(ed. John Thomas Allen)
The poet John Thomas Allen is on a mission. From reading the introduction to this short but powerful anthology; Nouveau’s Midnight Sun, comes an urgency very unique to 21st Century English language poetry, is it something not seen since the doings inside The Cabaret Voltaire almost a century ago? And it enters the living rooms of a rather sick and ailing western psyche right on time, as far as I can see.
While pictorial art has made many more inroads through the surrealist attack on what was once called ‘the bourgeois mindset’, or ‘culture’, the word, the written arts (that Artaud would not deign to degrade by calling them ‘literary’ or ‘literature’) have always had a much rougher ride, particularly outside of their native (and now ‘ancestral’?) tongue; French. We are children of the surreal, whether we’re aware of it or not.
Nouveau’s Midnight Sun,
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John Thomas Allen searches for the eye of God on a trail blazed by luminaries of literature and philosophy. From Arthur Rimbaud to Andre Breton, by way of Anthony Burgess, Mário de Sá-Carneiro, Epicurus, Paul Célan, Gertrude Stein, Guillaume Apollinaire, the Virgin Mary and others, we arrive at a time and place “where the ozone of white glass glows brighter and brighter with the smoke of memory machines. . . .