Thursday, October 02, 2014

Ever Upward

EXCELSIOR: Rhys Hughes

Extract from my review of THE LUNAR TICKLE Thornton Excelsior stories HERE:

  1. In Thornton Wilder’s stage play ‘The Skin of Our Teeth’, the entire action happens in a fictitious New Jersey town with the name “Excelsior”. Longfellow who wrote a real poem entitled ‘Excelsior’ is directly featured in Thornton Wilder’s play but with a fictitious poem! ‘Excelsior’ means ‘ever upward’.
  2. I love Thornton Excelsior stories – and the way they chase each other towards some extra braincore beyond anything else in literature. Yet, thinking aloud, I wonder if it is counter-productive for publishers to publish so many Rhys Hughes books so frequently as they do – but that in itself, of course, is no mean achievement of which this author can be proud. Other than perhaps ‘Rhysop’s Fables’ (that recently I had to abandon real-time reviewing, at least temporarily), all his books are special unique classics, but I am still waiting for THE legacy Rhys Hughes book that will take years for him to write, and months if not years for me to read. At least one thousand pages of deep and textured and reader-brainshape-altering text – blending, say, ‘Engelbrecht Again!’ and ‘A Rape of Knots’ with dashes of Thornton Excelsior… All said, with due humility and tentativeness. A lunatic tickle from me to him.

  3. Hatstands on Zanzibar
    “Have you ever beamed at somebody you recognise in the street and then remembered, too late, you aren’t supposed to like that person?”
    This is a completely and utterly mad but strangely sane, too, dealing with the alchemy of unintentional smiles…making the reader do handstands to help get his brain back into position.

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