16 thoughts on “Warewolff! – by Gary J. Shipley

  1. 93A41861-1CE9-48F7-8A7D-9A04E5178A46I was convinced I had seen the word “Warewolff!” before, and I was right. There are two quotes at the beginning of this book, and this word is in one of them. From FINNEGANS WAKE. My twelve page review of this wonderful book is linked below:-

    https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2014/02/05/finnegans-wake-james-joyce/

    The other quote is from Artaud. Two of my reviews that happen to mention him:

    https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2016/04/29/conflagration/

    https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2017/12/16/wound-of-wounds-an-ovation-to-emil-cioran/

    This book, on first impressions, is just up my street! I hope it is up yours, too.
    More comments below in this comment stream as I read it.

    “The greatest film reviewer of all time was Cabrera Infante. The best music reviewer of all time was Amiri Baraka. And now it is possible to state that Des Lewis is the best fiction reviewer of all time. He has crossed the threshold and achieved the distinction!“
    – RHYS HUGHES today on his FB, Feb 2018

  2. PREFACE/PRODROME

    Layer 1: buildings

    Pages 9 – 20

    “The titles were put together from a single word or phrase in the sentences preceding the extracted texts that seemed somehow to signpost the content to come.”

    This is inspiring stuff. I am apparently being tutored here to hear a single gestalt voice being spoken behind the various extracts. A monster or a god? Or monkey? Judging by the front cover, it is a monster lurking behind the cut-up title. Amazingly, this book seems significantly to be, by chance, in mutual synergy with another book I am simultaneously reviewing here: The Book of Days wherein extracts are triggered by dates of the year and what previously happened on them. But what triggers the extracts in ‘Warewolff!’? I have much to learn. Relish eking this book out into the future – below.
    .

  3. Pages 21 – 26

    There is language here that masturbates itself inside out, as some monkeys did earlier, I recall, but my memory is not good at my advanced age — yet it all reads accessibly with real words in the main, unlike the wild neologisms of Finnegans. Striking prose poems as some of us, although not me, may call them. Extracts literally aching for the eventual arrival of the Gestalt voice I mentioned earlier. Extracts as word clusters that strike me as immutable and seem as if they always were so, or, if not, why not? Like the sentence in these pages containing ‘Google Earth’, as just one example. Buildings building, inverted pyramids, walls, storeys et al. The two startling sentences with ‘Palestine’ and ‘Hamas’ in, notwithstanding the ‘gorilla’ (the gorilla from Flannery O’Connor?)
    Then, thus, we return to Rasnic Tem again: “I sat opposite the house I’d lived in as a child and didn’t recognize it.”
    And Rhys Hughes again: “Some objects spend their whole lives being meaningless semaphore for other objects”. Not words about the author, but words about the amazing fictionatronic work that created him.

    Each extract has it own title. One example here: ASSISTED DYING INSIDE 4 ISOSCELES TRIANGLES. My recent review of Cyclonopedia here in this context. And “Rhombus is a rhombus is a rhombus is a rhombus” (after Gertrude Stein) that I happened to think about a few days ago as an observation at the end of this review.

    I do not intend to write so much here whenever I read the book, but these sorts of thoughts are what I am confident will be going through my mind as and when I proceed with this fast-becoming landmark read.

  4. —> Page 35

    I can only repeat what I said above; for you can take it as read in future that I would say the same thing whenever I happen to open this book, viz.:-
    “Extracts literally aching for the eventual arrival of the Gestalt voice I mentioned earlier. Extracts as word clusters that strike me as immutable and seem as if they always were so, or, if not, why not?”
    I would just replace ‘arrival’ with ‘identification.’

    As I go through, I cannot cover everything, but I will pick out things that strike me particularly: here this reminding me of the ethos of Nemonymous Night:
    “It’s the house falling through the crust of the earth, and coming out the other side.”

  5. —> Page 62

    Layer 2: eyes

    “The world around her is nothing but her need to blink.”

    The world around me is nothing but my need to think.
    To understand.
    It is as if I need a birdcage around my head to protect me from this book. Still reading it, but not where it can actually reach me. A Zeno’s Paradox of a synaesthesia, where death is so slow it never happens.
    Warmer inside when swallowed up by my own body.
    Kubrick’s EYES WIDE SHUT. Saw this film a day or so ago. Seriously.
    I am a walking synchronicity these days!

  6. –> Page 91

    Layer 3: families

    “We dug up detective novels from between the heavy legs of old women so our bellies could wiggle with the idea of a trail.”

    This book’s potential audit-trail towards a single ‘noise-thing’? The various family‘-parts’ towards gestalt, or Colony, slowly strobing back and forth therefrom, And “eye-parts.” …with the attrition of Tem (“Nothing can ever prepare you for the disembowelling trauma of watching your child die…”) to the CENTIPEDE (press?) and REPTILE CHRIST, to “Their disused swimming pools” of Ballard, the feel of Lee Rourke and Ralph Robert Moore and David Mathew and Paul Meloy and others, discovered in my earlier reviews, our modes and moeurs taken to the nth stage of wild extrapolation to which we feared they would always be taken, or we relished this prospect? Those words on the brink of pormanteauing themselves. “Brainwaterfamilyilluison.” And much more. “Notes toward more notes toward nothing.” Abortions and rapes. “The kids talk about Martians.” Old men like me.

    “The old men construct noise-things…”

  7. –> Page 112

    Layer 4: Sky

    “Culture is one thousand new rituals a day, and the newspapers ignoring them all.”

    “There was everywhere the glow of something waiting to end.”

    From the sky we can at least rehearse a formulation of a gestalt. Even if air liners are dropping like stones. And we burrow into our own bodies.

    I recently managed to listen to recorded voices reading extracts from this book, and I understood it even more so or, in some cases, perhaps for the first time, and I now try to imagine such voices reading it aloud as if from the sky. Like falling upward. Kafka’s prostate, as a version of his dick, and the Eraserhead baby, notwithstanding.

  8. –> Page 140

    Layer 5: Air

    “The light in old people’s homes is found to be invariably made of sponge.”

    And “The bridge is what it feels like to build a room out of air and suffocate inside it.”

    This section ironically is full of stuff, OCD Zombis, bodily dysfunction utterly in your scatology and eschatology faces, and today’s religio-politico spaces and places equally in your faces. — and Rhys Hughes is currently on his own “PASSAGE TO NAIROBI.” Seriously. made no secret of it.
    God Particles, too. But where is Cern Zoo or Cone Zero or Zencore or Null Immortalis? Lethal spaces indeed. So much here, it teems in and out of my sponge. Not to be read lightly.

  9. Layer 6: holes

    “I am in the puberty of old age.”

    This is really a marvellous book. There is so much I COULD quote from it. Each section needs quoting in full. I have also spotted that these sections are (chance-inadvertent, possibly more political or more fractured/ fractious and more youthfully perceived?) extrapolations upon the intrinsic pattern of themes by one of my top five favourite living writers, Steve Rasnic Tem, not much younger than me… I can give this book no greater compliment.

  10. –> Page 185

    Layer 7: rooms

    “Everything I didn’t know and couldn’t tell came out in semaphores of undigested food and urine that they immediately set about translating.”

    Conceptual art items (holes, hermitages, habits and habitations from birth to death in scatology, and eschatology) while, I guess, Aliens (AI is also embedded in the word Aliens) take us over via ‘wi-fi’ (including the ‘wife’ one watches in the shower) to imbue us with senile dementia younger and younger. At the age of 71, I still stick against them by reading this book. and other kindred books. And respread them here. Against using mastectomies, to stop spreading.
    Reading this book about its Hikikomori et al.

    “Names were violations,..”

  11. Layer 8: distortion

    “All fear is a kind of worship; they just learned to love their molester, had its migrating organs version them a crucifix.”

    Irony becomes an iron faith, I sense; the Lycanthrope explicitly now Warewolff! itself, with Joycean neologistic mutations implicit. Here factored into by, inter alia, dysfunctional feet. Only yesterday I read a story by Erinn Kemper here where a separated foot was the first part of its body’s gestalt. Also I am unsurprised that SPELUNKING is in this book of homes and spaces and air pockets etc. and in the body (and its voice) that we build as gestalt. Also SCHIZOPHORA insect as the schizophoria of Brexit. I am a reader who has possibly become more omniscient about this book than whoever wrote it? Meanwhile, I remind you that its prose gives the strong impression of autonomous literature, a literature that is already cloistered by some heretofore secret unknown unique preternatural immutable sump that is now being tapped for this book, a literature that needs as many differently minded readers as possible to triangulate its coordinates towards an emergence fully from that sump. Each review by these readers – even if worded thus pretentiously and precariously, as I am doing – will hopefully become part of the eventual gestalt, the eventual voice, the eventual thing we all seek that is being formed by all of us?

    “The God eye is glue.”

  12. Layer 9: screens

    “I believe it when they say my computer was assembled by robots that were somehow clinically insane, and they left messages in the motherboard that I’m now processing without knowing it.”

    After last night, the schizophora fly still spins on two rumps. Meanwhile, I use my own screen to shape this novel, its own spinning rumps making it more than or less than what it is, not a novel at all, but a conscious thing in the room with you. All my past considered thoughts dubbed into a neglected dialect of something I once spoke as a language. PRETERITION reminding me of the ‘Preterite and the Preinternet’ that I thought a while ago here: https://nullimmortalis.wordpress.com/2014/05/04/the-preterite-of-the-preinternet/
    And what I thought above earlier in this review when I said: “…Aliens (AI is also embedded in the word Aliens) take us over via ‘wi-fi’…” Nairobi has AI more discretely embedded, by the way.

  13. —> Page 252 (end)

    Layer 10: ghosts

    “The cranes had rain blown into the shapes of men at their controls.”

    Meanwhile, Bank Holiday today, time for two layers of time, two films of pus? Yet, I saw the triptych below today, not a diptych, when called into another review cross-referenced with yet another review, if not cross-referenced with this one. That makes three layers, one invisible? “Alien abductions are not trips to the supermarket. Insects are not bugging devices.” And I get the sense that everything I wrote above about this book is now even more true than when I first wrote it at the time. But are there degrees of truth? This book seems to teach you that there are layers of truth, as buildings et al, emptiness and areas of our mind like a Thomas Mann or Jules Verne exploration of its bottom reaches, with all the bottom-fishing around, puking or not. And this book itself is the optimum layer of truth. Or the pessimum one, if optimisations as well as filters can work in either direction of flow. All of those who have read this book or will do so in the future: now the Gestalt flowing either way. COMORBIDITY, STUPEFACTION and APORIA. Beware the wolf, it’ll blow your house down. Make it a ghost.

    F6DCC5B4-AA88-488A-AF23-669FD54AB396

    “This is me speaking. Can you hear?”

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