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""In this story, as the chief character is internally melodramatic, the story itself ceases to be merely melodramatic, and partakes of true drama."" - T. S. Eliot.Like Poe before him and Conan Doyle after, Wilkie Collins shifted easily from rational domains to the ""superrational."" Like them, he is famed for original contributions to ""ratiocinative"" (detective) literature, but often preferred to indulge his occult predilection - a lifelong indulgence. His first published story, ""The Last Stage Coachmen"" (1843), was a supernatural allegory of trains; perhaps his last lucid effort (before ill health and opium drained his powers) was this short novel, The Haunted Hotel.Collins' methods and themes, developed and elaborated in his earlier, massive novels, are streamlined and concentrated here into a tight novelette. The same relentless pace and narrative power, the same attention to plot and backdrop detail that distinguish The Moonstone and The Woman in White are evident here, as is the obsession with destiny and the willful struggle against it.Collins' much-loved Venice provides the scenery and fatal beauty, the grim waterways and palaces the author will haunt with mysterious women, grotesques, and bloody conspiracies. The Countess Narona is one of Collins' cosmopolitan enchantresses; she acts, but as the tool of her doom. T. S. Eliot wrote, ""The principal character, the fatal woman, is herself obsessed by the idea of fatality; her motives are melodramatic; she therefore compels the coincidences to occur, feeling that she is compelled to compel them."" Collins relieves the tension with some wry characterizations and ironies; the theatrics are sustained. Indeed, theatrical motifs figure heavily, Collins himself being much involved with the stage at that period.The Haunted Hotel appears to be loosely based on a case from the annals of French crime; the scene, scenery, players and conflicts, and especially the horror, come straight from Collins' overstimulated, no doubt overwrought, most certainly haunted imagination.
Facility location applications are concerned with the location of one or more facilities in a way that optimizes a certain objective such as mini- mizing transportation cost, providing equitable service to customers, cap- turing the largest market share, etc. Facility location problems give rise to challenging geometrical and combinatorial problems. The research on facility location problems spans many research fields such as operations re- search/management science, industrial engineering, geography, economics, computer science, mathematics, marketing, electrical engineering, urban planning, and related fields. Applications to facility location models abound. Location of warehouses, plants, hospitals, retail outlets are classical examples. Applications are also found in the location of electronical components, warning sirens, sprinklers, radar beams, exploratory oil wells. These are less obvious "facilities". One should consider applying a location model to any scenario that involves finding a best location (or locations) for any object(s). This book Facility Location: A Survey of Applications and Methods pro- vides a state of the art review along with references to important contem- porary topics in locational analysis. The book includes twenty chapters divided into four parts, each dealing with a different aspect of location modeling and implementation. The book concludes with over 1,200 refer- ences. The first part Methodology and Analysis consists of a survey of method- ological and technical aspects of location analysis. Issues such as estimating distances, the error introduced by assuming discrete demand rather than continuous one, global optimization techniques, inference of weights, con- jugate duality, and using Voronoi diagrams are reviewed.
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