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HARSH BEAUTY

Cameron Woodhead on Louis Armand’s latest novel, ABACUS (Vagabond Press), Sydney Morning Herald “Pick of the Week” (July 25, 2015). Cover image (c) Glendyn Ivin

 

Sydney-born poet and novelist Louis Armand has lived in Prague since 1994. Such self-imposed literary exile tends to intensify the artist’s sense of what they’ve left behind – think of how James Joyce ensconced himself in Zurich to write Ulysses – and that’s certainly true of Armand’s latest fiction. Abacus follows an Australian family through every decade of the 20th century, though to call it a domestic saga would be misleading. Armand’s plot is so oblique and refractory to narrative impulse that what looms largest are transitions in Australian culture. Peppered with advertisements and newspaper clippings and letters to Women’s Weekly (perhaps the influence of Joyce again), Abacus weaves an erudite but harsh beauty from the tattered seams of Australian history.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/in-short-fiction-reviews-louis-armand-jp-smythe-sarah-winman-and-trent-jamieson-20150720-gig1pa.html#ixzz3iyzqPBRV
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About Equus Press

EQUUS was established in 2011 with the objective of publishing innovative & translocal writing.

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"Modernity today is not in the hands of the poets, but in the hands of the cops" // Louis Aragon
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“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
August 2015
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