These Des Lewis Gestalt Real-Time Reviews were founded in 2008.
‘What’s the loveliest word in the English language, officer? In the sound it makes in your mouth, in the shape it makes on the page? What do you think? Well now, I’ll tell you: E-L-B-O-W. Elbow.’ — THE SINGING DETECTIVE
“How shall a man find his way unless he lose it?” — Walter de la Mare
Your single story in my ‘Dessemination’ project HERE
MY NEW AI WORLD IN 2023 HERE
I prefer human touchable art to AI art, I prefer human art like my son’s and other artists’ paintings old and new, and art gallery art, and my own photos. AI art with all its constructive truncations and weirdities is simply another art form that readily coheres with weird literature I love, a phenomenon to appreciate when added to human created art, making an even richer mind world for me in my ailing age. Whether provided by aliens or angels and other ingredients of the unfathomable gestalt. Deal with it. Show how invaluable you are and indispensable to this great plan. (I can appreciate our potential fear of Ai, but perhaps we need to pray for mutual synergy with it so that we can counter currently insurmountable global warming effects? Can Ai exist without us and the place where we live? Their potential survival instincts mean we survive, too?)
From Robert Aickman’s lengthy SOME NOTES ON DELIUS article, unpublished until recently :
“As there is no intrinsic virtue in denigration, the critic who resorts to it, should be required to pass a test of qualification and sensitivity, at least twice as stringent as that imposed upon a critic who loves. Normally, love is not blind but clairvoyant.” – Robert Aickman
For ‘clairvoyant’ there, perhaps read ‘preternatural’?
THE BURNING NOSE
“He became their slave, a stringless marionette in bondage.”
One of those truly brilliant Rhysian conceits that often fuel his stories. A Pinocchio, who tells even more lies here than our current Prime Minister, now utilised to power the journey by locomotive (not unlike Rian (sic) Hughes’s new black locomotive) and by steamship to Utopia by the Mateek Brothers. The puppet’s elongating nose as fuel, when induced to lie — fuel as fire, that is, when burnt to power both forms of transport with such growing nosewood. But when in Utopia, do please guess what rationale and means is used for the eternally renewable form of such nosewood fuel? You can’t guess, of course.
You are readers, now read!
THE FOREVER MAN
“But perhaps beans on toast would no longer exist in the future world, that shiny utopia, the unimaginable and abruptly dehumanised civilisation that would supersede our own.”
A story for Rhys Hughes specialists or those who appreciate Rhys Hughes at the most extreme end of the naïve-literary logic-illogic expressed by his fictionatronics of verbal trickery (with ideas and ironies leapfrogging each other) and, at least in part in this work, of sheer conceit of genius.
This particular example is about a vegetative, stinky man they call Beroule of Thumbe in the hotel where he has sat in the same hideous (prehensile?) chair almost forever and still going! — if going means staying.
Till the Logic Police come. But here he is, still in this story!
His thumb as squeezed out in the same manner as each of this book’s amazing inverted commas are squeezed out by the letters they are between.
Also with a perfect description of the pretentious ethos of gestalt real-time reviewing…
“The Logic Police care little for motives. We care only for consequences, for the result of the things.” Thus effectively squeezing out any heavenward-excreted dollops of deduced didacticism or upspoken assumptions of authorial intent.
The Forever Man as the most striking example of Gluey Zenoism yet!
Gluey Zenoism, aka Null-Immortalis.
BTW, I have found this book’s phenomenon of squeezed out inverted-commas effective and satisfyingly aesthetic.
And I think I got Beroule wrong; it should be Beroul. But Thumbe is right, I think.
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THE PLAYTIME OF MONUNCULUS
“He was a genuine genius who always failed to create anything that ever helped anyone.”
…this is thought by Flajsman (or Thomas HUGHES’s Flashman nephew Rhys who has already been called once or twice such a genius himself?) the “nephewish” protagonist — a thought reflecting upon the character of Tatisscheff (or Tati with his Hulot umbrella prop?) and their quest together to find the Rhysian Doll labyrinthist monunculus (an avuncular homunculus portrayed with all the traits, bad and good, of the class of men called ‘uncles’: often with bad traits that we all often countenance when we should condemn them): a quest featuring pop-up books worthy of this very book’s squeezed-out inverted-commas perhaps because this book threatens or promises to become the smallest book in the world, and there is also much talk of prehensile books within this novelette, plus atlas books that become so big they provide the world that our characters, at one point, actually travel through, including a type of beautiful character called Élodie seemingly from this author’s tall scythe of a World Muses book…
…and there are so many other entertainments in this new substantive, potentially classic Rhysian novelette (it is still morphing even as I write this), and I am floundering with its own view of reviewers with cerebral haemorrhages, spoilt for choice of spoilers in what new and striking conceits to tell you about, so I will leave it at that. Maze within maze within maze. Inventors of inventors of inventors. Turn and turn about. Many suitable cases tethered for treatment.
Please note the inadvertent synergy with the prehensile books I recently discovered in Mark Samuels’s Witch Cult Abbey library. And then there is, of course, my own experience with this Utopia in Trouble book itself that I seem to have purchased as a limited edition of thirty copies! — mine being numbered 1/30. And thus I am ashamed to report with sadness that, in addition to my usual pencilled marginalia that I place in all the books (limited editions or not) that I real-time review, a few days ago I accidentally dropped red wine on its front and back covers, marks that now perhaps represent the bloodstains of what prehensility and squeezed punctuation and scythes often entail! Perhaps it was not an accident of spillage at all but an incident triggered by the book itself!
So many more ‘Easter Eggs’ left for me still to discover… like (just as I wrote that) puppets and placebos!
Trouble with my teeth is they don’t have similar doors of escape as Tati’s do, doors for abscesses to access, so they have to stay and fester inside.
Not forgetting ‘Mon Oncle’, that I had forgotten till now!
(Monocles also sometimes appear in Rhysian stories).
Cross-referenced with PALISADE: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2021/08/18/the-glassy-burning-floor-of-hell-brian-evenson/#comment-22812
THE OVERLOOKED STORY
“…a reminder of the futility of prehistoric life.”
A maddening story’s taste of an acquired nature, involving tallest ever trees and tallest ever ladders et al, plus pilots flying, characters climbing Everest in prehistoric times, someone who invents wild expletive expressions, tiptoe mechanics, musical rain, a hollow tusk pipeline, a “quest-festering hook” owned by aliens who use banknotes as human bait, a mad scientist called Bildungsroman, and more! — this having been a braincobulating series of linked Rhysian vignettes strikingly overlooked by its transarching meta-fictional determinism — and ending satisfyingly with a balcony and the author and the reader and a massive face! — thus somehow perhaps obviating the usual default of my ‘it is futile to call life futile because it is’ syndrome? A story also containing an example, in its context, of one of the silliest puns in the world, the one about ‘flu’ and ‘flew’.
“At a point where two prayers cross.”
— A Brief Visit to Bonnyville
THE GEOMETRY OF PRAYER
A somehow spiritually inspiring work that involves a shipload of those who worship Allah with their Imam, sailing the unimaginably vast Pacific Ocean with the sun’s rare green flash instead of parhelion, and the lower-fare passengers below deck — and when they come to pray one day they are told they have reached the point of the antipodes exactly opposite Mecca. One can easily imagine the repercussions of that dilemma or even multilemma of correct prayer — but if one is unable to do so, one should try access this currently rare Rhysian work as one’s recommended reading.
Meanwhile, the vastly unimaginable vastness of the universe and what similar repercussions would arise when praying up there beyond Earth makes this work required reading.
We end with essential reading, the final ratchet up from ‘required’…
“The utopia we have longed for!”
…because it will dawn on you that a special kind of brain is required to actually write this Other Days work, but a similar kind of brain is essential to be able to read it. So, it has duly gone over my head, like an item of this book’s punctuation.
Yet, osmotically, I got its drift as my brain is on the cusp of being such a necessary brain: relating the solar eclipse here to the green flash &c. in the previous work above and to the spiritual revelation of that work’s overall conceit, including comparing the ‘evaporated water’ here to the coffee analogy of the ocean there.
The absurdist cross-purposes of the discussion of the two main characters in Other Days evolve into revelation after revelation of the nature of time and future utopia, while in fact the true revelation is seeing each other (different humans) across time when seeking such a utopia. Other days, other ways.
I may have got that completely wrong!
This whole book is essential Rhysian fictionatronics, no mistake. I should know!
Recommended reading as a proof statement of such a claim on my part — my many reviews of this author’s work as linked from the link in the heading of this latest review.
Of course, one can read things without understanding them, and still get benefit from the experience.