A fearless faith in fiction — Employing, since 2008, a Kantian or Jungian sensibility and an ‘intentional fallacy’ consciousness — Various passions of the reading moment — Walter de la Mare, ELizabeth BOWen, ROBERT aiCKMAN and many others old and new — Please click my name below for this site’s navigation and my backstory as intermittent photographer, writer, editor, publisher & reviewer.
“We walk into any room…”
Except this is the book’s first room, not just ANY room. This a one-pager, a child trying to revive her doll. No longer a child, but still trying.
A message for futilely trying to better humanity with all its “cogs and fallen machinery”…? Misplaced hope and false beginnings.
A telling metaphor to be massaged, too, I say.
This story now cross-referenced here: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2016/07/19/the-little-one-a-meditation/#comment-7700
THE SIX MUTATIONS OF JEROME
“There are many stories that are not supposed to be told. Not because they have nothing new to say, but because they were designed to unfold in their own time.”
There’s something of an entrancingly transgressive gospel tone to these six mutations of JEROME, something of the earlier unrevivable doll but here the unkillable dead.
Much material to relish and pick over. Just to give you a taste of two of the mutations (things that, by dint of this text’s last sentence, I here transform for and by my own personal use) – JEROME K. JEROME where K stands for the KETTLE mutation … and his MULTIPLE PERSONALITY DISORDER mutation, the Three Men in a Boat (the Jerome boat): old Carl, young angry Gene and silent Matthew. His gospel’s three apostles in a dream-wet bed?
“You know Jerome as Jerome, who is fragmented.”
I note that one of the three men in the boat as written by JKJ was based on some real person named Carl, but also JKJ was one of the three men himself, which throws an interesting light on the KOM text. Still three men in the boat even if one of them is ALSO the boat?
“…the crude machinery that drove the butterfly dream.”
IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER
“He did not want to hear anyone say that it was only a dream. He did not want anyone to comfort or pity him.”
Patty’s doll as an emblem from earlier in this book now as this narrative’s protagonist point-of-view boy called Jimmy who wants to fly his dragon kite to replace his mother’s rancid cigarette air with the fresher sort outside, I guess. This relatively short work is crammed with Jimmy’s character and body features, a perception, through him, of allusions and illusions, even possibly delusions, elusions and elisions, all eventually trapped by each reader’s own dreamcatcher or butterfly-net as a shockingly perfect storm of subtleties.
THE GIRL WHO DID NOT EXIST
The story that did not exist, the one that’s blocked, having looped the loop beyond my butterfly-net? Perhaps it’s where Patty’s doll came alive at last. Or like blocking people on-line, as if they no longer exist, inside the head of that doll – with news reports of supposed abuse streaming as lurid backstory – as well as her becoming an unrevivable surrogate outside the doll’s head, now complete and ready for autopsy, with her clinically searchable or plastic parts? Eventually blocked by an all-singing, all-dancing cartoon?
WRECK, SLASH, BURN
“When machines talk metaphysics, it means that their logic circuits are a little blumpy.”
A crystallised theme-and-variations of Bob Lock’s Cone Zero Ultimatum, my own Cone Zero and Cern Zoo combined, where a toilet cleaner is more revivable than a small girl’s doll, perhaps. Machines exasperated with the vulnerability of humans, in seeming rebellion, but who’s rebelling against whom?.
THE LONELY PEOPLE
“The sky was the only thing that was left unchanged.”
Life has now become real-time, too! Everyone is running about with butterfly nets. And here, in this amazing quilt of characters, a scenario as if inspired by the Cone Zero ultimatum of the previous story, literally synchronised shards of random truth and fiction, where ordinary things come alive, here partitions and wiring and drains, ordinary objects conjoined with and enabling ways through for these new seeking aspiring humans – where brexit is said actually to mean brexit – a sort of maddening loop or leap – all striving to find those sunny uplands beyond such barriers, and some pretty nifty SF conceits in a uniquely evocative language. Unmissable. And important for our times. No irony intended.
LETTER TO A CERTAIN DR. BILL
“Sadness is something that you just bottle up, Jack, because it doesn’t really last.”
From the ‘happiness bottle’ of the previous work, to this Outerbridge where I imagine the loneliness works out as a pre-coda to the whole of this book, partly truncated, partly perfectly quilted.
The house (of Jack) as objective correlative in the previous work is transposed here together with an Oliver Sacks-like ironing board.
The short coda proper. That world beyond the ironing-board or kettle or drain or partition of wiring, where it is more of a coach party than a singular rite of passage. None of us are important. Irony or ironing-board intended.
This timeless chapbook has been an inspiring experience, a sort of object lesson. A book to be revived whenever it seems dead.