Saturday, 25 November 2000

From "‘say Smile’: The Many Faces of Peter Manson"

[...] if his detachable faces can stand as figures for the formal surfaces to which they’re etymologically akin, these thematic preoccupations become more than merely cosmetic. In a moment of revelatory clarity, W. S. Graham, a writer much concerned with language surfaces, wakes to the implications of his image in the glass: ‘I am up. I’ve washed The front of my face’. [...] Manson exploits the poetic possibilities of the conceptual fissure that Graham’s lines expose: his words are at times a front, and something between archaeology and divination is required to venture a restructuring of the cognitive mechanisms that shape and underpin them [...]

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