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Charles Angier Redfern received two curious letters in his mail on an otherwise undistinguished morning. One letter was in a plain white envelope, and for a moment Redfern thought he recognized the handwriting. He opened the envelope and took out a letter with no salutation or signature. He puzzled for a while over the strange yet familiar handwriting, then recognized it as an imitation of his own. Mildly intrigued, but with a faint anticipation of boredom, he read the following:
Most of the propositions in Redfern's ineptly titled Labyrinth will doubtless go unchallenged, as no one could possibly care one way or another. Redfern's Labyrinth fails to evoke anything except Redfern's own baffled impotence. One senses that Redfern has failed to overcome his own meek and hateful slavishness, his boundless desire to comply.
Because of this resonant failure, the reader's first sensation is apt to be pointedly inconsequential: a concern with the humble brevity of the Labyrinth, and a spiteful wish that it were shorter still.
But this quickly passes, and the reader discovers that his predominant mood is a muted reluctance to feel anything at all. With gratitude he discovers himself to be indifferent. And, although he surely does not wish to remember the Labyrinth, he does not even care enough to forget it.
Thus the reader meets Redfern's boredom with an