Utopia© by Robert Ernest LaRock (1920-1978)
Durward Winze had spent most of his life without a goal. he read many books on how to be a success. Some of them were cleverly done and easy to understand, whereas others were patent frauds or come-ons. A few were honest, practical how-to books that could be of real benefit to the serious success-seeker. All, without exception, predicated success on the establishment of a goal, which he did not have, so the rest of the advice, however expert, was of little value. As he drifted along, a plaything of fate as it were, his lack of worldly success would sometimes cause pain, but he became inured to it and somewhat fatalistic.
Then one day he heard about another how-to-book. Its title was Goals
, but his informant didn't know the author's name. Durward understood that the book was essentially a list, in alphabetical order, of thousands of goals ranging from adultry to zealotry. He tried the book stores; they'd never heard of it. He went to the local library; they did not have it but promised to try to get it. No success. He wrote to the New York Public Library, the Library of Congress, The Vatican Library in Rome. His self-addressed, stamped envelopes came back containing regrets and asking the author's name. Books in Print
listed seventeen titles beginning with "Goal," or "goals," and he sedulously checked them out, even one that proved to be about hockey, but all he had to show were several useless additions to his shelves.
He refused to be daunted, however, going from city to city, attending auctions and pestering librarians; to foreign countries (incidentally expanding his linguistic abilities to eight or ten languages) where he badgered bibliophiles and bookworms, Oxford Dons and archivists, and caused the book-stall owners on the Left Bank to petition the Prefecture
for protection. He would travel until his money ran out, take six months off from his quest and work at any available job to build up a stake. As he became older he returned home and conducted his search by mail and telephone and word of mouth. He filled dozens of notebooks with fascinating book-lore, human-interest stories, personnal philosophy and observations. He died at a great age, his search unrewarded.
After his death his son gathered up the notebooks and took them to a publisher. The editing job was colossal, but it was done with care and affection and rare discrimination. Released to the trade it exploded overnight into a best-seller. Its title is Goals
, by Durward Winze.