PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
Mark FordLetters And So It Goes
Letters from Young Mr Grace
(aka John Ashbery)

(PN Review 239)
Henry Kingon Toby Martinez de las Rivas
(PN Review 244)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Kei Millerthe Fat Black Woman
In Praise of the Fat Black Woman & Volume

(PN Review 241)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Next Issue Sasha Dugdale, Intimacy and other poems Eugene Ostashevsky, The Feeling Sonnets Nyla Matuk, The Resistance Alex Wylie, Democratic Rags Brigit Pegeen Kelly, Two poems from the archive
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PN Review Blog
Monthly Carcanet Books

This report is taken from PN Review 250, Volume 46 Number 2, November - December 2019.

from The Notebooks of Arcangelo Riffis Marius Kociejowski
Arcangelo was always on at me about Rabelais, saying that I must read him, which, some months ago, I finally did and not entirely without pleasure, although I could not warm to the book as a whole. I couldn’t get on with the endless buffoonery, which I prefer as snacks rather than as a full course. I am torn between a reluctance to admit this and a willingness to say what I feel except that I think I am probably wrong in assessing the book as I do. Some door to it wouldn’t open for me. I’d read Mikhail Bakhtin’s Rabelais and his World and was wholly in sympathy with his ideas on the carnivalesque. It is the most engaging work of literary criticism I’d ever read and so it was with something like shock and disappointment, more with myself than with the book, that I was unable to more fully engage with the work that so inspired Bakhtin during the most terrible years of World War Two, which is when he wrote his great work. And then I got to Chapters 55 and 56 in The Fourth Book of Pantagruel which contain some of the most powerfully imagined passages in all literature. It was worth the journey of over eight hundred pages to get there. The ship that carries Pantagruel and Panurge enters the Frozen Sea and it is there, with no land in sight, Pantagruel, studying the horizon, hears the sounds of voices in the air. He calls for everyone to be silent and listen. The crew, hearing nothing at first, gradually begins to hear ...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image