ok ok ok
I’ll try to isolate Mason’s readings from the krautrock accompaniment and post them over after the weekend.
Pacchiarotto, and How He Worked in Distemper
Not sure I know a collection that’s so weirdly formally aggressive - responding to charges of obscurity by offering clear narrative in battered doggerel & ugly shock rhymes. ‘At The Mermaid’ is a remarkable fuck-you - who ventriloquizes Shakespeare?
Browning’s Birthday – May 7th, PUT IT IN YOUR... →
idiot/dog asking key questions, and i bang on in the comments.
At the very end of The Ring and the Book Browning delivers one of the most...– Daniel Karlin in the LRB (It is an astonishing moment. I couldn’t quite believe it when I read it.)
Again, I’m not sure why Mason chose to read...
So yeah, here’s James Mason’s reading...
see everyone is talking about him →
I take that final line + its itals + q marks as being a trapdoor or series of trapdoors that drop under us and leave us falling from the poem, then through Lear until here we are standing outside this blank enclosed artifact again, the knight trapped in “sheet of flame”, the empty journey complete. Someone has been telling us an eerie story with horrid determination, but we only know...
Browning talk everywhere, really feel the movement... →
"Hear what I never was, but might have been / I'...
Prince Hohenstiel-Schwangau, Saviour of Society a poem for late 90s/millenial anti-utopian impulse - the failure to do anything justified by immense ramble on grub-first-then-ethics, silliness of big reforming ideas etc etc. The apologetics of mediocrity, of decay. Not an easy read (I am 1/2-way) but there’s always something in these big lost things of the 70s.
How It Strikes a Contemporary
Terrifying. Poets are spies sent out by the universe to report back to the malign force that created it. Unacknowledged legislators can be evil, of course.
"what was called the Cord,/ Or Vigil-torture more...
Once you've finished the Ring and the Book…
The rest looks like a trot. The Inn Album? An afternoon’s work! Fifine at the Fair? I’ll knock it off on my commute.
All English epics rewrite Paradise Lost. How does...
Murdered Pompilia is a redeemed Eve. Unsexed, static, sainted. B likes virgins, murder, stasis. Fatherless Pompilia = the feminine as uncorrupted by male plastics, her voice a liberation from syntactic fracture & bravo rhetoric - blank virginal zone/purity of style (tho’ the next section of the Ring and the Book hacks at our attempts to judge things by style - Hyacinthus fusses over...
Ring and the Book secretly about…
The 1690s in England, not Rome. Manipulation of monies: the broke old class engaged in fraudulent commerce with rising mercantile class. Critical reason in the public sphere: half-rome, other half-rome and tertium quid are essays on knowledge and judgement in the polis. “there’s a new tribunal now higher than god’s – the educated man’s” Dynastic politics: stuart...