of
the 20th century.” He explained, “This paper reports on the activities
and findings of the Gyumri Gurdjieff Study Group.”

Finally a group was formed to undertake systematic and original
research on the early life of Gurdjieff. I will simply summarize some
of their findings which will have to take precedence over the
generalizations of all previous biographers and commentators. The GGSG
determined “precise details of Gurdjieff’s date of birth and the
district, street, and exact house where Gurdjieff and his family lived
in Gyumri.” (The house was located on “Quiet Street” in a district in
Alexandropol that was favoured by “Greek Orthodox Christians who
immigrated from Byzantium Capadocia (Chalcedony).” Unfortunately the
speaker has withheld the date of his birth, thereby prolonging the
agony of those who would wish to know his age at various points in his
life. Is James Moore right about 1866?

The GGSG located also the grave of Ashok Adash, Gurdjieff’s father,
and they seem to have located “the original phonograph roll records”
of some of his songs. Imagine: the voice of Gurdjieff’s father!
Members of GGSG visited the towns of Kars, Ani, Erzrum, Moush, and Van
“in order to make a documentary film about Gurdjieff.” apparently GGSG
is part of “the Gurdjieff Heritage Society.”

I imagine that Melik-Sargsyan speaks with an accent; it might be said
he writes with one too, for it is sometimes difficult to determine
exactly what GGSG has learned. Certainly the information is not here,
though it may be in the group’s files and in their future publications
and documentary films. Mysteriously he says, “Our group discovered
that Gurdjieff’s understanding as a mystic philosopher starts from
influences upon him from the Armenian medieval capital Ani. Others
today confirm that the origins of Western spiritual science have roots
in the land of Shirak.” The group also established Gurdjieff’s
friendship with a number of noted Caucasians, including patriots and
musicians and the archaeologist Nikoghayos Mar and the sculptor Sergey
Merkurov who was Gurdjieff’s cousin. The latter two men may well have
influenced the young Gurdjieff.

The speaker made some promises: “The Gyumri Gurdjieff Study Group
plans to realize several projects in the future. We will host an
international scientific-cultural conference at the birthplace of
George Gurdjieff in 2008 titled, ‘Gurdjieff’s days in Gyumri.’ We will
publish a biography, ‘Gurdjieff in Armenia,’ by Melik-Sargsyan. We
will organize seminars, including scientific reports on Gurdjieff’s
work and teaching …. ” The list goes on. There is much here to
anticipate, yet the line of poetry that came to my mind as I read this
list is Robert Frost’s: “I have promises to keep.” I wonder how this
will play out in the atmosphere of the current hostilities.

Manana Khomeriki is identified as a Tbilisi-born historian. Her
contribution is titled “About the Origins of Gurdjieff and His
Activities in Georgia.” There is information here about the
“Gurdjieff” surname but it is presented by association rather than by
argumentation: “I have come across,” “We can suppose,” “I would like
to bring to your attention,” etc. The family’s history is fascinating
but complicated and it remains uncertain. “All we can say with
certainty is that his father’s name was Ivan.” Gurdjieff might be he
was born in 1877, “the year shown in his passport.” Gurdjieff may or
may not have been related to the “legendary Georgian prince
Mukhransky.” The Gurdjieff-Stalin remains unsettled, as an examination
of class-lists of the seminary of Tbilisi established that Stalin was
expelled in 1899 for his Marxist agitation. “As for Gurdjieff, he is
not fixed in the lists. Thus, he was not a class-fellow of Stalin, but
we cannot say for sure, that they did not know each-other.”

Without giving the evidence she had on hand, Khomeriki stated,
“Gurdjieff travelled a lot. For years he had lived in Tibet and the
central Asia, where he was seeking for esoteric knowledge.” Much
original research established the site of the first Institute for the
Harmonious Development of Man in Tbilisi, which was closed in 1921
with the arrival of the Soviets. There is the discovery of a
pen-and-ink caricature, the work of Alexandre de Salzmann, which shows
Gurdjieff and his followers at the Institute dressed in overcoats, so
bitter was the cold and so rudimentary the housing. This chapter is a
melange of information and conjecture, research and speculation, which
any future biographer of Gurdjieff or historian of the Work will need
to ponder and parse.

It is a relief to turn to the paper “Gurdjieff Schools in the United
States, Europe, and Italy.” It was contributed by Constance A. Jones,
another sociologist, who is Professor of Transformative Studies at the
California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, California.
The relief comes from a plethora of detail, though there is nothing
much that is new in what she says. It is more a review of global
activities to date.

Jones began by noting the fact that Gurdjieff did not
“institutionalize forms for systematic organization of his Work” so
that following his death there had to be “personal transmission of the
teaching.” She contrasts instruction in “a school” with instruction
“an esoteric school,” the former being based on book learning, the
latter being grounded in “direct transmission of energy from one
person to another under specified conditions.” She added, “The
fundamental focus of Gurdjieff’s teaching is inquiry rooted in
practice, in which everything in life is brought into question.”

She went on to discuss the characteristic activities of esoteric
schools and “Work in life.” She found that ideas and practices
identified with Gurdjieff may be grouped “in three major venues.” 1.
Direct lineage: the Foundation, the Society, the Institute, “and other
organizations founded by individuals who left Gurdjieff or his pupils
to establish independent groups.” 2. Non-direct lineage: teachers who
use “Fourth Way” to define their missions. 3. Other lineages:
“spiritual teachers and professionals” who develop their own systems
incorporating influences from Gurdjieff.

Jones then focused on the diffusion of the “direct lineage” under
Jeanne de Salzmann from Gurdjieff’s death in 1949 to Madame’s death in
1990, and then under her son Michel de Salzmann to his death in 2001.
“No titular head of the Foundation network has emerged since his
death. Approximately 2,500-3,300 members worldwide are involved in the
Foundation network.”

Jones then looked at the “non-direct lineage” that begins in 1924 with
P.D. Ouspensky and continues with Sophie Grigorievna Ouspensky, J.G.
Bennett, Wilhem Nyland, Annie Lou Staveley, all in the United States.
The Ouspensky branch continues “under the aegis of the Ouspensky
Foundation, located in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.” Mentioned are
Maurice Nicoll, Rodney Collin, Robert de Ropp. Bennett’s efforts
resulted in Coombe Springs near London and the Claymont Society for
Continuous Education in Charles Town (not the similarly named state
capital of Charlestown), West Virginia. Nyland established the
Institute for Religious Development. Staveley formed the residential
community, The Farm, in Aurora, Oregan.

Then there is the Taliesen Fellowship, based in Spring Green,
Wisconsin, founded by Frank Lloyd Wright but given a Gurdjieffian
twist and tang by Olgivanna Hinzenberg. There is the line of Henriette
Lannes which benefitted biographer James Moore. Gurdjieff and the
Fourth Way are invoked by William Patrick Patterson, a pupil of John
Pentland; Patterson established the Arete Telos Study Program in
Fairfax, California. The Fellowship of Friends was founded in 1970 by
Robert Earl Burton, with its headquarters near Nevada City,
California.

Leaders whom Jones called “unconventional teachers” include Idries
Shah, Oscar Ichazo, E.J. Gold, Jan Cox, and Gary Chicoine. Some basic
information is supplied on the lot of them. That led to the “diffusion
of ideas and practices into other systems.” This is a rich field, so
given here are merely those names that she offers: A.H. Almaas,
Charles T. Tart, Robin Skynner, William R. Torbert. Perhaps in the
interest of brevity, Jones did not delve deeper, as at least one dozen
more names (e.g., E.F. Schumacher, Ida Rolf) could be added. With a
nod to the sponsor of the event, she highlighted venues in Europe and
particularly in Italy.

Jones concluded with the somewhat glum prediction that “the elements
of his teaching will continue to be appropriated and modified with
little discernment, contrary to the principles of an esoteric
teaching.” Four pages of source-notes conclude this presentation.
Listeners or readers are free to look for what is not there. The role
of John Pentland is mentioned only with respect to Patterson. Canada
goes unmentioned, despite the high-quality work of Tom Daly, James
George, and Ravi Ravindra.

Massimo Introvigne returned with a heady discussion titled “From Mary
Poppins to Franco Battiato: Gurdjieff Influence on the Italian Culture
and Spirituality.” This paper is a tour de force which examines the
subtext of P.L. Travers’s “Mary Poppins” books occasioned by a
provocative article in the Turin daily newspaper “La Stampa” which
asked the question “Is Mary Poppins really Satan?” Introvigne examined
some of these popular children’s books, eleven of which were published
between 1934 and 1988. Unquestionably they offer Work-related ideas.

Introvigne added, “Travers’ work still maintains the taste of a
genuine Gurdjieffian experience, and is a good introduction to the
Fourth Way for beginners.” Here is lively analysis and a literary
study pleasantly free (for the most part) of sociology. Tacked onto
the end is a section titled “Franco Battiato and Gurdjieff” which
examined the music of the Sicilian-born, Italian singer whose popular
songs include one called “Centro di gravita permanente” (Permanent
centre of gravity). There are two pages of source-notes.

Claudio Gugerotti, born in Verona, is a Roman Catholic Archbishop and
was appointed by Pope John Paul II the Apostolic Nuncio in Georgia,
Armenia, and Azerbaijan. He has also held various academic
appointments. He cautiously titled his paper “A Possible Influence of
Eastern Christianity in the Thought of Gurdjieff,” and it is
interesting for the light it sheds on Gurdjieff’s “general attitude
towards traditional religions,” “his scarce attention for
Christianity,” and “the lack of interest for specific Eastern
Christianity.”

Gugerotti is not much impressed with Gudjieff’s sensitivity to Eastern
Orthodoxy or to organized religions in general. What is left? “We have
a collection of various components of religions, put together without
an order of possible priorities, more quoted than organized in a
coherent system.” He noted the preponderance of irony and caricature.
What he found instead was or is the presence of “a Gnostic attitude.”
He concluded, quite interestingly, “Moreover, what is most original in
him is not his theoretical system but his initiation to self-knowledge
through the experience of everyday life.” This presentation bears
rereading.

Janri Kachia, former Dean of the Faculty of Art History, Tbilisi
Academy of Fine Arts, titled his talk “A New View of the Integrity of
Human Existence.” He is a philosopher who has deep feelings for those
traditional values that are reeling from the assaults of scientific,
secular, and rational interests and concerns. He found in a
“rationalist mysticism” that there is an antidote, a synthesis, or a
third force. “Mystical speculation, in my view, was psychologically a
very comfortable response counterbalancing the existing situation.”
(This corresponds to the view that Sam Harris advanced in his
best-selling book “The End of Faith.”) Today we have lost “the ancient
concept and understanding of wisdom.” “Wisdom is not ‘a teaching’; it
is form of existence, the form and style which does not need to be
justified but followed.” He offers an interesting catchphrase: “wisdom
is freedom.”

Kachia added that “wisdom is intransferable.” In light of this he
discussed the insights supplied by Gurdjieff himself, Fritjof Capra,
and Carlos Castaneda, with a sidewise glance at the Ray of Creation
and the theories of the Georgian psychologist Dimitrii Uznadze who
studied “mind-sets” and the interconnections of “visual onomatopoeia,”
perhaps a form of synaesthesia. The discussion is wide-ranging, which
means that it is “all over the map.” But, as short as it is, the last
part of the paper is studded with perceptions: “Gurdjieff is a type of
a Caucasian wise man”; “Existence is presented in the form of a
hologram”; “If a man is tied to something, the universe will also be
tied to the same. One cannot ‘learn freedom’ from Prometheus tied to a
rock.”

So far it is not apparent that any of the contributors have ever been
participants in the Work. Then Tbilisi-born architect and designer
Alexander Cherkezishvili delivered his talk titled “Personal
Experiences with the Gurdjieff Teaching.” In it he conveys a sense of
the excitement he felt during the Communist period upon acquiring
samizdat or hand-made copies of occult texts. With Perestroika there
came legally published texts, as well as in 1992 the first Russian
translation of “Meetings with Remarkable Men” which he edited and
designed. That was a great thrill, he says, but precisely why he does
not say.

Levan Khetaguri, Professor of Shota Rustaveli State University of
Theatre and Film, offered his view on “Gurdjieff and Twentieth Century
Culture.” The topic sounds impossibly broad, but I found it fully
mature and fully informed. Khetaguri knows his culture and presumably
his Gurdjieff too. He begins by saying he has visited the majority of
the places that Gurdjieff himself visited “from Kars to Mongolia.” He
found traces of Gurdjieff in the work of director Peter Brook,
theorist Jerzy Grotowski, theatre director Eugenio Barba, and
playwright-actor Sam Shepard. He opines that Gurdjieff has influenced
music, dance, movement, theatre, “and the use of parabolas in
literature.” (Parabolas, parables?) “Most importantly, his work draws
on Egyptian mysteries, the Pythagorean School, Tibetan rituals,
Sufism, Oriental traditions, and many others.”

At the turn of the last century, it turns out that Tbilisi was
something of an Ascona, Adyar, Darmstadt, Point Loma, or Bollingen.
“Tbilisi attracted many intellectuals, mystics, and followers of
different esoteric schools.” He listed Madame Blavatskaya (this
Russian version of the woman’s name is seldom used in Theosophical
circles in the West), Dagli Joule (identified as a writer and close
friend of August Strindberg), painter Edvard Munk, “students of the
school of Rudolf Steiner,” “followers of the Dalcroze school of
dance,” novelist Knut Hamsun, etc. Here Masonry flourished, Vsevolod
Meyerhold developed “biomechanics,” and Sandro Akhmeteli evolved “a
system of reflexes, based on a Georgian National Folk dance.”

Georgians have a special regard for “Meetings with Remarkable Men”
presumably because in this book Gurdjieff “gives examples of the
Caucasian-Oriental-Asian mentality – specifically [with] respect to
friends and teachers.” Khetaguri called the book “a collection of
hymns to remarkable men, teaching-personalities.” In our time the
Eastern-style teacher or guru has been replaced by the Western-style
lecturer or professor. Learning used to be “a matter of choice or life
style.” I am not quite sure what Khetaguri had in mind when he wrote,
“The concept of parabolas is a very important part of the teaching.” I
think he has in mind parables, archetypes, symbols, or pericopes;
maybe, maybe not. “This is another way to discover the universe for
oneself and to study in order to get answers through sacred
parabolas.”

Khetaguri is something of a film critic: “The book ‘Meetings with
Remarkable Men’ was filmed by Peter Brook in 1979, in consultation
with Madame Jeanne de Salzmann. The film adaptation is quite far from
the book itself; the film is more of a tribute to Mr. Gurdjieff and
his personality than an analysis of his writing.” He sees Gurdjieff as
a “homo ludens who uses many tales for communication,”
“myth-creation,” “like Sufis.” His appreciation is not limited to the
memoir or the movie based on it. “His remarkable work ‘Beelzebub’s
Tales to His Grandson’ is an original creation that tries to show the
history of civilization through the eyes of

a witness to all history – Beelzebub.” He admitted that “it is
difficult to find a clear definition for the style of this book,”
which covers history “from ancient Atlantis to the contemporary United
States of America.”

“In all,” Khetaguri said, “Gurdjieff tries to find a harmony in
unity.” This leads to a digression on Antonin Artaud and Mihail
Bulkakov, on Emile Jacques-Dalcroze’s system of Eurhythmics and Rudolf
Steiner’s system of Eurhythmia as well as on the contributions of
Adolph Apia, Gurdjeiff, De Hartman, and the Salzmanns. As befitting a
specialist in the theatre, Khetaguri discusses multiple other
reference points, notably Peter Brook who influenced the American
actor-writer Sam Shepard, not to mention theorist Jerzy Grotowski and
director Eugenio Barba who established the “theatre of anthropology,
which is a new way of theatre study, carried out through discovery of
ancient rituals.”

Khetaguri has scope and depth and a reminder for us: “Gurdjieff
figures prominently in the work of all of these artists, yet more
research needs to be done to discover more about this connection to
the major cultural trends of this century.” Two pages of source-notes
follow.

“Concluding Remarks” were delivered by Ambassador Fabrizio Romano who
found the five hours to be filled with “excellent presentations from
different points of view.” Views presented include the Caucasian; the
religious; and the artistic, historical, and cultural. “Excellent work
was accomplished here.” He then acknowledged the contribution of Ivane
Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University which physically hosted the
conference.

Earlier I asked if you can take Tiflis out of Gurdjieff. The answer is
that we can no longer view him through Western eyes alone; we will
have to see him through Eastern and South Caucasian eyes as well as
our own. The Armenian, Georgian, Greek, and Caucasian backgrounds of
the man will come more clearly into focus in the decades ahead.
Gurdjieff “returns” to Tiflis.

This publication includes twenty black-and-white photographs (most of
them familiar from other publications) plus de Salzmann’s caricature
(new to me and quite vivid). “Copies of the publication can be
requested at the Stichting Caucasus Foundation contacting via e-mail:
(That’s waht the book says, but my Outlook Express informs me as
follows: “Navigation to the Webpage was Cancelled.” I hope this is not
a sign of things “not to come.”)

John Robert Colombo is an author and anthologist based in Toronto. Two
of his books will appear this fall: “The Big Book of Canadian Ghost
Stories” (Dundurn) and “Whistle While You Work: A Chrestomathy”
(Colombo & Company).

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