– IAIN SINCLAIR –
The Alchemy writers identify with an intensely local force field known as the Self, while appreciating that its borders, through homeopathic doses of loss or hurt or love, can burst; so that, in the instant of composition, there is no division between individual consciousness and the world at large. Vision is the name we give to that absolute. The thing that can’t be forced, prostituted or sold short. And herein lies the paradox and the challenge for the five chosen witnesses, who are privileged to write themselves out of the trap, the Faustian contract, by way of personal anecdote, strategic revelation or hopeful punt in the dark. The belief is declared several times in these essays that the natural world has its established mechanisms, suns will rise and rise again. We labour in that expectation, blackest night before dawn. Disillusion, anomie, betrayal are accepted as necessary tolls for access to the Great Work.
Gabriel Josipovici quotes Beckett, somebody had to: ‘Bon qu’a ça.’ The condemned author – condemned to live – puts words on paper because it is all that he or she can do. Foolish to comment any further. But now comment is required. Comment has been solicited. ‘The writing is painfully aware,’ Josipovici says, ‘of the fact that the rhetoric both reinforces and undermines the anguish.’
In playing the game, feinting at a posthumous explanation for what is, in effect, an electrochemical seizure, a sudden thickening of the tongue, a viii