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The Beautiful Gelreesh – Jeffrey Ford

Today, a different reader as Proustian self from the Proustian self HERE when reviewing the VanderMeers’ massive ‘The WEIRD’, I have taken advantage of a reappraising mood, in the context of  the later self’s more recent reading, to re-engage with The Beautiful Gelreesh by Jeffrey Ford.

“Although the garden appeared to be at the height of summer life, this adjacent stretch of forest, leading toward the sea, was forever trapped in autumn.”

…trapped in autumn, consorting with Prince November, as many of you know who read the original real-time review of ‘The WEIRD’, was a strong seam through the fabric of my reading. The Summer People – given salvation, here, with the Autumn of Salvation, by some messenger who turns out to be the message (Like Christ?). A way out from the Ligottian ‘knots’ – like Cisco’s Genius of Assassins that I reviewed again yesterday and remarkably, like another story I happened to review yesterday in a different book, Douglas Thompson’s Escaladore (incredibly so).  Here, in the Ford, again we have the ‘travel as chore’ syndrome of ‘The WEIRD’, now made a slipping away by geographically fabulous messages about your whereabouts following the easement of your death.  Plus a telling reference, I feel, to Denis Diderot’s ‘Le Neveu de Rameau’. Another example of the Pet Syndrome (“man’s best friend“) of ‘The WEIRD’ – “the boy’s cage” – for me, not a message in a bottle, but a relic in a reliquary. The reliquary of this story, of the book it’s now buried within. How did I miss this valuable bone before? This morning, the story shines out: now ready to fly or simply to preen its wisdom quietly.

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