Theseus [ePub]

by bpNichol

Poetry. The value of THESEUS is as much about its pedigree as the writing itself. The collaboration for this new book began in the autumn of 1966. bpNichol and Wayne Clifford had worked together early in their literary careers; in fact, Clifford had been the editor of Nichol's first trade book, published with Coach House Press. To begin, Nichol had also wanted to include two West Coast poets in the writing process. This didn't work out, so Nichol and Clifford rewrote a section to produce Part One of the present text. Part Two was composed over many years of revisiting and revising. These long gestation periods allowed the writers the space and time to re/consider, knowing the text would always be there to augment. After Nichol's death, Clifford completed the work, adding Part Three—composed of elements of Nichol's MARTYROLOGY—as a means of tribute, eulogy, acceptance and lie. Thematically, the text focuses on the Theseus-Ariadne-Minotaur cycle: in Part One, the authors were young enough to "re=verb=erate" when struck with the myth; Part Two allowed Nichol and Clifford the space to step back in order to devise a way to say 'love' more acutely; finally, Part Three presents a stunning example of one man's grief for a lost friend and collaborator. All told, THESEUS is an important text that, published here for the first time, adds considerable gravitas to Nichol's poetic legacy, and the unique partnership between the two authors allows Nichol's words to be extended beyond the grave.



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