Monday, December 7, 2015

Blue on Blue


                             I don't think I've ever encountered a book as dreamlike as Blue on Blue. And not in the same sense as the surreal stories I read or anything like that, no, when I say Blue on Blue is "dreamlike," I mean in the sense that it honestly feels like a dream. There's a sense of more commonplace surreality and bright, pastel poetics that Quentin Crisp brings to his novel, that dreamlike sense that everything is absolutely strange, but that everything is exactly where it's supposed to be. Of course there are gigantic sapient brine shrimp running an attraction called the Sea Monkey Kingdom. Of course the Buena Vista (which I assumed looked like Sleeping Beauty's Castle from the Magic Kingdom) is a lucid dream palace. And of course all of these things are kind of  In Blue on Blue, Quentin Crisp creates an intriguing world with wonderful sensations and feeling, and I'm definitely going to seek out more of his work. 

More, as always, below.       

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Jottings from a Far Away Place

                            There are some books that command your undivided attention. That's the best way I can put it. There are simply books where having music on in the background or reading in a place where one could become distracted just isn't feasible. Sometimes it's because the material is dense, or the plot is heavily involved, or simply because the narrative style is just that immersive. In the case of Jottings from a Far Away Place, it's because Brendan Connell has written a book that's best contemplated and absorbed, and the best way to do that is without all that many distractions. 

                           It's a book that does things to my head in the best way, a book where each section has its own unique rhythms and place, but that builds on the sections by featuring recurring characters and themes as it goes along. If nothing else, I have to say the closest thing I've ever read is either the Zhuangzi or the works of Ryu Murakami (with their own brand of meditative gorn), and Connell manages to distance himself from those works pretty thoroughly just by dint of being a lot more bizarre.

                         In the end, I'd suggest reading a little of this one to get familiar with it. While it's a fantastic book that gets inside your head in just the right way, it'll definitely take a little to get the rhythms down. 

More, as always, below.