The Giving Way by Richard Skelton (Guillemot Press)

Tears in the Fence

How do we engage with the past? What are history, time, and the past? This seems to be the question, or one of the questions (plural), that musician, writer and publisher Richard Skelton attempts to answer, or at least explore, in this beautifully designed pamphlet. The very first part of this sequence sets the reader up for this exploration:

and what is this
what is it
is it
is

Immediately we are aware of the ideas of echoes (of sound, of the past, of other work) and also the idea that things simplyare: what is will be; what is,is; and we must be accepting as we consider ‘it’.

For the rest of the sequence, Skelton lays out a number of possibilities of what it is, or might be, including the mythological, the sacrificial, the scientific, the specific and the conjectured, the unknown and unknowable, for instance…

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