Monday, February 17, 2014

Gary Budgen - Souvenirs from Sanctuary Street

Extract from today's real-time review of BFS JOURNAL #10 HERE:


Souvenirs from Sanctuary Street by Gary Budgen "...Captain Tomorrow whooshing over wartime London with its blimps and searchlights." Another new day in this review. On my regular morning constitutional today, I happened to take the above photo (on the seaside pier near where I live) before I had read this story, and it seems ideally suited to accompany it. I have come across this author's fiction before, I'm sure. Reviewed it, too. Once you have read this story, I'm sure you will agree it is an important one, important in itself and also important as part of the gestalt of this Journal's fiction and poetry. Although its genius loci represents more of an industrial town, one with an abandoned film studio and a bereft housing estate, the types of shops, a Punch & Judy show, a travelling salesman selling bathroom stuff etc. also make it feel like a seaside resort ambiance. It is indeed intensely atmospheric, telling of a well-characterised policeman, one who tries to avoid 'fusses'. And the story has another soaring image like the book's cover ... Soaring towards dreams, as many people do, especially the people here, soaring toward dreams, too, from an old-fashioned paper comic - along with a cyborg-like comic character, also tellingly along with the policeman's later poignant change of costume. All has a remarkably haunting deadpan, even dead-end, splendour, if that is not a contradiction in terms. I wonder if these characters, policeman, costume shop proprietor and wildly intent children will ever reach Sim's earlier version of God's Heaven and be similarly judged... (Loved the touch of the 'half of Mackeson'.)


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