Synopsis

The Ascent of Monte Grappa

$9.99

Howard Barker

Published by John Calder Publications

Howard Barker's "Ascent of Monte Grappa" is a meditation on three moments in the human history of a mountain, an engagement with the political, religious and sexual associations of the place. In its concern for meaning in random events, and its concern for the uncelebrated figures of the past, it reveals new aspects of a poetic imagination already announced and applauded in the European theatre

Here, the frictions and ecstacies of desire are examined in the context of the ironies of passing time. If Barker's "Don't Exaggerate" vibrated with the unbearable lucidity of a protagonist unjustly killed, and his "Gary the Thief" articulated the rejection of social platitudes by a criminal mind, "The Ascent", speaking in a more private voice, confronts the calculations that are a necessary element of love

Also included here are poems culled from the European revolutions of 1989, including the simultaneously apprehensive and celebratory "1989", a cacophony on the European identity, which like all Barker's theatre and poetry, insists on the presence of the past in moments of apparent rupture

Along with the urban poems "Mates of Wrath", this is a collection whose varied tones of contemplation, assertion and renunciation mark a distinctive voice in English culture

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