DATURA, Or A Figment Seen By Everyone

datura

Part Five of my real-time review of
THE COLLECTED FICTION OF LEENA KROHN
CHEEKY FRAWG 2015

Foreword by Jeff VanderMeer

Part Four (Pereat Mundus: A Novel of Sorts) of my review of this book HERE.

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When I review DATURA, Or A Figment Seen By Everyone, my comments will be found in the thought stream below or by clicking on this post’s title above.

46 thoughts on “DATURA, Or A Figment Seen By Everyone

  1. The First Seed Pod

    A DELUSION WE ALL SEE

    “The flower was not what it was called.”

    A beautiful start, an epiphany of this narrator with the narrator’s sister, about the nature of things, and promising an almost random series of datura or contemporary notes and their patterns of the narrator’s life. Not an animalism, but an anomalism?
    Rather, I feel, a perfect target for Dreamcatching real-time reviews gathering, as they have always done since 2008, leitmotifs into a gestalt. This book was written yesterday for today’s fusion of its hyper-imagination with a labyrinth such as this website?

    DATURA was first published it seems in 2001, the same year as the first Nemonymous, and translated, I guess, today by Anna Volmari and J. Robert Tupasela.

  2. IN THE MOST SILENT OF SILENCES

    “A cough is a lack of order; it interferes with the rhythm of time.”

    Girls’ bosoms inspected at school for coughs; and now she is helping with ‘The New Anomalist’ and is inspected by an expert in Silences: Sibelius?
    mumblemumble

  3. THE NEW ANOMALIST

    A fascinatingly detailed account of the narrator’s view of this publication where she worked, initially through dark times of misguided status quo. The magazine, as far as I can see, was a form of The Fortean Times from the English speaking world, but with something far more artistic eventually about it, not only “paraphysics”‘ but also pataphysics, and other anomalies such as the ‘Otherkin.’
    And Dreamcatching gestalt real-time reviews??
    Stuff to savour.

  4. THE MASTER OF SOUND

    “Sounds are everywhere, even where you wouldn’t think mumblemumble.”

    The annoying Master of Sound might write an article for the New Anomalist. I am glad Sibelius stayed away from everyone during his 32 years of so-called Silence!
    Or did he?

  5. THE VOYNICH MANUSCRIPT

    “The Voynich manuscript is an odd book, but then again, all books are odd.”

    The narrator, who in future I shall call I for the purposes of this review, is asked by the editor (the Marquis) of The New Anomalist to write an article about this manuscript. This section could be that article. A cryptography writing about a cryptography.
    Or a hoax about a hoax?

  6. MINERAL, PLANT, OR ANIMAL KINGDOM?

    I describe the cynicism of the Marquis with regard to his magazine ‘The New Anomalist’. He does not believe in its Anomalies and is willing to profit from his readers’ gullibility about them.
    Do please read his treatise, almost parrot fashion, regarding the insignificant status of the human being in the scheme of things. Very convincing. Irresistibly true.
    Yet an anomaly – he carries a symbol of the soul in his pocket.
    My such symbol is this book, this review…

  7. THE QUIET ASPHALT

    A telling comparison between the childhood activity of watching raindrops rolling down a window, either in unique destinies or combined blended ones, and driverless cars in uniform rolling too close together across a city bridge after I left working late at the New Anomalist.
    A sign of a future totalitarian regime without humans or an invention that in the 2001 of this novel had not quite yet been invented and was then still an anomaly like the quiet asphalt designed to make car wheels quieter?
    One can take the seeds of datura as a medicine.

  8. THE PARASTORE

    “IN GOD WE TRUST. EVERYONE ELSE PAYS CASH.”

    In between my other duties such as writing about spontaneous combustion or Tesla, I reluctantly take on the Marquis’ idea of a New Anomalist store selling trash and other paranormal trinkets.

  9. ANOTHER MAN WITH THE SAME NAME

    Håkan, again?
    No, apparently one of the Marquis’ crackpot ideas to be run in the New Anomalist, causing us to have squabbles about what could be included or not.

  10. ON AIR, ON SUNLIGHT

    “Oh, the wisdom of orchids,…”

    Another striking section, where I talk to an Ethnobotanist, listening to his eye-opening account of the consciousness of plants.
    It should not escape your attention that this novel itself is named after a plant. You will feel its autonomous consciousness come alive as you read it.

  11. THE HERETICS

    The vicious circles of paranormal belief by ordinary as well as extraordinary readers of the New Anomalist.
    BTW, I learnt today there is a piece of music from 2014 entitled HÅKAN, as composed by TURNAGE for trumpet and orchestra.

  12. OLD FAITH

    “Dogs are interstitial beings, not human, but no longer wolves.”

    But what about werewolves, where do they fit in, I ask (as me the reviewer). Meanwhile, I sometimes look after the Marquis’ dog called Faith. She is getting old now. We are only human through the eyes of other species? We are only readers through the eyes of authors? This novel would not be a novel at all without a real-time review like this to keep it in the eye of the public?

  13. A LESSON

    “But have you ever thought that chaos might be the sum of order, that sensible details could build a senseless whole,…”

    Indeed, this review proves that. But it seems it was the Marquis who said that in this section about my chakras, and that is no recommendation that there is any truth in it.
    If it was really the Marquis, my boss at The New Anomalist, who actually said it? Hmmm.

  14. NICOLA’S FORMATIVE YEARS

    “Nicola Tesla has been dubbed the man who invented the twentieth century.”

    Portrait of the synaesthesic life of Tesla.
    A coda, perhaps – interesting in itself – to this first section of DATURA.

  15. The Second Seed Pod

    THE PENDULUM MAN AND UN-ME

    “The Pendulum Man had written us a short article about his experiences of being a pendulum man.”

    A pendulum used for, inter alia, food-tasting protection.
    And I also think that the Un-Me as described here is the sort of me that writes all these collusive dreamcatchers of books!

  16. THE PUDDLE

    I tease someone with his own gullibility towards the Puddle Optimum.
    But thinking about it, there is much to be said for such a belief. This book will teach you about such a belief, even though it didn’t set out to do so. It was simply in the perfect position to do so. It just needed at least one reader to recognise the fact.

  17. A VISIT TO THE HAIR ARTISTE

    A touching visit to Häikälä the hair artiste, past the slaughterhouse which, as a child, I used to pass in a bus. The hair artiste is not fully as I expected. An interesting photo of her dead son, although I cannot use it for The New Anomalist.
    A hair style is sometimes like a bird wing or a flensed angel?

  18. DON’T BE CRUEL

    “‘The world is full of imbeciles,’ the Marquis said, ‘They’re never in short supply. I’ve pinned my hopes to them.'”

    His Parastore selling trash like the rock ‘n’ roll fish – and those who buy it and those who are exploited to make them.
    A symbol for today’s historic Brexit.

  19. THE FACE IN THE CHEESE

    “The seed pod of the datura plant is the size of a walnut and is covered in small thorns. When it ripens and splits open, four compartments with light brown, asymmetrical inhabitants are revealed.”

    This is effectively a ground-breaking treatise on misplaced as well as sincere or mystical or paranormal pareidolia.
    The other thing that struck me about it was the need for my 250 mile drive to take a photograph of the (eventually disappointing) face in the cheese for The New Anomalist. Today, a photograph would have been exchanged by email.

  20. LOOGAROO, A CLASSIC

    “If she happened upon a pile of sand, she would stop and count the grains.”

    My interview with a vampire and her need for blood, about vampires in general and their difference from us humans.
    As to sand, I reckon Sibelius, before the last 32 years of his life, was landed with a sandpit in his studyroom by someone who did not like his music.

  21. IN THE WRONG LINE

    The translator of this work must be American, as, here in UK, lines are queues and queues are lines. My discovery of an old friend in this queue seems not only to show that this is the wrong queue but also that she is someone who shouldn’t be in any queue whatsoever, right or wrong.
    Perhaps she is in the wrong work of literature, too. In which case that is my fault as its narrator. The only one with eyes.

  22. PHONY MONEY

    “My thoughts rose with the pigeons to land on the eaves, antennas, chimneys, window ledges.”

    An engaging story about going back in time while on a bus. Or is it an article with a pseudonym that I as narrator have written in the form of a story about such a phenomenon for The New Anomalist?
    It shares pigeon elements etc. with a another book of similar devices, one of accreted vignettes that I have been real-time reviewing alongside this book and finished today here.
    Also just noticed that the bottom-of-the-page headings for this work are written as DATURA, OR A DELUSION WE ALL SEE while the main heading at the start was DATURA, OR A FIGMENT WE ALL SEE. Interesting.

  23. A FINGER

    “And here I thought I knew everything there is to know about anomalies. This entire city is just one big anomaly. Amputation parlors! Drinking urine on stage! People setting themselves on fire!”

    And taus and particle physics. A truly haunting and disturbing section about a boy called Raikka who writes articles for me — and his deadpan acceptance of recreational amputation – and where nothing is in interface with nothingness.

  24. THE MOVING IMAGE OF ETERNITY

    My interview with the Timely Man about the Nature of Time.
    Interestingly, DATURA is the most linear work so far in this book. The nearest to a traditional novel. A philosophical novel, I’d say.
    The whole book’s beginning is increasingly far away and its ending ever nearer. It looks if it will take the whole of 2016 to real-time this book

  25. THE MOUSE, THE WOLF, AND THE NIGHTINGALE

    …and the Oxford comma.
    On the brink of both twilights with these creatures.
    “And I fall asleep again to song and nibbling and to the smell of datura.”

    —————–
    From THE GLASTONBURY ROMANCE by John Cowper Powys —
    “The best time for any human being to pray to the First Cause if he wants his prayers to have a prosperous issue is one or other of the Two Twilights; either the twilight preceding the dawn or the twilight following the sunset. Human prayers that are offered up at noon are often intercepted by the Sun — for all creative powers are jealous of one another — and those that are offered up at midnight are liable to be waylaid by the Moon in her seasons or by the spirit of some thwarting planet. It is a natural fact that those Two Twilights are propitious to psychic intercourse with the First Cause while other hours are malignant and baleful.”

  26. The Third Seed Pod

    MADAME MAYA

    “That sometimes, in a certain light, usually at nightfall, matter can become partially transparent?”

    Seems to latch into the light of twilight in the previous section?
    The description of the lady who tells me about this phenomenon after her entrance to my office makes the orchid tremble on the sill…
    She is her own veil?

  27. CAKE

    “…and end-of-the-world cake: chocolate confections decorated with a marzipan skull.”

    In the cafe, while eating that cake, I hear you mention that old woman I can’t keep up with! How do you know about that?
    In the text itself, I do not even consider that you night have read the same text as I have read or the same text that I am IN.

  28. THE SOUND SWALLOWER

    “It was then that I began to understand that sounds were an exceptional phenomenon, that silence and darkness were the normal state of the universe and that an infinite noiseless night surrounded all sounds and images. I thought that I should actually learn to celebrate every sound, even cacophonies.”

    And hence the reviewer’s lifelong interest in music by Stockhausen, amongst others. A raison d’etre with its own ironies engagingly demonstrated here as I am approached by the ‘mumblemumble’ man again.

  29. TWO MARCHES

    The tension of either doing one’s thing without political concerns or being highly political – a tension symbolised by two marches in town, one more a carnival, the other a protest march. And walking in the wrong one, without noticing.
    By the way, I did notice the Trepanist in one of the marches, but which one? Read it and see…

  30. THE OTHERKIN

    “…an astronomer once claimed that the earth is hollow, like a Russian doll, and that there are many smaller, concentric earths within it.”

    Only too true! You don’t need New Anomalism to show that.
    The Otherkin, meanwhile, are beautifully described here. I am sure Sibelius must have been one of them. But I forgot to say that in this relatively short but important section of the book. Now it is crystallised in print, only possible to say it here instead.

  31. THE GHOST OF THE CITY OFFICE

    “Emmi D. had a complete command of etiquette and the rules of proper behaviour, but she didn’t feel it necessary to apply them to anyone not of Caucasian, Christian extraction.”

    A portrait of my “friend of sorts”, to go with this book’s earlier “novel of sorts”, and I am a reader of sorts as well as finding myself a character of sorts in this work itself.
    But why be friends with this character? Simply so that I can tell you, in the equally anomalous context of this novel, how she became a paranormal part of my life. How else can a character in fiction be a friend at all, let alone someone WORTHY of being a friend of mine? The portrait is very telling. And relevant to my addiction to datura seeds.

  32. FAITH IS SICK

    Not faith as such but Faith, the Marquis’ loveable old dog. But fiction is a sort of faith and Faith is in this fiction and I suspect she swallowed the datura seeds I had inadvertently left in harm’s way… Like swallowing the fiction that created you?
    These episodes gradually make the gestalt of this fiction as a would-be novel, another novel of sorts, each episode unfinished while I think the novel itself is a closed or holistic system but a system of such open-ended episodes. A strange phenomenon of piecemeal faiths towards an over-arching…

  33. THE PSYCHOLOGY OF A PLANT

    Datura takes centre stage, as it is explained fascinatingly and worryingly to me what I am exposing myself to in getting so close to this plant. A bit of a loop though when you consider the explanation is put into the mouth of a character in this book about Datura and given to another character, i.e. me, and then I report it back to the reader, i.e. you.

  34. THE WOMAN WHO WAS FOUR

    “Real death, however, shrinks the face and alters the features.”

    Unlike people stage-dying. Real dying becomes something other, slipping away leaving us alone. But the Otherkin of this work are something other, again. And this teasing story of a woman with four identities is like different people using the same body, the same, if altered, face and bearing, with fleeting death between each visitation. This book, too.

  35. A PECULIAR FLOWER SHOP

    A bitch fight in a florist shop at Christmas. But as if in a fiction did I get this unlikely event right? Or was its unlikely aftermath right? Perhaps both were wrong, an anomaly upon another anomaly? You perhaps need a real-time outside commentator like this to be able to nail the truth and transcend the anomalies within a book such as this novel.

  36. THE FASTEST WAY TO TRAVEL

    “…it was getting harder and harder to tell private and shared delusions apart.”

    And that is obviously true in July 2016 for many reasons!
    Reading rather than eating datura seeds?
    Meanwhile, Faith is getting better while Raikka bombards me with more outlandish (literally) ideas, like ‘hole teleportation’…

  37. THE VISITATION

    “What you experience is always true.”

    An uninvited woman in my bedroom, perhaps someone like me, and I learn more about myself, as the narrator of this book, than I have learnt before. More about the nature of reality, too. I sense. The end. Is near.

  38. “THUS UNENLIGHTENED, LOST IN ERROR’S MAZE”

    “Was it you who, when things were at their worst at the beginning, visited me and read to me aloud.”

    Was it me who asked that question, as it now seems worse here at the end, with “the stink of datura.” Everything now being a shared reality fits in with my gestalt real-time reviewing. I can’t think of a fiction work more suited to such treatment.

  39. WITH A FINGER TO HIS LIPS

    “Everything began to seem like a silent movie.”

    The perfect point of ending, apotheosising at last this book’s Silence of Sibelius, once Master of Sound, now with the eponymous oxymoronic flower in his hand, bringing the world back on to its scooter of hope. The New Anomalist, no longer a derogatory term, but someone like me, hopefully. Or you?

    DATURA, truly everyone’s shared reality, is a wonderful novel worth bringing out of its own silence.

    And that ends PART FIVE of this real-time review.
    PART SIX will commence HERE.

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