Continuation of my GRTR from HERE: ‘The Transfiguration of Mister Punch’ – Egaeus Press

This continuation will be shown in the comment stream below as and when I read this book:

8 responses to “*

  1. MEMORABILIA: An Evening’s Entertainment For Two Players – D.P. Watt

    Before I commence reading this second item in the book, here are my connections with Mister Watt.

    The InkerMen Press under his leadership published my collection THE LAST BALCONY (2012) and my novella WEIRDTONGUE (2011).

    He has also had stories published in these three of my anthologies: NULL IMMORTALIS, THE HORROR ANTHOLOGY OF HORROR ANTHOLOGIES and THE FIRST BOOK OF CLASSICAL HORROR STORIES.

    My past GRTRs of some of his own published work:
    An Emporium of Automata
    The Ten Dictates of Alfred Tesseller

    And my GRTR of a book called BOOK published by The InkerMen Press.

  2. From ‘Nemonymous Night‘ (Chomu Press 2011): “Hawling was not dissimilar to being a liftman, pressing the buttons, allowing beings to board or disembark as each floor light flashed and resulted in the lift-doors sliding aside … new strangers coming in, old strangers leaving, but there was more to hawling than that – ”

    MEMORABILIA: An Evening’s Entertainment For Two Players – D.P. Watt
    Pages 87 – 94
    “And what do we have here, to start us off on our merry adventure?”
    And what do we have here? An intriguing prelude in two sections whereby we learn of Mr Hawling’s collection, and another possibly puckish showman engagingly addressing me as the reader he specifically addresses about the collection’s memorabilia and his determination to set out a connected entertainment in four sub-divided hours with contained stories. Or so I guess, by looking briefly ahead at the book’s headings.
    “…and at its heart beats the pulse of that great anarchic spirit, Mr Punch,…”

  3. I once saw the opera ‘Punch & Judy’ by Harrison Birtwistle on TV many years ago, probably longer ago than you’ve been alive. Britten walked out of the first performance. A Petrushkan Punch as a serial killer. The first ‘story’ by Watt below mentions Pulcinella as a watermark in fine paper, the name of a ballet by Stravinsky that reminds me of another work by Stravinsky, Petrushka, music that features in Watt’s story ‘Vertep’ in my own edited Classical Music Horror Anthology…

    With Gravity, Grace – Pages 94 to 106
    “…a being that is, in essence, all of us, and none.”
    This is a very powerful story of a puppet-maker commissioned by that initial watermarked fine paper to make an intricate puppet, which we are allowed to look over his shoulder doing, with meticulous beautiful detail. There is an intensely poignant entropy at work here, though, whether from the Masonic (?) puppetry organisation who commissioned it, or an inverse parallel with the puppet-maker’s own bereavement and his anti-entropic recreation of she who had bereaved him. Whatever the case, this is a very fine counterpoint – one that is eventually and finally entropic. Or is it? The last two words in Watt’s story – that I won’t give away here – has a very telling (unintentional?) link with the Schneider work, a link that again makes the work aspirationally anti-entropic.

  4. Oh, Pretty Polly! – Pages 107 to 122
    “I selected our little Polly because she moves us on so perfectly from our last tale to the next.”
    Here, for me, Watt entrancingly takes us into a Puppet Proust, alliterative character names, unrequited and obsessive love, and into what I Imagine to be the staccato movements of both ugliness and beauty moving within the proscenium arch of my fiction antennae – paralleling the previous story, that previous movement of Hawling’s Suite Bergamasque (as I call it), with the self-harm that man somehow imposes on others, here the male protagonist imposing it on his unrequited love as a deliberate entropy… Here a more fast- than slow-motion Invitation to the Dance.

  5. The Mechanised Eccentric – Pages 123 to 141
    “…we will be rendered masks upon dolls,…”
    This is a genuine masterpiece in the evocation of the theatre as gestalt, together with leitmotifs of artifice and truth, of masks and dramatic mechanics, about Jarry by Jarry, yet much more – reminiscences of the theatrical horror of Reggie Oliver, the politics of free love, the shrinkage to and from humanity or puppetry, and, significantly, the ‘self-harm’ toward one’s own creations (of which I myself am probably guilty), an entropic self-harm that was earlier subtly adumbrated by the previous two Watt ‘stories’ in this book … leading to a realisation that we are all wrapped up in one’s own artistic projects, the inner world of self that blocks out others’ artistic projects as a result…. All this surrounding a most poignant study of a female protagonist caught up in this story’s theatre of projects in the literal sense of the word ‘project’ of throwing visions forward as well as back (deject?) – a disembodied/embodied cross between the silent films of the era in which she lived and our own full colour versions.

  6. In Comes I – Pages 143 to 158
    “The overall effect was horrific, but more from a childish, clown-like quality than anything tangibly malevolent.”
    Yet, in spite (or, retrocausally, because) of the narrator’s Hawling intermissions, with refreshing, carefully chosen drinks, perhaps to inebriate us away from dwelling too much on the horror, I would not discount the malevolent. This is a tale of a rogue policeman who is also part of the seasonal Mummers theatrical group who gets his “comeuppance” (or should that be comedownance?) in a Bosch and Picasso-like vision of Mr Punch and other grotesqueries associated with Mummers in a sudden non-linear universe that comes upon him. Indeed, I begin to wonder – as a result of the four-parted whole of this disturbing (but sometimes uplifting) Suite Bergamasque by Mister Watt via Mister Hawling (or vice versa) – whether this Suite’s audit trail is vertical rather than the more usual horizontal that we imagine Time to follow and rather than the horizontal that we imagine various spectrums to follow, spectrums like those for good and evil, love and hate, truth and fiction, man and puppet, entropy and anti-entropy…
    Entropy seen as a two-way lift rather than a straight path between life and death.

    LATER EDIT: With Grace, Gravity

  7. This GRTR will continue HERE in due course.

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