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
PN Review Blog
Next Issue Kei Miller Sometimes I Consider the Names of Places Kyoo Lee's A Close Up and Marjorie Perloff's response John McAuliffe City of Trees Don Share on Whitman's Bicentenary Jeffrey Wainwright and Jon Glover on Geoffrey Hill's Gnostic

This review is taken from PN Review 215, Volume 40 Number 3, January - February 2014.

The True Stuff simon pringle, Das Booty (FeedARead) £7.99

It is a truth universally etcetera that literary society is all cliques and old boy networks and, old boy, is it true of this review: yes, I first heard of the smuggling jape recorded in this book when standing in the porter's lodge of Merton College, wouldn't you just know. The story concerned the dramatic near-failure of a group of incompetents taking a launch down to Morocco to buy cannabis resin and bring it back to the UK to sell. The guy who was telling me was one of the then-single-sex college's celestial beauties; I was slightly in awe of him; his skinny jeans, fur waistcoat and knowing air made me feel a little provincial, and he could quote the English poets in thrilling fashion. He called up names unknown to me as though summoning his familiars: Balthus, Bonnefoy, Yourcenar, Sofia Andresen. He had, you may imagine, his own informant: after a suitable set of drumrolls, one day I met a small man in a large hat whose airy confidence was suffused with the names of the greats of European and South American literature. His name was Bruno Tolentino. He was a Brazilian poet who had written in French and was writing (a little off the mark, I felt) in English. The question was this: was he simply a con man? I was just enough of a linguist to know that his credentials in the Latin languages were impressive at least. He was Simon Pringle's lover and it was, apparently, one of the great literary loves: Antinous in skinny jeans, etc. I used to turn up ...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image