Out today, Peter Jaeger’s Postamble, the follow up to his if p then q book Midamble. Priced at £8 it’s available HERE along with sample pages and video versions.
Postamble For an Invisible Sangha follows the classical sinfonia format of three movements in fast / slow / fast tempo. The three sections of the book present gradually unfolding linguistic progressions and perceptible processes. The content for section one is rooted in spiritual literature, including the use of source texts drawn from the scriptures of various faith perspectives, as well as from incantations and chants. The second part lists elements, chemicals and geological minerals found in pigment used by the Swiss painter Paul Klee, along with the titles of some of Klee’s works. Klee’s highly evocative, late romantic and symbolist language comes into close contact with terms drawn from the discourse of science. The third and final piece begins with an epigraph from the 13th and 14th Century German mystic Meister Eckhart: “Could you completely forget yourself even for an instant, you would be given everything.” Postamble’s three-part format resonates further with minimalist music, as the heavy repetition of similar syllable counts produces a steady-state pace while the diction sets up a relatively harmonic tone.
Postamble’s three sections resemble the gently unfolding modulations of a piece of music by Steve Reich. The further one reads these generous and profoundly human pieces, the more one appreciates the (understated) genius of the writing, the concept, and—indeed—the language itself. This book is a triumph! Tim Atkins