Sunday, 16 August 2015

Revolving Door Catastrophe Brings Stotinkian Studies to Standstill

We regret any inconvenience caused by the two year hiatus in the release of material from the Stotinki archives. This is due to a combination of unfortunate incidents: the extended absence of Chief Archivist, Harriet Kronk, on the disappointingly fruitless search described below; and the difficulty of removing a semi-fossilised piece of pumpernickel bread from underneath the uniquely sensitive mechanism of the famous revolving door at the Institutio Stotinkiano. For the first time since 1913 the back door of the Institute was opened, only to reveal a passage hopelessly blocked by jars of marmalade  which slumped in great drifts to the edge of a vast chasm of unknown depth. The door was promptly closed again.

It is with great pleasure that we now confirm that Ms. Kronk has safely returned from Somerset where, using ancient telephone records and the services of a renowned psychometrist, she has correctly identified the phone box where Gospodin Stotinki left his complete translation of the Voynich manuscript (including marginal commentaries by the mysterious Dr. Cumberland), after he was "distracted by the simultaneous appearance of a beautiful young lady dressed as a 22nd Century Martian speleologist and a salted cashew nut in the coin-return slot."(Diaries, Vol.5) Realising his mistake on the bus to Shepton Mallett, Stotinki was plunged into the period of despair that led to the writing of Oh, no! and other haiku. Much speculation has been made as to the identity of the potential time-traveller, whether she seized the manuscript and whether Stotinki ate the cashew nut.

Needless to say, Ms. Kronk did not find the manuscript in the phone box, despite the psychometrist's assurance that nobody had entered since Stotinki's visit in 1982. Enquiring at a local second-hand bookshop, the elderly owner told Ms. Kronk, "I think we had something like that once, awfully dull read." Ms. Kronk was struck by the curious artefacts displayed around the premises, including a strange head-lamp covered in fine red dust.

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