2018 Titles

Christopher Middleton - Serpentine


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Christopher Middleton - Serpentine

The Shearsman Library 2
Published February 2018. Paperback, 120pp, 8.5 x 5.5ins, £9.95
ISBN 9781848615861 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]
Serpentine was first published by Oasis Books in 1985 in a deliberately low-tech edition. Alas it made little headway and the somewhat shoddy production almost certainly militated against its adoption by bookshops. It thus became Middleton’s “lost book”, although parts have been reprinted elsewhere. Subtitled (at least in the author’s correspondence, if not in the final edition) “prose pieces on the nature of evil”, the book shows Middleton at his playful, experimental best.
Serpentine: A mineral or rock consisting of a hydrous magnesium silicate, H4 M3 Si2 O9, and having usually a dull green color, often with a spotted or mottled appearance, resembling a serpent’s skin. It occurs usually in masses, which are sometimes foliated, sometimes fibrous … Presence of iron may give it a red or brownish hue. Precious, or noble, serpentine is translucent & of a rich oil-green color. Serpentine results from the alteration of other magnesian minerals, esp. chrysolite, amphibole, & pyroxene, and is frequently found in large masses …
Webster’s, 1914; from a note preserved in the author’s papers

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