The Country of Perhaps

The Country of Perhaps

By: C.B. McCully (author)Paperback

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The Country of Perhaps is a work in two parts. Part I, a collection of lyric poems, explores the nature and the power of human illusion, and shows how that power is generated not from 'cultural forces' but from the demands of individual choice in the face of implacable circumstance. Thus Icarus, choosing to fly but finally, glad of falling. Thus the fishermen of Santa Monica Pier, retreating into the benevolent defeat of their illusions: 'Real life's defeated them across the word'. Part II is composed by Mass, a longer 'poem for voices' (the tautology implies that the piece should ideally be read aloud). Based around, and analysing, the various components of the religious Mass, and centred in the meaning of the Eucharist, Mass analyses the Christian guarantee of salvation, and concludes that it, too, is a myth, another necessary invention about truth. One spokesman for this conclusion is Judas Iscariot, who delivers the Homily in terms that may be familiar to those versed in so-called 'cultural theory'. Another spokesman is the beloved disciple, John, whose voice encompasses an older, wearier and more generous wisdom. Mass is both satire and politics, analysis and elegy. It is McCully's most ambitious achievement to date.

About Author

Chris McCully, despite being charming, talented, and a recovering alcoholic, is still Senior Lecturer in English at Manchester University. He currently lives in Amsterdam, and is to re-marry in June 2001. There is no causal relationship between these surprising facts. Now, in his mid-40's, and wearing the same vaguely stained cocktail jacket, he is trying to persuade the world of the value of the quieter virtues (listening, reading, music, gardening, and fly-fishing, though not necessarily in that order). The world, as expected, largely ignores this persuasion. McCully's intellectual interests are beginning to range even more widely, from Old English poetry and prose to the formal rigours of Optimality Theory; from Dante through Erasmus to Heidegger. In short, he is what university appointments committees scorn as 'a generalist'. Nevertheless, his work, both poetry and prose, continues to win awards, and despite his dubious taste in fishing-hats and puns, he shows no signs yet of going away. His works on phonological theory, English stress, Old English, and the history of the English language have been issued by, or are forthcoming from, Cambridge University Press, who also produced his co-edited text English Historical Metrics (1996). In 1993 he won the Caedmon Prize for 'poetry in Old English'. He edited the critical anthology The Poet's Voice and Craft (Carcanet, 1994). His other major interest is represented in Fly-Fishing: a Book of words (Carcanet, 1994).

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781857545500
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 94
  • ID: 9781857545500
  • weight: 137
  • ISBN10: 1857545508

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