Holman, Paul

Paul Holman - The Memory of the Drift


Paul Holman - The Memory of the Drift

Paperback, 84pp, 8.5x5.5ins

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This volume combines a revised text of the first part of The Memory of the Drift (written 1993-1999, published 2001) with the three interlocking, previously uncollected, books in which its argument is extended — In the Common Era, Dog Mercury and Vicinal.


While the first book was a poem-as-object which consumed itself as it progressed, those which follow it are constructed as variations upon a theme of headlessness (as a state of willed absence of mind, an image of ritual decapitation and a model of social-political organisation) — they relinquish the postmodern surface of the original Drift in order to wrap texts which are both more approachable and more genuinely difficult in forms ranging from the misheard cadences of folksong to brief prose texts (the detached sentence, made radiant by its association with Little Sparta, is a preferred model).

The book's title, which refers both to Charles Olson and the Situationist International, gave evidence of its sympathies and intended range at the outset. The Memory of the Drift began as a text written out of, and concerned with, a counterculture that was inevitably defined in largely negative terms (there has, after all, been so much to refuse) — it has become increasingly dominated by a perception of the practice of writing as an operation performed within a greater magical current. 


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