I recently received this tantalisingly difficult book, having purchased it from Ex Occidente Press.
Les Éditions de L’Oubli MMXIII. A very aesthetic hardback shown above, ninety-six pages, my edition numbered 3 of 121.
I needed to read it all before attempting a review, unlike my normal RTRcausals.
It needs to be read again and again but reading it once is also enough, because you shall never get to the bottom of it, however many times you read it, although I was surprised at what wonderful things I got from the book without yet getting to the bottom of it. A blend of real 19th century geographical history intuiting the inuit where the edges of the world meet and fold and hide between America and Russia, real people and places you can find on Wikipedia (look up ‘Fort Ross’ as just one example), manuscripts with missing pages, a balloon flight, and an Inner (multi psycho and physico mobius section?) Earth that the author of the ‘Nemonymous Night’ novel understandably enjoyed more than any other reader. Well, that is my boast. And an Exposition Internationale in Paris, so why was this book not published by this publisher’s Exposition Internationale imprint? A blend of all Literatia Ex Occidente so far, plus HP Lovecraft’s Mountains of Madness, the works of H Rider Haggard and Salvador Dali’s novel ‘Hidden Faces’ – all bolstered or surrounded by Cantwell’s unique mindscape-in-wonderful-prose that is different from all those. Different and difficult but I do wonder if I understood more than I give myself credit for. [And it has my favourite ever typo to discover: dessicated for desiccated (on the last page).]
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