Publisher’s description here: http://www.exoccidente.com/dehiscence.html
On final page of this book: “‘Dehiscence’ has been limited to 158 numbered copies for sale, plus extra copies, which are reserved for private distribution. This is copy number” 24 (in red ink)
64 pages – with hedonistic cover, partly spine-overlapped decadent shivery hardish velvet to the touch in black (and I have been told by a third party that this is some weird animal hide). Luxury stiff paper pages. Stitched to your reading-skin.
EXPOSITION INTERNATIONALE – Bucharest – MMXIII
Pages 9-15: “History too was a passion, and everywhere oozed with it.”
An Anita-Brooknerian-type soul, of conspiratorial mien, displanted, in the 1970s, to Planty Park and its environs for shopwork in the shadow of Europe’s ultimate pain. An achingly delicious, immaculate English prose undeniably to die for, and one can imagine its words throbbing into Polish rather than being translated…
Bereft destiny was ever such for him whether he had been displanted or not? (8/2/13)
THE ABOVE NEW-STYLE REAL-TIME REVIEW WILL CONTINUE BELOW IN THE COMMENTS TO THIS POST.
One Response to DEHISCENCE by D. P. Watt
- This is a ‘section’ of my wife’s created quilt (most of it shown here). I have today sequestered this quilt as a physical feature of my writing-office and it somehow seems in keeping (“the northern sides of the mountains in the beginning of May are entirely empurpled by it.”) with my reading of Watt’s achingly delicious, drop dead gorgeous, Baudelairean ‘flower press’ section below. The prose is so heady, my head (already big) further engorged with it.
Pages 17 – 24
“The broken crackle of your petticoats is merely the chuckle of death,…”
Dehiscence is the opening of an old wound or an associated horticultural term. I dreamed of the word ‘decence’ last night (as a form of ‘decency’ that seems to resonate with this book’s title). Also this section is headed ‘provenance’ (as you can see from my post yesterday above), and the UK news today is about the ‘provenance’: a word actually used on the radio news this morning for the nature of meat products as food, and their audit trail from animal to plate. You see, there is some crisis concerning horsemeat dressed up as beef and there also seems to be some connection (explicitly, according to the news today) with a Romanian abattoir.
From Planty Park to real plant-life in this section, deplantation or deracination – and a studious object as book (not dissimilar to that in Reggie Oliver’s ‘Flowers of the Sea’ in some oblique way) regarding relationships (like that with a wife and her quilt?): their provenance of memory as well as an impending deathly dementia or ephemerality, and the quiet, considered appreciation of objects as mainstays – some more permanent than others in this world of pervasive decay.
“…whose laugh is as grating as the whinny of his horse, his breath as foul as its dung.”
[Perhaps the significant thing is that some people say horsemeat is better to eat even than beef!] (Feb 9 2013)
Pages 27 – 35
“…the fields upon which the cows graze to make the produce that litters their groaning tables…”
I sense the shopkeeper from the first section continues to grace these pages, And here a charming, engaging tale of another object, here a ‘peepshow box’ and its salesman/storyteller that Aickmanily creates the difference between a ‘root’ and ‘a route’ toward ‘real’ idylls of live puppethood. Charming, engaging, yes, but disturbing by again cross-sectioning the decay-reality of, here, “horseshit” etc against the eternal ‘real’ truth of fiction itself. Why disturbing? Because you sense that horseshit will win out … unless the rest of this book manages to transcend the untranscendable, a feat that will have “allowed those brief narratives to come to life…”? Meanwhile, this first ‘fragment’ has a prelude with horticultural tips or intangible flower presses, those flowers of some distant inner sea of memory, flowers that will flourish, I infer, as long as I keep “observing to water them gently, until they have taken route,…”
[Anamnnesis:: Cf Watt's story in 'The First Book of Classical Horror Stories' (2012), i.e. Anemnesis In Extremis,]
The extramural image by Tony Lovell.
Pages 37 – 41
“Boxes of toys are the eeriest things.”
Here in the 2nd fragment, another immaculately engaging, haunting tale of the totemic power or magic of objects in one’s confrontation with death (as I see it). The object that the shopkeeper in Poland ‘touches’ is from within a box of toys, a Russian Doll, and brings back the box-within-box of life and the faces you meet during life, touching further upon a sanatorium for the tubercular and the doll’s owner’s inferred wandering in the past of this sanitorium’s kitchens as well as of its wards. I happen to have been struggling yesterday to think of the word ‘sanitorium’ which was on the tip of my tongue and which I eventually managed to think of when posting this snippet about Aickman’s Hospice regarding a comparison with Thomas Mann I was simultaneously discussing on an on-line forum. It somehow today gathers a new relevance! And this box-within-box, face-within-face, enfolding like, I imagine, the time-grafting of horticultural plants within each other, leads us to a very telling conclusion of this ‘fragment’ that entails, it seems, the discovery of the relived loving origin of one’s own existence itself – or, perhaps ironically in the context of this book, of another opening of an old wound, a fleshy or meaty wound, if you think of Gustave Courbet’s famous painting from 1866 which is actually entitled ‘The Origin of the World’. [Please do NOT google the image of this painting nor the google images, indeed, for the word 'dehiscence' if you are faint-hearted or too young to know.]
The image by Tony Lovell
February 11, 2013 at 8:16 am
As mentioned earlier in this review, it has been main headline news in UK: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21401111 regarding a Romanian abattoir. Nothing established for certain as I write this.
First, I was wondering about the cat’s meat trade — as depicted in my novella WEIRDTONGUE (The InkerMen Press 2010) — and whether such trade between the UK and Middle Europe was a staggering premonition of similar news in 2013. Or was ‘Weirdtongue’ indeed affected retrocausally?
Also, here, as you can see, I am still real-time reviewing DEHISCENCE, a quilted patchwork novella published a few weeks ago in Romania, the plot of which seeming at least obliquely relevant to this news issue. Like a few of the publisher’s previous ‘Last Thinkers’ books, this one seems bound in some unknown animal skin, an arguable phenomenon that I think you can see from this photo I’ve just taken:
No sign of this skin dehiscing. It is a very well made book:
February 11, 2013 at 12:54 pm I should make it clear that the images used in this review are chosen by me while each section in the book has its own black and white photo image that may affect your reading of the text, and title headings with Latin names for flowers and each section’s main new character’s name, often abbreviated with a dot or with an old-literary-fashioned dash that makes names and places and years, say, London, into L—-, and 1982, into 198-. Also to again make clear that the prose style is absolutely perfect, matchless, heady, engorging, spiritu–.
The scent of leather rose to my nostrils like the fungal bloom of the earth, drenched with the urine of its beasts,…”
The shopkeeper, in this section handles a new object, an old suitcase, marked with the enticingly interpretable stigmata of a whore or of a blessed sainted woman who visited Nazareth (cf my favourite book from 2012: The Aesthete Hagiographer), and I use that ‘or’ advisedly, reeking with her ‘gustave courbet’ dehiscence or with something far more in keeping with today’s news when a Pope has unexpectedly resigned, the first Pope to do so for 600 years. This book is redolent with far more than itself. Meat as well as spiritu—-.
Pages 51 – 57
“It is a hardy perennial, and propagated by parting its roots in autumn.”
Here the shopkeeper’s object is appropriately a doctor’s speculum – and this section has reaped the totemic object, this thing-of-memories-of-its-owner, and enwraps, nay enraptures, the rest of the book with enormous power of monstrousness that might lie beyond the literal ‘skin’ of this book, as I clarified above this book is bound. I will not spoil this section by saying more about it, but you will never forget it, if you’re like me. It just seems I have been on the right track all along. The mix of the grotesquely common (such as one’s body from a single skin-template) with something enormously uncommon: its you inside. And then finding ‘black rot’ with which you can mulch your future growth in confrontation with decay, thus achieving provenance by death? “He could as easily deliver a child as administer the final relief to a suffering body.” Both dealing with a dehiscence?
A short piece. The shopkeeper’s debriefing that I had already felt within me before reading it, as evidenced above. I hope I am not being impertinent in saying that. The plant-life of unspaced en dashes for dashes instead of em dashes (with or without spaces either side)…
I have no hesitation to say that – based on my reading of it – this book is something truly special.