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Quintet: Themes and Variations (Anglais) Broché – décembre 2001


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Links 16 octobre 1998
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
 October 13, 1998 For those into quick reviews: This is the best anthology I have read in ten years, perhaps closer to twenty. From the jacket copy, "Each section of the book takes its impulse from a particular theme, and these themes are linked within the manuscript in a renga-like fashion." After reading the book, I went back to a book (Renga: A CHAIN OF POEMS) which Octavio Paz and three others did in 1971 which seemed an analog, of sorts. Aside from the chain aspect, the books have little in common, but, as usual, Paz' introductory essay is valuable: The element of combination consists in the making of a poem by a group of poets; following a circular order, each poet in succession writes his stanza in turn, and his intervention is repeated several times. It is a movement of rotation, which little by little, delineates the text, from which neither calculation nor chance I will go further: It is a movement in whichis excluded. " calculation prepares for the appearance of chance. I underline that the renga is not a combination of signs, but a combination of makers of signs: of poets. At another point, Paz, obliquely suggests that the linking is a westernization of an eastern idea, despite his own version of the convention. QUINTET, given both themes and variations, is perhaps closer to western Baroque music than the original concept of renga. Enough yap about theory. Let a mid-book selection speak as synecdoche: "If Only If only I had a name like Born-With-a-Tooth. If only I, too, could enjoy a remarkable Indian summer. If only my diary could replace my life. If only my diary were not replacing my life. If only I lived between the lines of a pastoral poem. If only I lived between the lines of any poem. If only I could pull myself up by my bootstraps. If only I had bootstraps. If only I could understand the deep structure of my computer, of myself, my children. If only I could remember the meaning of ‛strange attractor.' If only most of the men I love were not dead white males. If only God were watching me. If only God were not watching me. If only I could remember Indo-European roots. If only postmodernism would go away. If only ism would go away. If only I had written , La chaire est triste, hélas, et j'‛ai lu tous les livres. If only an angel would appar to me as one did to Caedmon and command, 'Sing me something.' If only I knew how Sir Thomas More really pronounced 'custard.' If only I could be mad and eloquent like Kit Smart-but then I'd be put away, as he was. If only I could write "‛Heighho', yawned one day King Francis"and not be thought precious and archaic. If only there were some way to end and open-ended poem." -Jean Mallinson J. Michael Yates
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