AORNOS – Avalon Brantley


I recently received this book, having purchased it from Ex Occidente Press.

Les Éditions de L’Oubli Bucharest MMXIII. A very aesthetic hardback shown above, 64 pages, my edition numbered 33 of 122.

My previous Ex Occidente Press reviews

My GRTR will take place in the comment stream below as and when I read each section.

I intend to make each section the material that I read between each intertextual bijou picture. This, as an example, is one such picture:

9 thoughts on “AORNOS – Avalon Brantley

  1. AORNOS by Avalon Brantley

    Pages 9 – 21
    As narrated in the form of a Greek Chorus by Dionysus and in the enviably rich wine-dark style of John Gale – we are led enticingly, entrancingly into a verse-like drama that rings of Swinburne, depicting the incidents and characters involved in the tale of Alektor and his loved one, her death and his vow to travel down to the Realm of the Dead to find her again, seeking the help of Circe to accomplish this. You will sense I guess that Dionysus is not a disinterested party in this his own tale he tells by means of the verse drama he introduced as a third party.
    I am already captivated.

  2. Pages. 21 – 29
    “…the frogs of this secret lagoon cant then a rhythmic ‘Brekekex’, while the Chorus of Cicadas again crones of ‘she’!”
    This perhaps is not verse drama – it just appears like verse on the tall narrow stiff-textured pages of this book. But it enters my reading-mind as verse! And thus enters my heart, as verse. It and its ‘dreaming beans’. Alektor debates his mission with Circe from within Dionysus’ omniscient (?) interpolations – and one of Alektor’s co-travellers is replaced by an ‘all-black he-lamb’ as make-weight. The very words are lines of insects silently screeching…
    This is like a silhouette show of forms seeking a meaning – of Alektor as Alexander the Great – and Dionysus? A masculine/feminine duality? That’s me thinking aloud before having the thoughts!

  3. image
    my photo taken yesterday

    Pages 31 – 41
    “You do not know / What echoes say before you utter, / What voices rise from shadow.”
    By pungent-languaged dint of haggish Oracle or Sybil, Alektor and his two companions (Three Men in a Boat with the lamb as the dog?) ply their quest down to the Realm of the Dead – under flying creatures (not exactly doves) and more… A Lovecratian sense, too….
    “….snatching looks at the momentary motions of abhorrent forms which flit or falter through these mephitic surroundings. Some, hound-like, slip liquidly through the trees. Others shuffle by, always at some unknowable distance in the mist: shambling semblances of men.”
    How can anyone possibly resist such language?

  4. Pages 41 – 49
    “…its sudden noise startles flocks of sleeping water birds, […] others, strange to see, soar upside-down across the lake, continuing on into billowing nothingness.”
    Others have NO SOAR.
    This book of a ‘play’ gets even better, its rich and heady speeches even more irresistible as a special ‘language’ of the soul, with visions, flocks, ‘child-brides’, (Mahler’s?) ‘dead children’, ‘filamentous’ forms, more talking, hissing, screeching Cicadas and pipers and Syringes – and then bloody sacrifice. Ahhhhhh! And the intense feel of Greek mythology — within some apparently stilted and florid speech-making between man and actual dead father, man and so far imagined dead lover — amazingly comes to life on the stiff-textured page, with all the subtle repercussions of humanity’s age-old interactions with Eschatology for the modern reader.
    “Who or what art thou, desiccated thing?!”

  5. Page 51 – END
    ”And he, with light questing fingers, touched my throat, my breasts, my very omphalos!
    I think I need say no more. The ending is perfect, with plot twists (that I shall keep to myself) regarding the earlier sacrifice and Alektor’s love. It is a genuine original masterwork, with much to provoke philosophies of thought and gales of Aristophanic laughter. No praise is high enough, in my book. [A book like a rock, an Aornos word that means rock or ‘the air or heaven (aor) of us (nous) soaring’ or ‘an artery (aorta) as bone (os)’? Whether or not Alektor is meant to represent Alexander the Great is a moot point.]

  6. Pingback: Amazingly lovely review of Aornos from D.F. Lewis at this link | news for Avalon Brantley

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