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)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Jamie OsbornIn conversation with Sasha Dugdale
(PN Review 240)
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Monthly Carcanet Books
Gratis Ad 1
Next Issue Helene Cixous We Defy Augury Carola Luther From ‘Letter to Rasool’ Sarah Rothenberg Ashberyana Jena Schmidt The Many-Faced Lola Ridge Helen Tookey Almost Drowning

This review is taken from PN Review 83, Volume 18 Number 3, January - February 1992.

PROSPERO'S PROPP Stuart Hood, A Den of Faxes (Methuen) £13.99

In P·N·R 15(6) Stuart Hood has an essay 'The Dreamer in Broad Daylight', about the drives and dynamics of imaginative writing and its relationship to day-dreaming and fantasy. Peter Sinclair, the central character In this new novel, has just such a preoccupation, alongside a book he's trying to write on the political failure of the avant-garde, and a need to reflect on his experiences as a war-time saboteur in Italy, a need made more urgent by the suspicion that he has a melanoma. Sinclair sees himself caught up in a flight, a fugue, from getting. to grips with his book and facing his illness, and the form of A Den of Foxes is also a sort of fugue, interweaving the lines of several narratives.

It's a restless novel. The conventions of any one narrative line aren't allowed to settle, just as they're not allowed a reliable purchase on the events they produce. A war-game correspondence, which takes Sinclair back, literally, to the scene of his own war-time experiences, generates. a game-scenario which then prompts him to write a science-fiction story and that in turn incorporates an Apologia which he goes on to write for his own 'real' child. In parallel, the male character in the science-fiction also plays war-games devised by another Peter Sinclair and based on a Second World War battle in which Sinclair (the 'real' one) took part. As Sinclair fills the blank screen on his lap-top, so the narrator (a hooded version of Hood?) ...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image