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‘A new feeling emerges, a desire to bear witness to the dignity and passion of our human lives. To write with as much simple presence and transparency as possible.’

Donny O’Rourke finds himself in the book-blessed town of Ullapool in May, celebrating the bonfires and bluebells of the Celtic Beltane festival.

Chris Arthur reflects on the inspirations of his ‘odd-object’ essays, and considers the popularity of this particular form and the most important aspect of oddness within it.