Philip Terry’s fantastic if p then q book Advanced Immorality is reviewed in a recent edition of Dead Ink.
In the autumn of 2013, la quenelle swept France. Authorities were aghast as teenagers saturated Facebook with quenelle photos; when a French West Bromwich striker performed the gesture in celebration, his contract was terminated. While many of its practitioners pleaded ignorance,the gesture’s true significance was obvious. Left hand perched on the right shoulder, right arm extended diagonally towards the ground – it was clearly the number seven, one of the most significant numbers in the work of Raymond Queneau.
This allusion to the ‘S+7 method’, a quintessential Oulipian device in which every noun in a text was replaced with the seventh noun after it in the dictionary, was too much for the conservative authorities, anxious, even after seventy years, to preserve the time-honoured union of form and content. François Hollande, a devotee of US formalist Mark Schorer, told a press conference: ‘The Oulipian character of the quenelle could not be denied.’ This was true: the very name quenelle dates back at least to Georges Bataille, who was the first of many of Queneau’s contemporaries to pun on the similarity between the poet’s name and the poached dumpling beloved of the Lyonnais. However, the politicians’ measures were too late: the Kraken had been unleashed. After years of Balzacian realism in French literature, the youth were clamouring for mathematical strictures and phonetic play.
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Philip Terry’s if p then q collection Advanced Immorality is reviewed online at Stride magazine.
I loved reading these poems. Terry seems to be a natural writer, prolific, wide-ranging in terms of an expertise in formal constraint, as well as being an astute observer of the here and now, yet there’s an interest also in history and ‘how things get put together’ (particularly in ‘A Berlin Notebook’) which embraces the snapshot while suggesting a deeper engagement. Relaxation and control, a wonderful combination. Great stuff.
Read more of Steve Spence’s review HERE
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Press Free Press continue their regular look at contemporary poetry. Philip Terry’s if p then q collection Advanced Immorality is teamed up with Sarah Crewe’s flick invicta
Philip Terry will be launching his new if p then q title along with John Havelda at Xing the Line next Wednesday.
Wednesday, 2 May 2012, 7.30, The Apple Tree, Mount Pleasant, London, WC1X 0AE
New if p then q author Philip Terry in The Other Room interview series
if p then q is pleased to announce its first publication of the year. Details and how to purchase below.
Published April 2012
The title of Philip Terry’s book, and the name of one of the seven poems in his latest collection, is an antonymic translation (opposites) of Terry’s own translations of Raymond Queneau’s Elementary Morality. Queneau’s quennet form is further utilised in A Berlin Notebook. Also included are 50½ uproarious synopsises of imagined murder mysteries, the utter destruction of the sestina, Hamlet in four pages and much, much more. From start to finish Advanced Immorality is hilarious, polished, questioning and great fun. Need we say more.
About the author
Philip Terry is currently Director of the Centre for Creative Writing at the University of Essex. His books include the edited collection of stories Ovid Metamorphosed (Chatto and Windus, 2000), a translation of Raymond Queneau’s last book of poems, Elementary Morality (Carcanet, 2007), and the collection of poems Shakespeare’s Sonnets (Carcanet, 2010).
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This year look our for:
Philip Terry, Advanced Immorality – spring 2012
P. Inman, Written 1976-2008 – winter 2012