15 thoughts on “Jottings From A Far Away Place

  1. imageOBSERVATIONS

    “It was like a man throwing away pearls, so as not to be robbed.”

    Just as if the author of this book is jotting here in four numbered movements some wildly amazing and original conceits so that nobody can rob him of them first!
    The third movement is an oriental theme and variations on Hank Williams, this and the rest still percolating in my mind.
    Oriental, I Ching, Dadaoist…Apollinaire? Ezra Pound? Ferlinghetti?

  2. HABITUALLY DANCING

    Eleven numbered movements. About someone called ELON — LONE (as the Christian Name of someone called RANGER) or someone mucho called LEON? — or plainly ELON, the Biblical Judge from Israel? This is sumptuously and horrifically Eucharistic prose.
    [My reference below plus an invitation to seek out its full context, not this book’s reference: From Hank Williams: “Deck of Cards” – “I think of the Blessed Virgin Mary…”]

  3. SHOWING THE WORLD

    Here, within the numbered movements, there is a long one depicting a sort of fable or fairy story about a Prince-elector getting a Castle Builder to build a splendid Castle, but when he looks through the window of his new Castle, what does he see? This story feels like an archetypal tale that has sat within my head for years and when I look out from my head, what do I see?
    I loved it.
    This now brings me back to my interpretation of the pearls in the first section of my review above.
    There is perhaps something building up here, a gestalt, an archetype, a migrancy of themes across Schengen borders, all waiting to be drowned in the intervening Jungian seas, and I am only beginning to feel something working, perhaps even beyond the control of the author himself.

  4. ENTRUSTING
    A RAMSHACKLE VILLAGE
    GHOST CAVE

    “Words aren’t precious, but nothing is.”

    Three sections, each with their numbered movements. I originally used the word ‘movement’ because I initially saw these as musical symphonies. But now I see them more as a scrying devices like I Ching but disguised as fables or proverbs used by beings visiting our planet and still learning our words, striving to extract hidden stories already ours, so as to fool us or to entertain us with a deadpan tantalisation just beyond our grasp – tutoring us piecemeal to become more like whoever these storytellers happen to be.
    The next, as yet unread, section is entitled ‘Gradual Activity’ beginning, I glimpse, with: “People love to be distracted.”

  5. GRADUAL ACTIVITY
    UNCOMMON

    Uncommon seems to be a word contrary to the Schengen or the Jungian, creating uncommonland across several borders with a new antistate (ironically like the male prostate!) disguised as a unified state where some of the searing brutality is expressed by Connell’s sinuously resonant language, with its aesthetic, yet cruel, edges of phonetics, semantics and graphology, massed then into sharply forged syntax.
    It is as if an Old Testament State has here replaced the so-called Islamic one or vice versa, then a Judaic one or Gnostic. Vying with each other, then even becoming each other in uncommon fashion.
    ESHAI
    I AM WHO I AM
    SARIEL
    ORNAN
    BRENDAN
    ET AL

  6. DEFILEMENTS
    GESTURE OF BOWING
    MANY-COLORED EYEBROWS
    ENTITIES

    These further politically incorrect, fulsomely adumbrated sections presented some hilariously bawdy Catholic concupiscence, plus the concept of crushing some sort of slithy tove with a dictionary making me think that, with the Internet and other ebookery, we are increasingly unable to wield books as heavy weaponry against things that crawl out of those very books!
    In this book, most of the words themselves seem to suppurate before applying their meanings to the already busy text.

  7. MALADJUSTMENT
    NOTHING TO HIDE
    SLOW AMULETS

    “‘What is the project at hand?’ he wondered.”

    From a Picnic at Hanging Rock scenario with historical outcomes towards a thread I denote of words as foodstuffs around a central character as an impossible literary project who has not yet fully appeared. One just needs to ride the elisions, elusions, delusions, allusions, illusions, of a Lawrence Durrell writing a Finnegans Wake through the medium of a John Barth.

  8. IRREVERSIBILITY

    “…a bit better than Voltaire and, in my estimation, equal to Diderot.”

    Diderot, in my estimation, is more equal than most.
    My real-time reviews of two of his works HERE and HERE.
    Meanwhile, the no. 4 jotting of this section is an engaging portrait of meeting an old friend and, later, this friend’s wife, with startling results.
    Full of maximal maxims for life. With cocktail words as small talk to match.
    (As an aside, earlier today, I had significant business dealings with a firm called Connells. I had been reading this book while waiting to meet them. Talk about synchronicity! But, even stranger, it was only just a few minutes ago that I suddenly realised this coincidental fact.)

  9. EMERGING FROM A TRANCE

    Two longer pieces among this section’s psalms (perhaps a better word for the numbered subsections than musical movements or I Ching psammomancies or, even, jottings) – the first one feral and transformative, just like the language expressing it (it is too easy to take this for granted, i.e. Connell’s trademark strength of style), the second one seemingly Rhys-Hughesian or archetypical, about being reincarnated as a spoon.

  10. CONSTANT PRINCIPLE
    HOLDING UP THE SKY
    RED DALMATICS
    BEWILDERMENT
    SACRED CONTOURS
    GIGGLING FLUTES
    WORN-OUT STRAW SANDALS
    GENERATING WORLDS

    I have read the rest of the book in one sitting as if in a single osmotic orgasm of words, this being my attempt at automatic reading like a reversed version of Andre Breton’s automatic writing. And it works, I feel. Think Salman Rushdie (a long-term favourite writer of mine) and his latest novel that I recently reviewed HERE.
    I wrote there:
    “Sometimes with fiction the reader needs to remain passive and not worry about actively seeking messages from the unfolding events, a sensibility which is part of the usual nature of my dreamcatching of books, I hope. This book needs an even more passive, non-preemptive approach, allowing the messages, after finishing the reading of the work, to create their own tapestry, before you even stand back to look at any gestalt.”
    That applies to this Connell book, but even more so! I mean that as a compliment.
    This is probably the most experimental book I have ever read. [And I am someone who has read (and reviewed HERE) FINNEGANS WAKE!]
    A psalmistry supreme. Sentences that are whole mind-culinary recipes. A Jackson Pollock picture of words, painted by numbers.

    “There was a man who painted a very beautiful picture.
    ‘That is awful,’ said his friend.”

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