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Author Archives: The Editors

Travelling with the I Ching.

Lucy Hamilton: ‘The ancient oracle bone etching on the left of this ideograph
still means eye today| Within the whole symbol it represents

people’s distinct fields of vision| while the image on the right
of an arrow passing between the backs of a pair of hands’

In defence of les femmes françaises.

Christopher Landrum: ‘Is it so shameful to seek beauty? To seek it in books? In the human body? Or how the beauty of the body or of a book can reveal, whether intentionally or otherwise, some speck of the inner beauty of the mind and the greater ineffable beauty of the soul?’


Enomoto Saclaco: ‘Numberless camellias are cut down and flow to the fishing port, then soft silver seeds like paper plates are caught on the fasteners of the frozen bags on the eyes and ears of Umibozu, the legendary sea monster.’

A smile that melts.

Simon Collings: ‘Bergson described ‘duration’ as ‘a continuity which is really lived, but artificially decomposed for the greater convenience of customary knowledge.’ Time spent in waiting is central to Innocence, and for Mroz highlights a sense of “protracted lived duration’ which stands in sharp contrast to the ticking of clocks heard throughout the film.’

The Case of John Keats in Shanklin.

G Kim Blank: ‘In the end, with Keats’s quick scripting of Brown’s helter-skelter storyline, nothing comes of the play, though, while in Shanklin, Keats does push into some other projects with more lasting poetic value, most notably, Lamia.’

Keats: letters, home.

Anthony Costello: ‘Keats’ short and impassioned life is a continual search for home: home as place, family, friends, love, and poetry itself. Poetry is his palace of a home — a palace to which we, as readers, have access. His correspondence and 49 verse-letters show this heartfelt search is pivotal to his life and work.’

Proust in five pages.

John Matthias: ‘Although Proust does not provide, as Justice does, an actual score, his analysis of the little phrase is quite specific. “He had realized that it was to the closeness of the intervals between the five notes that composed it, and to the constant repetition of two of them, that was due this impression of a frigid and withdrawn sweetness.”’

‘What about these birds?’

Peter Riley: ‘Prynne’s readership is indeed secure but the extent to which it is academy-centred is questionable, thus whether it is maintained by pressure of secondary attention rather than a particular kind of pressure the texts exert towards the cultivation of the barely legible.’

More from ‘The Messenger House’.

Janet Sutherland: ‘…and throwing a dollar to the astounded and horror -stricken owner, we hoped to escape in peace to our han. Vain delusion! The uproar which followed could not have exceeded if the Arnouts had stormed Hassan-a-Palanka…’

Again, as if the wind bore you away…

Eduardo Moga: ‘My fingers take on the clumsiness instilled by fear; their breath is laboured, their nails pant in revolt. The silence solidifies, but floats upwards, light as air: propelled by the vast machinery of clouds and engines.’

Six prose poems.

Meg Pokraass: ‘There’s a good chance that eventually things will deteriorate to the point where you launch mopey tweets at one another, him tweeting coy pink hearts to your tweets and you regurgitating chartreuse hearts back to his.’

Reopening the National Theatre of Kosovo.

Gertrude Gibbons: ‘Gothard tells me about a particular culture of oath-taking in Albania, the fact that an unresolved family dispute from three generations back would still haunt the children of the present.’

Literary politics in America.

Richard Kostelanetz; ‘This essay repeats criticisms made by me in periodicals and conversations over the past decade, when they were heard or read by an angry but ineffectual few. Only in 1970 did I realize that if my complete critique were written and then published in permanent form, we could have more leverage in dealing with adversity.’

Torpedo Fair.

Antony Howell: ‘Wheels on poles there pledge
The broken to the crows.
All battle is for hearts and minds,
So make quite sure she knows
Her rape is being done
By one who murdered her son.’

A book of Bessie and Sallyann.

Paul Holman: ‘So I stand before this master of all the king’s horses, who has diminished over the centuries to become a transmission through a ghost box, a spook to prank kids. His face, beheld at last, is that of a patrician bully, smooth with the untroubled assumption of power…’