Thursday, August 21, 2008
The Work of the Abscess
There is a kind of writing corresponding with acts of fraud & debauchery on the part of the writing-shed. The moan I have more and more to make with mine is there – that it is nearly all frigged up, in terram, faute d’orifice, heat of friction, and not the spontaneous combustion of the spirit to compensate the pus & the pain that threaten its economy, fraudulent manoeuvre to make the cavity do what it can’t do – the work of the abscess.
That’s Beckett writing to MacGreevy in 1932, as quoted in an article on ‘Beckett, MacGreevy and the Stink of Joyce’ by Seán Lawlor’ in the feature on Beckett’s poetry in the new Fulcrum. In the same issue is the (uncollected) text of Beckett’s Ceiling, Christopher Ricks on Ceiling and Human Wishes, Mark Nixon on the uncollected late poetry in English, Marjorie Perloff on ‘Beckett’s Yeatsian Turn’, Octavio Paz remembering the Anthology of Mexican Poetry, and much more.
The issue also features a section on poetry and myth edited by my two old muckers David Kennedy and Cliff Forshaw. Have your postbox surgically enhanced (the thing is 730 pages long) and buy a copy today.