Saturday, 14 October 2000

From a blog post

By Chris Goode.

[So] is the second of Squires's e-books for Shearsman, following last year's Lines, and it proceeds through very similar movements, but for what it's worth I think So perhaps the more successful in the slight, just-detectable tension between its radical open-ended subjunctivity and the feint ghost of discarnate logic that invigilates its procedures. The nearest voice (if 'voice' is quite the right idea) is probably Beckett, though that may depend on how quickly you turn the pages: a steady flip produces the insistent fidgeting of an idling mind worrying itself into a sort of fractal realm of language, with nearly-formed questions constantly becoming their own nearly-formed answers, divulging little but keeping the authorial consciousness in an immaculate but vertiginous holding pattern; a slower, more reflective reading, in which each of these phrases is permitted to sound more vertically, admits a meditative, potentially spiritual, tonality, which you'll find successful probably in some proportion to the dependability of your own sense of such operations and background narratives. (For me, that's a struggle.) The question that arises in respect of reading-speed is perhaps in itself instructive: I wonder, how long does the passage of this text represent? It's sort of an unaskable question, but if this movement within language unfolds over a lifetime, that is one thing, and if what these words add up to is a single fleeting thought, captured on the wing, that's something else: but perhaps that simply takes us back to the sense of falling through fractal layers, the instant that might in language be developed out into a fair account of a lifetime's activity in coming to terms with the liveable experience of consequence and inquiry.

No comments: