THE LIGHT is ALONE by Thomas Phillips
My Real-Time Review continued from HERE is shown in the comment stream below on this page.
This book is one of the latest constituents of my Ex Occidente Press collection shown below as of today:
And this photo with ‘The Last Thinkers’ set turned back the other way and ‘The Light Is Alone’ missing (as I’m reading it):
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The book’s title on its title pages is identical to this format:
THE LIGHT is ALONE
“Enter, the door’s open.”
This Proustian and Ligottian and Phillipsian title story (just read) is an extended prose poem. A low hum of an industrial low end. The stop sign says stop. Being led towards a light in an urban bereftness of authentic darkness. I somehow find myself using a few of its phrases as though I am its author… It is wonderful and, immodestly, it also reminds me of my own ‘candle dreaming’. And there is something really mind-blowing about a light being alone. A concept and phrase that first occurred to you when you first saw the title of this book. As I was reading this piece, I thought the book was describing itself.
[Wasn’t HPL’s middle name ‘Phillips’?]
Ov Fire and the Void
“Fire. Fury. Fuehrer. Endless sun.”
I have lived on a ‘coastal front’ for the last 19 years so now do I not only think I might be the author of this work but also in the story itself. Many times we hear of a new voice in literature, but this one is a genuine new voice with a timbre of text that I find engaging yet unique. In this movement of the overall book’s gestalt of an unknown, just rediscovered, Scriabin piano sonata, one that followed his Black Mass sonata (I sense), perhaps a Blackened or to-be-charred one? There is also something passive about this gestalt, noises at night (again mentioned, I recall, in the previous story): but a passiveness charged with a paradoxical forthrightness.
Here we gambol in the bright hot sun, not of some climate-change extended-metaphor as some may interpret it, but rather a ritual diaspora of souls in a heat plague, a coda to the rituals of the Master and Alyssa. And the style has by now developed a perfect overdrive. I wonder if the OV in the title is short for overdrive. Avoiding a ’tissue death’, where readers as ‘heat apostles’ seek an extra gear in their reading synchromesh.
“We huddled and joked with one another, the nervous humor of people on the brink of lurid catastrophe, certain death at the hands of a demon.”
Keep Holy the Sabbath – pages 56 to 66
“Listen to the noise in the night,…”
And the passiveness theme comes into full blossom here with a new pupil – Alice (Alyssa?) – travelling by the ultimate passiveness we are told (aeroplane) to a girls’ school in Switzerland and, with a prose style in sublime cumulative overdrive, we learn of her jetlag and a girl’s instinctive passive opening herself to forthright fate and her meeting of another girl with a dark backstory and a driver who had driven Alice to the school from the airport whom she initially called her ‘champion’…
I promise no plot spoilers as I later complete this story and this book. But I sense that as she hears explicit classical music when she arrived at the school we may be right in believing in the importance of such a leitmotif force in literature even when classical music (modern or otherwise) is not explicit.
Keep Holy the Sabbath – pages 66 to 76
“How is Bacchic time different from banal time?”
Here passiveness becomes its own passion, not necessarily a girl’s ultimate passiveness of bed-wetting, nor the Passion of a Christ but the passive passion of an adolescent rite of passage where ideals shatter and champions disgrace themselves, and skin becomes leather in a new heat plague. And with the mention of Bartok and Penderecki, I sense, with more than just hints or allusions from the text, a new religion created from modern classical music. Beyond the reach of blasphemy. The New Noises in the Night.
Alyssa and Alice bracketing this book with noise or music?
“The music is deafening. She’s nearly swallowed by color and shadows,…”
And I think I know now why ‘Light’ in the book’s title has a blue font. A rebirth. Alone.
“We share the sky, therefore we are.”
En Attendant Le Diable : (A play for chorus in one act)
And in one short page. Dabbling with Diabelli.
“The sky is opening.”
Regarding ‘Keep Holy the Sabbath’ above, I have now reviewed another book where a small girl character has a similar relationship with her driver: http://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2013/11/12/the-young-dictator-rhys-hughes/#comment-1321