A quick review of Sein und Werden by Steve Redwood, author of the novels Fisher of Devils and Who Needs Cleopatra. Many thanks Steve.
Finally finished Sein & Co, I thought the fiction (if we except some nonsense by someone who seems to think he’s a tree) was very good, with Pete Tennant’s ‘Dissonance’ standing out, not only for its quality and powerful scenes and images, but for the strange juxtapositions and elusive meaning of the whole – and I’ve read it three times! Are you postulating a world where sex and violence are inextricably united, with no place for love or hope? But I have to warn delicate and respectable people that in the beginning was not the Word, but something FAR more fascinating (yet everyday – if you’re lucky!). But, while perhaps the most shocking, Pete’s was not alone in being tough and unusual fare. Very memorable too are ‘The Things you Find by the River’ (my second favourite, I think, though the competition’s hard) and ‘Jesus was a Salvation Eater’. Ah, and the marvellous concentration of ‘The Iris’. But, really, all the fiction is well worth a read, and in this respect the tastes of the editor are very marked. Rachel Kendall is a dangerous woman, who should have spent much longer in Sunday School. You have been warned! (I confess I didn’t read the bit of serialised novel – I can’t remember what I did yesterday, so no way would I remember part of a novel three months later. Personally I think any serialisation over longer than a week is a mistake.)
Modern poetry, alas, usually baffles me – I can manage a pint of Tennyson, and even a swig of Eliot, but after that I’m a goner. Probably my fault. Juliet Cook’s ‘Your Pain Sculpture’ did however strike me as particularly powerful, and I loved the symbolism of ‘Winter Tree’.
On a slightly negative note, though, good though the content is, I do feel that production values will have to be improved if Sein is to succeed.