Two Portraits

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Is a verbal portrait a valid concept? If so, these pages contain two vastly different portraits- one of a dying drunk, another of an 18-month-old child. The preface makes it clear these are not stories. The first portrait is drawn within an old farmhouse. The second portrait is drawn with an amusement park in the background. Like traditional portraits, these two verbal portraits may be analyzed from various angles. But, ultimately, the viewer is seeing the portrait painter himself. Every man's work, said the novelist, Samuel Butler, whether it be literature or music or pictures or architecture or anything else is always a portrait of himself.