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The Little Sublime Comedy
Categories: 21st Century, British, New Zealand
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (184 pages)
(Pub. Aug 2017)
eBook (EPUB) Needs ADE!
(Pub. Aug 2017)
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In The Little Sublime Comedy John Gallas reanimates one of the great works of world literature for the twenty-first century. Relocated from medieval Italy to modern-day New Zealand, Dante’s Divine Comedy is given a new lease of life in Gallas’s darkly funny, surreal adaptation.
Discovered snoozing on a mountainside above Lake Rotoiti, Mr Gallas – our millennial Dante – is taken under the wing by his Horatian guide, one Samuel Beckett. Over the course of 147 ‘songs’ we accompany the pair on their journey through the Bad Place, the Better Place and the Good Place, and witness the horrors and delights that befall the dead.
On our way we encounter a skiing Pohutukawa Tree, a Golden Kiwi, Lineout the dog, a Vegetable Ewe, souls falling off things, Philosophy, and lots of bright, coloured lights. Divine order is replaced by modern Physics, by Klein bottles, super-speeds and black holes. Gallas’s Comedy is a metaphysical plunge through torment and triumph, as subtly satirical as it is unsubtly silly.
Praise for John Gallas 'John Gallas is not merely a lyric master, but a master of meaning... The Extasie is a collection that I feel I will be coming back to frequently, not just to recapture the enjoyment I had when first reading it, but also to fully bathe in the complex understanding of love in all its forms, rendered so skilfully in poems that reward a second reading with subtle epiphanies.'
Ed Bedford, Coffee Time Reviews
'This is a book for contemplative reading to enjoy all its richness and subtleties. Quietly thought provoking and intelligent, these are poems that celebrate the messiness of life.'
- Mary Mulholland, The Alchemy Spoon
'An enticing and timely collection of translations.'
- The Guardian
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