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.
A remarkable sense of book, and of inferred guided and unguided, unguarded Chance in literature.
Nearly 60 pages.
About 8 inches by 12 inches, to my estimating eye.
Wholly designed by David Rix.
Who lipped whom? Rhys Hughes is full of brazen lip but, in my long studied experience, of literary genius, too. THE FIVE PILLARS OF FLIMFLAM has a sense of corporate horror in workaday life, even being chased to one’s tropical island by the boss!
The indented versification of short, sharp, sometimes slightly longer, telling, mainly simple phrases or sentences, each phrase or sentence ending with a full stop, with no enjambment or deliberate rhymes, but plenty of allusion and assonance. Five strictly number magnifying and multiplying sections. In my brain, upon my mouthing lips. I don’t usually make silent vocalisations of what I read, but I was tempted to do so here. And I remembered with some angst my own previous workaday office days. Oo flung dung?
HALF A DOZEN OF THE OTHER (6x6x6x6)
“They mailed me to the sunset.”
Six words there. Each of the six sections has six such sentences. Very clever. And this structure seems to have elicited some great RhysHughesianisms, and a satisfying story-gestalt. But can he dice carrots with a scythe? I somehow doubt it.
SEVEN SULKY SIDES FOR SEVEN BULKY BROODERS (7x7x7x7)
“His chin rests in his clenched fist.”
Not on but in, note. I found myself checking on this 7-pattern (equivalent to the 6 one above and thus as a whole longer) by sampling and counting sentences to make sure they had seven words. The narrative and meaning seem to organicise themselves. I think that is the way to describe these numerological creations. Organicised highqueues. My expression, not the book’s. Organicisation, a new experience of reading fiction. Brooder is a good word for someone playing chess. Here the seven days of the week known by the diminutives of their day-names, are the brooders playing seven-sided chess. Each move a diurnal one. Each piece intellectually savoured.
Good point about the chin in the fist. It must be a very pointed chin. That’s my explanation! But if the book ever gets a second print run the word ‘in’ will be be changed to ‘on’ 🙂
I thought it was brilliant and intentional!
I will have to check, because I have forgotten 🙂
From the Author’s Note onward, a fascinating personal decryption (a wonderful chance autocorrect of ‘description’ on my computer) of what OuLiPo experimental fiction actually is and spectacular bespoke examples of such fiction by the author himself for this treasurable book.
I ENTERED THE FOREST AT MIDNIGHT in a sudoku type grid as chessboard, not of numbers, but of separate sentences or phrases that can be read in various directions. Followed by an inspiring traditional text of four roughly similarly sized paragraphs descrying this presumably unique chessboard / storygrid palimpsest in the reader’s now instilled near-infinity of a permutated mind. Leading to BOILING THE KETTLE and THE CAREFUL PLOTTINGS OF MY ENAMOURED HEART that are highly interconnected complexes of grids towards gestalts during our real-time of reading them. (If one can pluralise ‘gestalt’ at all!) Each reader’s real-time a new emergent found-art to absorb. Not a ready-made, but a new labour of Hercules. I shall be exploring these for years, hopefully without recourse to the lengthy, kindly laboured-at, unexhaustive ‘Vestigial Appendix’ that the author has provided for “lazy readers” at the end of this book. Are you a lazy reader? No, of course not.
This is the book for which, in future hindsight, I may come to believe is the one and only one for which I invented gestalt real-time reviewing. The Hawling of the gridded and non-gridded exponential HighQueues as the ultimate Organicised Fictionatronic. A book to treasure and pore over in our later old age, keeping the mind alert and susceptible, readying us for the final Gymnasium of the Soul.
How many times? There is no end number of times, I say.
Does the last story in the book — ‘Boolean Amours’ — not get a review then, Des? It’s based on Boolean Algebra and logic gates 🙂
Sorry, Rhys, it must have been in a blind spot between  and [/] when using < instead of [. Strangely, earlier today for this SICK DICE review I was trying to actually show the ‘bold’ codes on a WordPress HTML comment frame like this one, and each time I tried to post them publicly, they vanished!
Also, as I grow older, my mind itself vanishes sometimes between such HTML codes….!
A logico-erotic tale as it says on the tin. I am not logical. In fact, all my life it has seemed logical to battle with logic and defeat it. And now that I feel old while suffering from the collateral damage of radiotherapy down in that area, the erotic byte bites the dust more often than not. So I am probably not the best one to review this work. It looks very impressive and I took the trouble of reading the Wikipedia on Boolean Algebra alongside it. The book’s internal designs for this work, however, do help my condition by multiplication, like this bank of shafts targeting the Quim.