Saturday, 19 September 2015

Harry Gilonis - Li Shang-yin 'the Inlaid Harp'

Harry Gilonis is a poet, editor, publisher, and occasional critic. Much of his work is inter-textual, involving widely-varying modes of translation and mis-translation.  He has active for a while now with North Hills, a project of 'faithless' recastings of classical Chinese poetry - which turns out to be the most avant-garde writing up until L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E.  (Selections from North Hills have appeared in e.g. Wheel River from Contraband and eye-blink from Veer Books.) The postcard re-presented here was made as a unique contribution to Chris Goode and Jonny Liron’s World of Work, a performance-piece improvised in real time from a pack of 60-odd cards, first presented at the 2010 second Sussex Poetry Festival in Brighton.  

Li Shang-yin is perhaps the most rebarbatively baroque poet in the Chinese classical tradition, and the zither-poem is arguably his most difficult single text, still defying convincing exegesis a thousand-plus years on.  Thanks to Andy Spragg for the initial invitation and for his subsequent patience; much appreciated.

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