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“Orchestrated acts of disassociation and fracture” – on Phillip O’Neil’s MENTAL SHRAPNEL

“Orchestrated acts of disassociation and fracture” – on Phillip O’Neil’s MENTAL SHRAPNEL

Richard Makin (author of Mourning) takes a close look at Phillip O’Neil’s Mental Shrapnel.

Cross-section slice through psyche, a channelling via orchestrated acts of disassociation and fracture — Mental Shrapnel is divine comedy too, as the text dredges memory and forgetting (and everything that doesn’t cover) — a desperate hilarity amid the chaos and dark matter, conjuring a very bad trip indeed, which lurches between Prague and the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s, the final act of the twentieth-century’s long war.

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  • EQUUS PRESS was established in 2011 between Paris, London & Prague with the objective of publishing new writing that is innovative & conscious of being doubly marginalised: outside the literary establishment defined by the Anglo-American publishing industry, & outside the confines of nationalism, pursuing a broadly cosmopolitan “agenda.” // EQUUS believes that such a doubly marginalised position allows for a writing both idiosyncratic & authoritative in its distance from which it can take a stand, make a change, & matter; an ability increasingly rare in titles conforming to the dictates of the book market & tastes of mass readership. // EQUUS considers its mission to offer the possibility of publication to writers & writing that matters, focusing mainly, though not exclusively, on Anglophone writing written outside of its native emplacement.
"Modernity today is not in the hands of the poets, but in the hands of the cops" // Louis Aragon
"It is the business of the future to be dangerous" // A.N. Whitehead

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"Poetism is the crown of life; Constructivism is its basis" // Karel Teige


“I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us. If the book we are reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it for?…we need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us” // Franz Kafka, letter to Oskar Pollack, 27 January 1904
September 2021