Richard Makin's St Leonards is finished

What was it like being dead?
Well, he says, the best thing was that language stopped.
(from XXXI)

So the mordant humour - a real scream, yes, almost a scream - carries on. A month or two back, the long-awaited (in every sense) final chapter (XXXIII) of St Leonards emerged on GreatWorks. Soon, I hope, the whole enormous work - now retitled Dwelling - will be published by Reality Street Editions. In the mean time go and check out a chapter or two. The final one, battered aficionados won't be surprised to learn, is among much else a series of increasingly hollow-laughter jokes at the expense of those who have been hanging on for it.

Much earlier in this amazing book's serialisation, I tried to say a bit more about it. Now I just want to hold the book in my hand, and start being dazzled by it in a different way.

Oh, you only want to read the last page? I can't bear to spoil it for you, but this is what it's like as it hurtles towards that silence:

Will there be music during the night. This is fate surely. They have framed us pretty well. This is that fateful empire. This is a true echo of what I was going through during time. I am now watertight. She bends the tongue of influence at court. I am a landmark work. She admits love. We are benighted. We have dipped our bodies into the old night of our names. I unbolt the word and a folding takes place: a cento and rhapsody of uncircumferenced motion. By the way, at the moment I'm hanging dead from the light flitting—a garble of patchwork, a studious incorporation of tense lines.

Suffice to say she's preaching a new demigod, a recent carnation of the heroic. Go in, enter the story in detail. We're not approaching overkill—we're now in overkill. I dream there's a fire and the things and the people have to be removed, forever.
(from XXXIII)


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