The celebrity of Brewster’s stereoscope during the Great Exhibition of 1851, and the excitement it aroused in young Queen Victoria, flung anglophile and noted iconoclast Arthur Lotshire into a fit of jealous rage. Unimpressed by image semiotics, Lotshire conspired to return his monarch’s affection to letters, after building his own notoriety.
His scheme invoked a series of lectures written by one Hermann Samuel Reimarus, an 18th-century high school oriental languages instructor from the Imperial Free City of Hamburg. Reimarus was a proponent of a theological oneness in ideas, and Lotshire speculated that if the devil could render images in stereo, then he could do the same with literature.
Stereo perception uses symmetry to exploit mental assumptions about parallax. One needs two eyes to see in three dimensions. Likewise, one needs two minds to read in stereo.
Problems in sensing parallax script inspired Lotshire to contrive a stereo alphabet, whose meaning was both similar and different, when read at the same time. He seduced a cadre of adherents to practice his new writing, but early attempts to understand resulted in spontaneous epileptic seizure.
When long term meditation in parallax caused schizophrenia, Lotshire was arrested, his cache of hand-written works was confiscated, and his group of adherents dispersed. All examples of Lotshire’s work were officially destroyed in the action, although accounts of surviving copies have surfaced occasionally.
The volume below, a work of fiction written in parallax, arrived at Lost Signals headquarters by way of anonymous delivery. We have not dared to open it.