Monday, May 07, 2018

The Parry and the Lunge (Part 2)

The Parry and the Lunge


20 thoughts on “The Parry and the Lunge”

  1. From page 292
    4 – 14
    “Even now, I’m not so sure it was even real time.”
    Weird, and yet weirder. But feeling even more right, feeling even more real. No mean feat. I guess there is a powerful pareidolia (and I sense a numerology, too, with one reference in this section) a powerful pareidolia in this physical text plus an emergent shape descried in its ‘story’, as well as in its geography, its genius loci, here God’s face in a hill, a stone hut on its eyebrow. And a duel at the end of this section, a new parry and lunge. Tom and Dorothy duelling for its narrative control, too? The scrubby lady-garden or Minnie the Minx, notwithstanding.
    “…I’m rebuilding the scene; I’m knitting it all together with my twelve-inch needles.”
  2. II
    1 – 4
    1 – 2
    “A rocket combusts on its trajectory moonward-ho; it forms the backbone of the letter D, joining up with a luminous pink crescent. The capital letter D fades; temporarily excited, James is anxious to read more of the new sky script.”
    It is now superlative ‘parrydolia’ which is my neologism for this book’s pareidolia proper as apophenia when combined with a network of preternatural synchronicities of event and character – and the characters’ reactions to such parrydolia, a crafted patten of parrydolia couched in a mind-startling, yet accessible, style of prose and dialogue. Yes, this is a positive book review, but ‘positive’ is not strong enough a word; I am having a veritable love affair with this book! I nearly swore there, so I’ll merely ‘harrumph.’ Seriously, I have no reason to believe that my view of this book is likely to change any time soon. It just seems to get even better and better. Here, in this section, I believe you will find a description of a firework display beyond any other in literature. An old man with whom I am in tune, scowling at the prospect of dormition and owning a charity shop edition of one of Dorothy’s novels. Drinking Cocoa when Kolko rings him. Well, almost. And Dorothy debriefing herself after her traumatic journey to the face in the hill. Not that there is any danger of that being a spoiler. Spoilers depend on being able to spoil something, and this book’s threads are spoiler-proof in a uniquely rarefied way you will only cotton on to by experiencing them yourself. A texture that has so far survived even when “a combination of delta tide and sunglight began to flay it raw.” Sunglight (sic).
  3. IV
    1 – 4
    “…as if he is doing a Fred Flintstone and propelling the vehicle by leg power alone.”
    Which somehow ironically reminds me of this book which is its own extreme vastness of menu card with tiny writing as used in Profit. And now we have the Avignon Quincunx minus one, because Dorothy is unwell, which, I suppose, gives us the Alexandrian Quartet. And we all know where Alexandria is, the country in which we first met the “tea-stained” skin of the homophonic villain. Now he creepily hijacks Samantha’s car. But is he a villain at all? A question now posed by this now foursome of women in Profit again, as reported by hopefully reliable Sabrina to our hopefully reliable guide Tom and then him reporting to us by means of this book. But does the latter have sufficiently calibrated omniscience to not be surprised by the phone call he receives at the end of this section? The “businessmen’s hollow blatherscythe”, notwithstanding.
    “All creatures want to fly to the sun.”
  4. PART TWO:

    1 – 9
    1 – 3
    Window pain, that earlier homophonic Egyptian bus’s window pane….
    “Depression, Dolly. It’s like a shark, don’t you think? Or maybe you’ve been lucky.”
    That’s Annette’s centenarian father, Patrick, speaking to Dorothy with whom he is striking up a remarkably touching Platonic relationship, a man after my own heart, who keeps listing out the many mind-bogglingly complicated words of his bodily and mental ailments, including anal polyps and dyspraxia. I know someone who experiences dyspraxia as well as hyperthymesia. Here, Patrick’s image, quoted above, of a shark as depression circling around is subtly echoed by what James later mentions here: “But water is sad because it’s a circle.”
    Also, I am continuously amazed how well this text allows me to control my understanding of the various plot strands, but, as you might appreciate, I do not attempt to cover in this review the interweaving pattern of all these strands, nor do I record here all the surprises and cliffhangers. There is a persisting facility in the text, too, to bolster the visualising of the various scenes, including here catching sight cinematically of a figure in the distance that turns out not to be Kolko but James….
  5. III
    1 – 3
    “None of this happened.” In italics.
    I did not quite realise when I picked up this book, a book with already evident heft, that I would be playing with fire, not with simply reading it but especially, as it turns out, with real-time reviewing it. Not only dealing with the danger of spoilers, but also, and more importantly, processing in my mind the whole literary trauma of such a book’s journey so far and its jolts. Jolts (a) suddenly gratuitous as well as jolts (b) smoothly crafted towards. Now I do realise. And, what is more, (a) and (b) are seemingly interchangeable…or potentially overlapping in synergy or synergy’s feint.
  6. IV
    1 – 11
    “, we have parried for a long time: long before we understood the nature of the lunge.”
    This mighty book is impelling me to do things in gestalt real-time reviews that I have never done before during the ten years I have been practising them … and practise is probably the right word! Till now. And that is to do nothing. To say nothing. Or to say very little. Truth to tell, the book is messing with my mind. I have no anchor whence to pontificate a critique. And there are too many spoilers risked by even hinting at what is now happening. I shall henceforth quote short passages that mean something to me, and mention any individual words that appeal to me. Also, I am now impelled not to eke this book out. It has now become less slowly savourable and more fascinatingly page-turning. Meanwhile, I will just say one thing, something that seems currently crucial. The place, the genius loci, of this book: Bedfordshire, I guess, as its gestalt. And there is a famous saying in some old books and one I often said to my children in the distant past to get them up the stairs to their bed and, by implication, to their sweet dreams: UP THE WOODEN HILLS TO BEDFORDSHIRE!
    And just to anchor where I am in the book at the end of this section: page 403, out of 806 pages in total.
    “, my feet leave the carpet and its crumbs; I look down on a beige sea, an abandoned archipelago of fallen biscuits.”
    “Sticky pictures of the Luton and Dunstable Hospital: the room of limbs:”
    “engastrimythic” : ventriloquistic?
    • “Up the wooden hill to Bedfordshire
      Heading for the land of dreams
      When I look back to those happy childhood days
      Like yesterday it seems
      It was grand my mother held my hand
      Daddy was the old gee gee
      The old wooden hill was the old wooden stairs
      and Bedfordshire of course where I knelt to say my prayers
      Climbing up the wooden hill to Bedfordshire
      They were happy happy days for me.”
  7. V
    1 – 9
    I think I can divulge that here are some hilarious scenes with the woman customer of Roy’s Bible Street Cars, and her cat Nob etc. Hilarious, but with my undercurrent feeling of literary anxiety already adumbrated earlier today above. A literature that can actually harm you. As well as inspire.
    Also some information about the name KOLKO that had not dawned on me until now.
    “‘I’d like to hear your views on coincidences another time,’ Roy replies, and from the piglet iron gleam in his piglet-squint eyes it takes no miracle of investigation to infer that he is far from unhappy to be abandoning the topic.”
    “You don’t mess with the sea.”
    Or with a beige carpet or “sickly-beige illumination.”
  8. VI
    1 – 6
    1 – 2
    “) and God needs our memories because He’s growing forgetful.”
    “, tiny adults, waving not drowning; one of them was herself, the size of a thumb, but herself in her twenties; two others were the women on the hill.”
    “It is not mindblowing sex (what is?); but it is comfortable, comforting… friendly, even.”
    Regarding what is happening now, I can recognise that this book’s earlier parrydolia was cleverly planted and planned so that everything, however seemingly surprising, now seems to latch into a believable pattern. No mean feat.
    1 – 10
    Then why am I hearing voices? I would argue. Because you drink too much, was the general consensus —“
    “When the dead get bored with the living you can be sure that there is trouble somewhere.”
    “Had I known then what I know now from working with prisoners, would I have done anything different?”
    “Her name is Anke, and like its homophone she had weighted him to the spot.”
    “‘So tell me this,’ I say, ‘can you dream your way into anyone’s existence?’”
    “eutectic” – from internet: ‘relating to or denoting a mixture of substances (in fixed proportions) that melts and freezes at a single temperature that is lower than the melting points of the separate constituents or of any other mixture of them.’
    I somehow sort of cried during this section. And I don’t know why. Something said about Sabrina?
    1 – 6
    From ‘sky-zip’ to a new Anke.
    No sooner do I anchor this book’s genius loci above than we are now led to another…
    “I have seen sunnier teapot interiors.”
    “In my mouth is the sweetish residue of the rollmop herrings I ate at breakfast. Reykjavik is still.
    Sad waters?”
    My dream, last night, was of the prison where I allegedly teach English. Roy was in it, only briefly (the dream, not the prison.)”
    Cf Garridge in Residua (the HA of HA)…
    Dottir. Daughter (n): the female child of a larger parent vessel.”
    And counselling becomes “metaphorical open heart surgery. This is abuse.”
  • II
    1 – 3
    “It’s the gift that keeps on giving.”
    “He is conscious of the women in the class; of the whirr of their ropes; the slap of each rope’s individual downward trajectory against the floor; of footfalls landing, breathing increasing in speed and the ruggedness of its quality. He can almost hear the women’s sweat…”
    “I tell her, deadpan.”
    It’s the plot that keeps on plaiting.
  • III
    1 – 3
    1 – 5
    “Patrick stares at the carpet; the pattern draws him in, efficiently as a rotating spiral.”
    “, an anxiety prickles me – an anxiety that once again I have had the reins snatched from my hands.”
    “You are not even a brain. You are mind. Thought. With only connections to what you’ve left behind.”
    “‘I was in your lounge,’ I say.
    ‘I felt it.’”
    And a word: Otrenxus.
    Sea as death? And a dark rationale for Patrick’s longevity. Nightmarish is not the right word. We need a new word, a whole unplucked chicken cooking.
    Horror and Literature as gestalt, at last. I claim again that this book should at least be considered for the Booker. Seriously.
  • B07EED1C-EAA4-4700-9999-2E2AE70645C6
    1 – 2
    1 – 4
    1 – 5
    buccinator (n): from Internet: ‘a thin quadrilateral muscle occupying the interval between the maxilla and the mandible at the side of the face.’
    “The floor is covered with a dark grey carpet of spiky shag;”
    “True enough, I’ve expected this for a while, but this doesn’t make the surprise any less spiky.”
    “This is how far we’ve come, nothing rattles us anymore; nothing seems out of the ordinary.”
    “‘Why are you not in the lounge?’ he asks.
    ‘Fancied a change.’”
    “, you showed him the canal boats dancing in the air.”
    The reader fades in and out of existence, the flesh of the reading face melting and hardening by turns. I really did feel that. The onion bhaji floating on the magic carpet of my breath, notwithstanding.
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