– IAIN SINCLAIR –
her character, her creature, Anthony Yorke, who is one thing here and another in a different text. He is a blocked writer, a teacher – and an actor. He luxuriates in taxonomies of failure. He resents his role in this slippery production. ‘This is nothing and everything, all at once.’
With intimations of a double displacement, separation from homeland and from physical well-being, Zia recognises her exile as a highway. ‘Barren country roads crowned by a ribbon of mathematically-arranged wires that stitch earth-horizons with the wide sky. Hours spent in bed reading, my only solace. Outside is alien, and I am too vulnerable to venture forth.’ The cold English sea is a cinema of memory in which the memories are not her own. The road is a prediction, running from past to future. ‘There are those who will scowl at the pavement as they tread their isolated path, determined to keep their starved souls in the deprived element of spiritual poverty.’ Along the stripped spine of a moorland track, the unresting dead are the only pilgrims.
What excites me, as a reader of the five texts, is how molecular reactions fizz between them to stitch a single hydra-headed, argumentative entity. It really does feel that none of these pieces could have been written in the form they have settled on without the existence of the others. Sometimes the forward momentum of the narrative is grudging, sometimes it flows with the reckless inevitability of a river in spate.