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This review is taken from PN Review 199, Volume 37 Number 5, May - June 2011.

THE NOT OF THIS WORLD KEVIN NOLAN, Loving Little Orlick (Barque Press) £8

Founded in 1999 by Keston Sutherland and Andrea Brady, Barque Press is thriving. Its output includes five collections by Prynne, including Subsongs, published in May, Quid magazine and CD series, and work by thirty-odd livewires including Andrew Duncan, John Tranter, John Wilkinson, Elizabeth James and Out to Lunch. In her on-line Journal, James describes John Cayley's 'myourdarkness project' as 'poets' work, though by no means bounded by the term “poetry”'.Loving Little Orlick is at home in the e-world of hologography, Multi-User Dungeons and pURL MOO, but also in the Lebenswelt of Project Gutenberg, from Aristotle to Zelazny.

These sixty-odd poems include 'Backup', eight words long, and 'Swallow', a canto of fifty-odd tercets in sprung double-pentameters, in which, to lift a single word from the 'jump flux', Pip's 'enemy' in Great Expectations is invoked only by his bizarre, supposedly Irish Christian name, 'Dolge'. Since he and Joe Gargery 'went at one another like two giants', Orlick is no more little than loving (or lovable), which brings 'little Orlick', son of the narrator of At Swim-Two-Birds, into the reckoning, if only as one of the metafictional red herrings beloved of his creator, Flann O'Brien, aka Brian O'Nolan. 'The Nolan', aka Vico of Nola, presiding genius of Finnegans Wake, is also amongst the many Irish 'kerns' at large in Nolan's book, which has much of the ingenious levity, and more of the black humour, of these precursors; but it is the Thames, not the Liffey, which dominates its 'riverworld', Pip's ...


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