Friday, 21 March 2008

20 the great impediment valve & other stories

april 2006
148mm x 210mm
28 pages, printed cover
24 copies

Four stories written in 2005-06 - The Great Impediment Valve, The Handsome Senior Administrator, The Baggage Carrier and The Clergyman. The basic mechanics of the stories were the lists of homophones, homonyms and word definitions extracted from the four source texts, to which these stories otherwise bear no relation. The only rule was that the extracted words needed to be used in the same order for the new stories, which took me, and the characters, in directions they wouldn't otherwise have taken. Which was precisely the point. In this regard, it's worth quoting Harry Mathews from his foreword to Immeasurable Distances, in which he says: "The written word, like the languages of the other arts, constitutes a predetermined, autonomous system. The primacy of subject matter, or 'depth', is a distracting cultural illusion - there exists only surface and a reader bringing awareness to bear on it. In terms of the age-old poetic tradition of truth-telling, writing the truth means not representation but invention."

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