“TARSHISHIM – boxed limited edition” by Ron Weighell

tarshI was lucky enough to receive this for Christmas today – as a present from one of my close family. In due course, I shall append below a real-time review of this work of literature. (25 Dec 11)

A double-sided box – plush and sturdy: with red-mottled linings to die for. On spine of box: <<TARSHÍSHÍM by Ron Weíghell. Passport Levant.>> There is much design or artwork in the contents of this box (as well as the box itself) that I currently understand has been perpetrated by Santiago Caruso.  I shall broadly refer to these designs etc. (I hope) during my forthcoming real-time review to appear below on this page (please see list here for all my previous reviews and here specifically for my previous Ex Occidente Press reviews). At a preliminary glance, the contents are (i) tied up by a ribbon of indeterminate material, many sheets of fine-quality, loose-leaf, yellow sheets with pictures and text (the top sheet saying: “Summoning of Ancient Dust” – Journal Notes) — plus, separately, (ii) a landscape-format sturdy hardback book (‘The Tears of the Gods’ by Ron Weighell) with stiff black dust-jacket, red end-papers and red board-covers: and about 140 stiff-quality pages.  At the  end of this book: “…an edition of 107 copies, of which this is No. 80”. The ’80’ looks as if it is pencil but I dare not check with a rubber. (27 Dec 11)

To give some idea of the artwork, please see HERE (rather than myself, an inexpert artistic eye, commenting upon it, although I can safely say it is, for me, skilful and evocative and magical from what I’ve seen of it so far): although I have NOT discovered (as yet) a silk pouch with mandrake seeds or a celestial map or some “double-pages illustrations by Santiago Caruso, expressly done for The Tears of the Gods, printed on thick deluxe paper”!

Starting with ‘The Tears of the Gods’ book:

Consorting with Angels

“Who owns the region owns the religion. But is it not equally true that who rules the religion rules the region?”

Amid much mythic name-checking from various occult or arcane regions or religions, we learn of Holy Roman Emperors and a form of wondrous Star Chamber edifice on the outskirts of Prague – and, inter alios, Dee involved with the creation, by astrology or alchemy or sheer magic wordplay (as enhanced by the book’s private artwork), of an Angel Cage and the synergy, symbiosis, host/parasite relations of human and angel, and my own inferences of (mock?)-esoteric-language and Lovecraftian-feel of conspiracies surrounding it.  I am practised in astrological harmonics myself, but I’m not sure I believe in them – but, equally, I often wonder at the correlations produced. Also, personally, this is a real-time review so I am giving initial reactions: scratching the surface: and I can already tell it will require several readings to eke out its full “sweet syrup“.  Having said that, I already sense a power beyond the words, a pervasion of or by a ‘magic fiction’ (as I have defined it publicly in the past) that indeed often subsumes reality itself.  The apparent glitches, too, like “like – minded” rather than “like-minded”, and “Stone-Hinge on Salisbury Plain” and “supercellestial” feel deliberate… meaningful. (27 Dec 11 – two hours later)

A Sudden Sunshine

“Through an opening can be glimpsed a garden stunned to utter stillness by the summer heat. It is a vision of intricate knots, topiary and marble statues.”

A brief tarramadiddle that I may later fit into some hindsight context of this book – wondrous prose in itself, nevertheless, about an old man in dialogue with a Thames-side enarboured diadem demoiselle, ‘knots’, for me, being translated as ‘ligotti’ and Angelic kings as Angevins…  Polish : Polar. (27 Dec 11 – two hours later)

The Black Lake of Night

“Because it is within Man’s power to seek wisdom does not mean that it is within his power to find it.”

Ranging from Dvorakian-Rusalkan “water goblins” toward – what I sense to be – this book’s continual seeking of craftsmen in “minuterie” to assist – via a hindsight of erstwhile retrocausality – with Dee’s Angel Cage (here involving Tycho Brahe in a word-materialising Prague). Weighell’s prose style itself is part of that synergy of “minuterie” – as is, for me, the synergous prose style here: Allurements of Cabochon – by John Gale. Also a “demon tamer“, and images to die for or to be set in ‘bas relief’.  Hell and Heaven worked together by “intaglios” – but which the host, which the parasite?: I find myself asking for no reason.  There is incidentally a ‘hell’ in ‘weighell’. And nearly in ‘angel‘… (28 Dec 11)

The Summe and Substance of the Conference

That was undeniably unfortunate; an example of the Law of Unintended Consequences.”

A hilarious human-nature ‘racism’ fable, encompassing London fires or freeze-ups, blamed on Angels or those who encourage them? Well, not quite. But you’ll get the message when you read it: as you continue to delight in the book-sturdy prose with its hard gems as well syrupy lightnesses – and brotherships as well as magical powers in Limehouse, Wapping etc. And a reprise of ‘polar’ makes me think ‘Plague’ is a deliberate assonance with ‘Prague’! At least on frozen rivers, you can put a fair. (28 Dec 11 – another 2 hours later)

[Just realised that I have real-time reviewed Weighell fiction before – ‘The World Entire’ here. And then, when double-checking, that this was exactly two years ago today!] (28 Dec 11 – another hour later)

This real-time review now continues HERE.


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