A Book of Chinese Whispers

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Bloodaxe Books, 1987 - Poetry - 149 pages
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These prose pieces develop areas and images encountered elsewhere in Smith's poetry. Some are fictions, some fables, some prose poems, some ill-tempered jokes, some existential romances with mundane reality. As in the game of Chinese Whispers, messages are passed, repeated, misheard, misremembered, delicately tampered with, and fiddled with in the interests of politics, commerce and the pursuit of power. Even the language is suspect, as are our perceptions. Our hero struggles to survive against all the odds, invited apparently to forget all he knows and begin again at the beginning. Or at the end. Smith writes in the radical tradition of Borges, Brautigan, Burroughs, and Buster Keaton.

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