A Door in the Wall to a Secret Garden of Literature


Full review of above here: https://nemonymousnight.wordpress.com/the-black-locomotive/ THE BLACK LOCOMOTIVE by Rian Hughes


“How have ye brightened since I saw ye first;
How have I darkened since ye saw me last! “
from the mighty 19th century FESTUS by Philip James Bailey

HAVER by Brian Evenson

This will surely be known one day as a horror story classic, one, when you speak to someone —
You have not read HAVER? Goodness! Well, of course, you must read this story by Brian Evenson, with its Tarr and Fether theme-and-variations, whereby the institutionalised mental-health patient Festus and his therapist Haver obliquely battle each other, if sometimes subconsciously, for the Platonic Form of Sanity that only one of them can possess or embody. The patient, I infer, needs to finish off (literally as well as artistically) (the) the-rapist of his mind. Being an artist, now eschewing colour, he obsessively draws, upon sheet after sheet, with charcoal, creating different versions of his old studio before he was institutionalised. Tantamount to this being a gestalt real-time review, ‘very moment’ by very moment, sheet by sheet, within such drawings. A studio which therapist Haver is then somehow compelled to visit, thus eventually to view the frightening correlation between the drawings he’d seen the patient drawer and the real studio and the drawings stacked there, leading to frightful smeary progressions in fell rhythm with my own recent Zeno’s Paradox obsessions….
There is even some ‘subdued’ colour at one point. Till he does have the gestalt sought.

Full review of above Evenson collection here: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2021/08/18/the-glassy-burning-floor-of-hell-brian-evenson/


Obsessional neurosis, connections, families and their often difficult backstories, family christmases, politics and Thatcher, ‘parentnoia’ – they all connect with me in different ways. It is almost as if I yearn in my older age for connections some of which have avoided me all my life, now salved by seeking the overarching pattern of a Literary Gestalt Theory.
Theory versus Therapy.
Philip Larkin’s famous poem, notwithstanding!

“protracting the journey by going through Glastonbury and stopping to look at the Tor, silhouetted against a late afternoon sunset”

“Steve loved these tales from the distant past and the way they confirmed the pattern of abuse being handed on from generation to generation like a negative, anti-matter version of the family jewels.”


Me with my son and daughter in 1977 climbing Glastonbury Tor. 🙂

Full review of above Keen book here: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2021/08/29/the-empty-chair-roger-keen/

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