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Cluster index: Peter McCarey


Peter McCarey: ‘So when you see that filament heat the lamp,
The a-machine says one. Otherwise it’s signifying Nothing.’

Freedom and justice at the Warburg.

Peter McCarey; ‘Souls do go astray in the process; the protagonist of The Sheltering Sky will never find home. But that is because nothing in this world or what she knows of the next merits the name. The whole story illustrates what Simone Weil, around the same time, was trying to combat in writing L’Enracinement.’

Macanese Concrete

Peter McCarey: ‘But here’s the thing: a poem can explain itself, a concrete object can’t. Like a garden it allows the visitor to wander — without imposing an interpretation — except when the helpful glosses do just that, and in the process turn an autonomous object into the illustration of an explanation, which seems a shame.’


Peter McCarey: ‘The title was an afterthought, from Ovid, foreign also to its author, an ‘ostranenie / estrangement’, though the deep theme of yearning is not. The poem echoes Dante, Blok, folk tales and the aubade; it reads like a testament, which perhaps it was.’

Jackson’s ‘Opus’.

Peter McCarey: ‘W. D. Jackson has striven for decades to relate the individual in his moral frailty to society and its mutations in history. The field he has chosen, or in which he finds himself, is neither philosophy nor historiography, but poetry, and he looks to other poets to help him on his way. Given that most of his working life has been spent in Italy and Germany, he has imported a lot of classic and some contemporary Italian and German writing into this work.’