An Arrangement of Light

A chilling tale set in an unnamed country, Krauss’s masterful short story concerns a young horticulturist, his idol, a landscape architect, and a cabal of capricious generals.

  1. For twenty-one years I was employed as the personal secretary to our country’s greatest landscape architect, a man you almost certainly will have heard of. If you haven’t heard of him, you will have sat in one of the parks he designed, unless you make it your business to avoid public places, in which case you might have been lucky enough to sit in one of the many private gardens he created, in our beautiful city or outside of it, in the hills or valleys, inland or by the sea. And if you were among the very luckiest, you might even have visited the garden he designed for himself on the estate of Three Winds, one of the most intriguing gardens in the world according to scholars and experts, on par with El Novillero and Compton Acres. If so, we’ve probably even met, since it was I who received guests in the role of personal secretary during my years at Three Winds, ushering the new arrival into the living room, always cool no matter how oppressive the heat outside, or, if staying overnight, to the guest room. There I would leave the guest in peace to collect himself after his travels, to change his clothes or rest in the rattan chair. Twenty minutes later I would knock again with a glass of lemonade on a beaten copper tray and the invitation to meet on the patio at half past, when our country’s greatest landscape architect would begin his personal tour of the acres brimming with rare species, so rare you would have to walk into the heart of the forest for days to find them, and ...

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