THE NEW FATE by Jonathan Wood

The description of this book I’ve just purchased from the publisher does not yet seem to be shown here: but, in any event, I do not wish to read any extraneous information about it till I have finished my real-time review of it.

A Last Thinkers Edition. 64 pages – with hedonistic cover, a sturdy strokeable luxury book backed by bock-skin (my description of the surface-to-touch effect of which I’ve attempted to give some inkling below in one of my photographs). Stiff paper pages. Stitched to your reading-skin.





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16 responses to “THE NEW FATE by Jonathan Wood

  1. newfate7

    Pages 9 – 12
    “Your inner-men stand silent and blink, awaiting your move.”
    This book’s publisher does much of his business via Ligotti’s channels, literally as well as figuratively. But this textual outset tells of your (the reader’s) next move of Destiny (silent and blink, or silent and blank?) – not imbued with Ligottian puppets but with Woodian inner-men (as a symbiotic “mirror river” between?). A deeply textured prose on textured paper so far which I am testing out with my reading-voice…chimerical or not.

  2. 1g2Pages 12 – 17
    “You can see me on this balcony, can’t you? You know what it is like!”
    There seems something more than just this single reference about balconies and about things that I would personally hang upon the quote below from John Fowles (inner-men and outer men alike) – all resonating with me.
    I keep my powder dry, as I sense the book’s protagonist is about to be introduced… Tomorrow or soon after, I will I take up this enticing book again….

    “The nemo is an evolutionary force, as necessary as the ego. The ego is certainty, what I am; the nemo is potentiality, what I am not. But instead of utilizing the nemo as we would utilize any other force, we allow ourselves to be terrified by it, as primitive man was terrified by lightning. We run screaming from this mysterious shape in the middle of our town, even though the real terror is not in itself, but in our terror at it.”
    — John Fowles 1964 (from ‘The Necessity of Nemo’ in ‘The Aristos’)

    Above image by Tony Lovell (not from this book)

  3. Meanwhile, here are two reviews I once carried out on two Jonathan Wood stories HERE and HERE.

    [All my Ex Occidente Press reviews HERE.]

  4. Some information from Mark Valentine about Jonathan Wood in various places on this page including the statement: “…Mr Wood is one of the great under-regarded independent press writers of our period.”

  5. “At the time of his absconding he wore a white coat with blue collar and cuffs, and epaulets of false gold, a short white waistcoat, and bock-skin breeches;”
    — from THE ANNUAL REGISTER 1813: Edited by Edmund Burke

  6. newfate8
    Pages 17 – 21
    The shadows from the flames would grow longer and the embers would spit and sing their song of destiny…”
    Two brothers …and now that I have read this section of pages I wonder whether there is some essential truth in fabrication, in the fabrication of a simple past that our souls can exploit when trying to counteract the entropy of Mother Nature itself as ironically presaged by that quote from the Annual Register that I just (then) gratuitously made above via this strokeable book’s back. The narrator, for me, is the ‘ego’ brother shadowed by the wavering flame of his ‘nemo’ brother, and we readers a literary-holy communion of their imputed third ‘id’ brother manufactured by the text? Whatever the case, the prose is wonderful, the simplicities of family life conjured brilliantly as foiled by the more complex entropies around them, with revery and reflection factored in. Look away from this book, as one brother is said to look away from the other brother, and it may cease to exist, despite its sumptuously decked-out stitched bock-skin stiffness manufactured to contrast with the emotions its text poetically and ‘traditionally’ addresses?

  7. Pages 21 – 27
    “…we would map them into books of the finest hand-made paper and note every variance and every emotional or post-spiritual response that we had.”
    We follow our two brothers, him and me, to a castle university where its own tangibility as structure and sculptural art is cohered with that same hands-on palimpsests of books … and paintings stiff-laid upon “highly textured canvas”…. We can feel, by utter contrast, the otherwise real attenuation of the walking-off of the other brother amid our student countryside rambles. The prose in which this spiritual journey couches itself is simply to die for.

  8. n013aaPages 27 – 33
    “I would like to shed Pieter’s influence and kinship like a snake skin into the fire, dropping like a clattering corpse husk onto the marble flagstones.”
    The Holy Fratrinity (my expression, not the book’s) dwells now on the art of introspection and dream, the latter from this book’s contrastive sinking down “deeply into the ancient oak casket”, whence comes a (fearsome?) glimpse perhaps of the New Fate itself beyond Mother Nature’s furrows into which we were born, and towards which New Fate Pieter draws himself, me (Karl or Klaus?) and us (me as reader).

    My photo image, not the book’s.

  9. newfate9
    An image by Tony Lovell, not the book’s.

    Pages 34 – 45
    “It was like stepping into the finest abstract painting -“
    I have read much rarefied fiction in the past few years, particularly through the awe-inspiring auspices of Ex Occidente Press, but none as rarefied as this book. The visionary power of this Fratrinity, as I call it, to and fro (retro)causally in a William Morris / almost Pieter Mondrian gestalt (a gestalt of Wagnerian leitmotifs of idyllic parents, sibling symbiotic rivalry, sun, moon, snake, introspection, revery/reflection, sculpture, a castle’s Parsifal-ian studentship, rune clock, the earlier trumpet and balcony, the imputedly theosophical yearnings for a New Fate &c) is spiritually breath-taking.

  10. tony lovell

    I want to paint over this but feel loathe to now I know Des likes it. It’s meant to be a woodland path.

  11. newfate10
    Pages 45 – 61
    “…the torn and burnt fragments of the page of a book hugging the masonry below my window,…”
    I shall not, cannot, impart this book’s ending. It brought tears to my eyes. But it carries the story back to the ‘idyllic’ homestead and encapsulates all the fears and wonders of this book’s waking dream, the gestalt list that I wrote in the last entry above, and whether heroism is enough, or whether heroism can be corrupted. From within or without. Look thee in the mirror. We all know whose favourite music was ‘Parsifal’, for example. It’s mine, too. The Old Gods. Baser mettle…
    The genius of this book, for me, is leaving the question open: its answer residing somewhere between, say, the FEELINGS imbued within (i) this passage from one of my favourite books (i.e. from ‘Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard’ by Eleanor Farjeon) and (ii), immodestly but it seems an adequate, ready-to-hand example of what I mean, my own ‘Last Balcony’ prose piece written a few years ago. Or both of these, completing this author’s “coil” with you, too?
    This book has opened many new balcony-doors for me. I can give it no greater praise.


  12. for my complete list of Zagava – Ex Occidente Press books.
    Any of my WordPress sites marked as private can be reached by other WordPress users by inserting their normal details then clicking ‘request access’.


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