‘Fish out of Water’ by Claire-Louise Bennett

In exquisite prose, which reads like Beckett on oestrogen, Bennett recounts her relationship with the surreal portraiture of Dorothea Tanning. When literature encounters art, there is often a sense that the writer has contented to ‘chance upon’ or ‘meet with’ art. Bennett goes further, subjecting herself to an encounter in the deeper sense of ‘experiencing’ or ‘undergoing’. She slips between first person plural, second, and first and third singular, to explore and unfold her kinship with Tanning. With its fleur de lait paper and debossed carton cover, the book itself is an objet d’art. I sleep with mine by my bed.

Published by Juxta, 2020

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