8 thoughts on “The Sorrows and the Furies – Thomas Strømsholt

  1. 300e9d5a-e357-4d4b-baf4-cc779e943114A wonderful physical book, in every respect, with about 80 pages. Mine is numbered 5/100.

    A collection of disasters, chance encounters, confessions & liminal events…

    My previous reviews of this author here: https://nullimmortalis.wordpress.com/2013/02/27/o-altitudo/ & https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/tag/thomas-stromsholt/ and of this publisher here: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/complete-list-of-zagava-ex-occidente-press-books/

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    DEATH ON THE CORSO

    “Real or imagined, all appeared significant.”

    Indeed, the perfect description of a literary gestalt.
    This is a wonderful evocation of a young sailor’s return to his home town, reunion with a fey old friend, and the atmosphere of strange winks from cafe goers, and three oldest sailors pissing into the sea, with the admixture of the return of the dead Archduke to his own home country as one of two white coffins. An atmosphere of pall…
    A Gestalt of what was about to happen against a painterly feisty-characterful setscene. A visionary vision around two bullets and this book’s serial story-break design as seen set now in startled flight by history …

  2. THING OF BEAUTY, THING OF UGLINESS

    “; the sound and feel as one turns the pages — all this contributes to the reading experience, enriches the writing.”

    Indeed this ultimate classic story of booklore is enriched by the book in which it is couched. But it was already almost TOO rich, too dangerous by implication, as a bare text, I’m sure. A story of a writer and an aesthetic whole of first editions, and the spirit of books, their booklore in contiguity with the art of decadence and each of our impending suicides disguised as undeliberating death. I dare not talk much further of the author Slavik, the book-lover Willow of my own age in years, Dr Chien and the narrator as avid collector of the writer’s books including a rumour of one rare unique volume… But the story’s outcome with regard to this rare book, (and books in general), warrants, for me, the already piecemeal transferring out of my own collection (written by various authors) before I die and it also fits into my long-term belief in a Gestalt of literature exemplified here very recently: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2019/01/05/strix-gestalt/ and by my established reviewing practices.

  3. THE DUST ON HIS GENTLE PALM

    “‘The net,’ whispered Biladi.”

    And I whisper, too, like gentle butterfly dust in a Dreamcatcher net – not a plot spoiler as this is my crazy caprice beyond credibility – that the butterfly at the end is the Professor’s wife at last returned from a trip out for bread? This is a very engaging story, meanwhile, of the obsessive butterfly hunter and his browbeaten amanuensis, a bit like Delius and Fenby. It also sits well with my current real-time review of the stories of Vladimir Nabokov: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2018/10/06/collected-stories-vladimir-nabokov/

  4. THE WANING OF THE LIGHT

    “It was preposterous, something to laugh at and forget.”

    I follow Mela, disconsolate with her lot, going out for cigarettes, taken, via the incensery evocativeness of the ancient city’s churches, rather than via thoughts of a projected suicide, towards a vulgar puppet show fable in one such church where her co-audience turns even more shadowy than the puppets… I did not finish reading the story for the same reason as Mela did not stay for the end of the show…and I went back to what I was seeking (however trivial) before I started it.

  5. THE ZALMOXIS TREATMENT

    “He likened the mind or will to a certain parasite found among ants.”

    A momentous and eye-opening vision of the nemonymous self, as interpreted by a doctor’s prescribed therapy of ‘me’ by a theatrical presentation, here a conjurer’s magic show or another puppet one.

  6. THE SORROWS AND THE FURIES

    A darkly felt, gull-cluttered evocation of a place where the Latin poet now known as the anagram of Void “languished in his banishment.” A place that is now the commercial beach it wasn’t in old bleached postcards. ‘Narrator’ writing a letter to John, an insidiously unrequited lover, I infer — a letter from this place: a sort of Death in Venice scenario where Tadzio is an attractive local girl. And the master / amanuensis relationship — that also has existed in the place — leading to the master becoming the Scarecrow-SeagullMan beachcomber out-surviving the amanuensis, and it reminds me of this book’s earlier Delius-Fenby type of relationship. Except I wildly hypothesise that instead of being lovers, the master and amanuensis here were in fact father and son, if I may also merely mention my THE MENTIONING.

    [Here is the story called THE MENTIONING (published in the legendary magazine ‘Aklo’ as edited by Mark Valentine in the early 1990s) that I wrote on the beach in Dunwich, Suffolk in 1989.]

  7. THE LAMPS OF EUROPE

    “; he was an old man, seventy years or so.”

    …as am I. A highly poignant portrait of migrants as asylum seekers in a boat approaching in dangerous waters those old quoted lamps in today’s heart-wrenching circumstances, and the old man’s suitcase full of relics, that, when listed for us here, outdo even the butt smoked by Brecht that is first broached. My own relics I have already started to disseminate before I reach my final beach.

    “We collect relics — what you might call curiosities, or cultural items, vessels containing stories.”

    This book is one very fine example for the young amanuensis in my soul. Amid today’s sorrows and furies.

    end

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