A Violent Unknown Event, the VUE for short, has randomly showered its victims with both benign and malign symptoms. The most identifiable characteristics include compound articulacy, immortality, an identification with birds, with especial, though not exclusive, reference to a bird's enviable ability to fly. Some think of this event as a reoccurence of the proliferation of languages at the Tower of Babel, or a laying on at the promised Second Coming, or Hitchcock's belated attempt to remake the unsatisfactory ending of his film The Birds.
Since it would be a formidable task to identify and relate the lives of some nineteen million equivocal victims, and because any selection by symptoms or job-description or social condition is far too contentious, we have taken the most arbitrary of traditional strategies and let the alphabet decide. We have researched all those VUE victims whose surnames begin with the letters FALL, not being retrospectively unaware of the fact that the FALL has other connotations like the autumn of the world and the Fall of Man.
This is the fifth edition of The Falls, and since all conscientious directory-makers should be obliged to keep their records up to date, there will certainly be revised editions. For the moment Peter Greenaway has collected and collated all the currently publishable material of the lives of these particular fortunate unfortunates who at the present time number 92, the atomic number of Uranium. Since some believe the Violent Unknown Event has prophetical implications for the multiple ways the world may end, it is not an irrelevant number.
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