A Letter, in Haste, to Nanni Cagnone
by Angus Fletcher
Angus Fletcher   Where are you? I suppose in this room — which “this?” THIS room. THAT one? In the castle of Elsinore, to get to the Queen’s bedroom, you bad to pass through several other bedrooms, en route. Possibilities of the “clarity of incest” occurring to you, en route, were you Hamlet, for example.
Academically, à la polonaise, I’d better first-off smite the sledded polack on the ice: your book (What’s Hecuba to Him or He to Hecuba?) is a book, p-b covers simulating the hard white treacle they paint on reinforced concrete walls of modern buildings, an irregular texture of matte stripings; on the spine a strange word —“oolp”— some kind of last gasp, I suppose, the sound a dignified matron would emit if, out of London, she almost slipped on a banana-peel — she promenades by the sea, at Brighton, and almost slips, recovers, and, aware of Others, emits a vaguely flatulent “oolp.” [cf. the secretary in John Barth’s Floating Opera — another story]
Inside the covers, elegant layout — use of margins for visual beauty of the text, and for a frame of visual silence: each page = a visual anechoic chamber, therefore the “real” stanza is the white part of the page, not the printed verses. Still more like Polonius, ever briefer and more tedious, I note, Nanni, unlike your prologuizer, Tomaso Kemeny, you never (?) use the word “labyrinth,” nor do you attempt to amaze your reader. As I see it, you avoid the ratio of temple and maze, because you wish to speak the truth about thresholds, which are the crossings between temple and maze: ie, the prophetic junctures (in a linguistic as well as a mythic sense), Roussel’s seuils, necessary non-experiences of the meaning of being deserted, required of the vates, before he is awarded his diplome d’hautes prophéties. Ah, poor Jonah... back to the whale-road, meboy!
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