Splinters of Horn and Ivory – Thomas Strømsholt

I have just received this book as purchased from the publisher…

strom strom2

Splinters of Horn and Ivory – Thomas Strømsholt

Illustrations by Louis Soutter

Published by L’Homme Récent

Bucharest MMXV

My previous reviews of this publisher’s many books HERE

My review of Thomas Stromsholt’s O ALTITUDO: https://nullimmortalis.wordpress.com/2013/02/27/o-altitudo/

I intend to real-time review this book in the comment stream below as and when I happen to read it…

24 thoughts on “Splinters of Horn and Ivory – Thomas Strømsholt

  1. A luxuriously and sturdily upholstered book sown liberally with illustrations, including two on stiff tracing-paper.
    84 pages.
    My copy numbered 23/85.
    18 seeming prose poems, although my forthcoming real-time review might reveal otherwise.
    There seem to be two extra works (that I shall review at the end) on the dust jacket flaps (cf my extra story in 2004 on the dust jacket flaps for the hardback version of ‘Weirdmonger’).

    My previous reviews of work by this author:
    https://nullimmortalis.wordpress.com/2013/02/27/o-altitudo/
    https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2014/08/01/infra-noir/#comment-3086

  2. THE DECAY OF HYPNEROTOMACHIA POLIPHILI
    If this second work were music, it would be a theme and variations upon the original ingredients of the previous work – something now grown-up, reaching high levels from watching while wild-entrammelled below, with many exquisite flights of high and low phrase such as “Ava Gardner of avian creatures”, “telepathy of the flesh” and “the obese feeder roots of old trees.”
    I do not intend to continue quoting so liberally from these relatively short works, but I couldn’t resist those three phrases!

  3. A LESSON IN CHESS
    From the ‘not even remotely funny’ ending in the previous work, the book’s theme and variations seem to continue here with “his head in the clouds” and an ‘As Above, So Below’ remote control of a statement that leads toward another hilariously dubious and fatefully ‘not even remotely funny’ ending…….

  4. INTERIOR WITH PHILEMON AND BAUCIS
    “Your nose is a story-teller,…”
    Another theme and variation, this one upon a well known fable. A twisted variation from a Fable Above, to this Fable Below. A wild goose chase.

  5. imageI SOMETIMES DREAM OF LEONARD COHEN
    “I reach for my inside pocket,…”
    They didn’t have enough remote controls in the ‘early sixties’, but too many in my own late ones! You need the comfort of what killed you, I guess, to ease the passing. A wonderful thought of futility in prose.

  6. IN NEED OF MERCY WE GATHER TO SING
    “…below the stained glass skies…”
    The ultimate remote control is the prayer…
    This is a real prose poem rather than a fable or fiction, one that, following the previous piece, presents itself to me as a version of an imaginary Leonard Cohen song, exquisitioned and hypertextured.

  7. imageAND I WILL GROW INTO HEAVEN
    “…blind with lust.”
    From ‘god’ to ‘dog’, from man to tree, this piece will stay in my mind.
    I shall resume this review hopefully tomorrow. I am off to see a performance of Elgar’s The Kingdom later today at Snape Maltings. Seems somewhat appropriate.

  8. The Elgar was wonderfully Parsifal-like…

    image imageVAGARIES OF SELF-REFLECTION
    “He is not a vain man, but he knows the value of appearance.”
    …like L’Homme Récent. A self-consuming glance of checking his face in the mirror, surprised at what begins to glance back. A glance longer than its eventual frightening grin.

  9. And so from that remote self-control of the mirror to…

    A SEASON OF LETTERS
    “…let them sink into the fibres of the paper.”
    A close remote control by words as, literally, body-growth and cellular dissemination. This is a longer vignette – rather than the earlier prose poems and fables – one that is in rhythm with seasonal cycles of creativity as, eventually, a theme and variations upon the mulch of plagiarism and fickle love.

  10. THE PARASITE AND THE PRESIDENT
    A micro piece extrapolating upon the pollen in the previous piece as a parasite, this parasite going through an alimentary process into a chaos theory or remote butterfly effect (or should I say ladybird effect from this book’s first story?)…

  11. WE ARE THE DEAD
    “Ever so slightly the smiles cracked in an ominous way.”
    Rudely woken from an amorous dream about Frank Sinatra, the woman is taken away Kafkaesquely for deportation to an unknown destination. The story, as inscrutable as this review of it, is taken to a disconnected, previously dead, part of my brain for extramural processing.

  12. MR POLANO, OR THE HYACINTH LOVER
    The inferred ‘dying fall’ of a lover’s floral effigy as poison. But from the florist’s point of view, the customer is always right? Yes, just as, for the author or publisher, the reader is always right. Remote control is rarely two way.

  13. THE VALENTINE’S LETTER
    “‘I’ll make myself known…’ / Those were the words…”
    The ellipsis as the ultimate remote control by inference, with love growing from this book’s tiniest pollen or parasite ‘under the skin’. Love or, as I infer, hate.

  14. THE LEGEND OF THE MELANCHOLIC PRINCE
    “But sometimes he would gaze at clouds and wonder…”
    A tightly palace-secluded Prince ventures out from personal remoteness and faces the ‘finite’ suffering of the rest of us as a learning process. Finite, in a privilegedly positive as well as a seemingly ever-present and painfully negative sense. Gives an interesting backdrop to the leitmotifs of this book and, for me, their now nearly fully evolved gestalt. (God’s finger nearly touching Adam’s on the Sistine ceiling but never really touching?)

  15. BOOKLORE
    “When you read a book, the book is reading you.”
    I hope that is not a spoiler, but this book is also made of ‘animal hide’ – just feel the cover under the dust jacket. It does ‘retain the memory of trees’, too. To read a book, is to rewrite it. Every reader a literary-alchemical magician. Or a metaphysician like Donne.
    You can’t touch ebooks. Or death.

  16. THE WANDERING THESAURI
    With this longest work in the book, my stab in the dark just now about touching ebooks, touching death, is now factored into a history’s remote control – splinters of horn and ivory, seeds of pollen or parasite, synchronised shards of random truth and fiction, all carried within human heads, carried into the fray of existence, there monks, here us readers… History carrying history, unaffected by our deaths, unaffected even by Apocalypse, covered symbolically in animal hide with further story text as ears…
    A reflection of a reflection, vagaries and all.

  17. CHRYSALIS
    “In the endless fall, in the burning dusk, the butterfly calls to the children.”
    The effect of the butterfly, or the ladybird. As below, so above.

    THE ONEIROI MEMORANDUM
    “…the Proper Order of Things,…”
    Indexing the brain tissue of the Thesauri. Self and text in eternal symbiosis. The interpretation is the thing, not the thing itself.
    Not caveat emptor, but emptor pre-emptor.
    image

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