Fiction. The interwoven tales that make up THE SINGING FISH are not told but rather spun from a primal, almost child-like source of mythic language sublimated from the fundamental building blocks of mud, brother, river, girl, moon, fish and a rusted nail. "Peter Markus' gorgeously spare, riverine fables of brotherly sweetness and violence are hypnotic, haunting, and sublimFiction. The interwoven tales that make up THE SINGING FISH are not told but rather spun from a primal, almost child-like source of mythic language sublimated from the fundamental building blocks of mud, brother, river, girl, moon, fish and a rusted nail. "Peter Markus' gorgeously spare, riverine fables of brotherly sweetness and violence are hypnotic, haunting, and sublime"--Gary Lutz. "There is an obsessive quality about Peter Markus' writing that I am obsessed with and a musicality that I cannot get out of my head. The fish are singing and Peter Markus is too"--Michael Kimball....
|Title||:||The Singing Fish|
|Number of Pages||:||88 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Singing Fish Reviews
Mud.Brother.Fish.River.Girl.Hands.Fishheads.Claw hammer.Moon.Mud.River.Song.Boy.Rusty nails.Brother.Mud.Fish.Brother. Mud.Clipped, unadorned sentences lay out a highly insular vision, nearly insane or autistic or just totally existing by its own hidden rules. The repetitions create a sort of order, but there's never any hint of insight, just sparks of violence or beauty immediately swallowed up by mud. Given that this seems to be an extension of his first book, and that his story "Dead Dog Sleeps" (perhaps his finest) from No Colony 3 seems to continue the threads in a way, Peter Markus would appear to have been writing these alien brothers into existence for the last decade or more. You have to admire a cohesion of vision like that, even if its hard to make out what exactly it means to him.
The more I read of Peter Markus, the more innovative I find his work and his use of repetition. I can���t remember whether it was this summer or last Christmas, but a friend of mine lent me one or two of Peter Markus���s books, The Singing Fish and/or Good, Brother. I was hesitant at first because the writing was so strange and full of repetition that seemed almost childish. It was strange writing, and for that reason, I don���t expect anything written in this style to ever be particularly successful financially. Once I got into whichever of the books I read, though, I could tell that there was something special in them. I���m emphasizing my uncertainty about these two books and which I���d read because that���s part of my point. These books use repetition in such a way that it creates a strange uncertainty but with that a kind of d��j�� vu/nostalgia. I just got through reading Good, Brother, certain that I had read it before and that I���d only read one of Markus���s books. Yet as I read The Singing Fish, I lost that certainty. The question, ���Have I read this before?��� was constantly running through my head as I read it. I���m pretty sure that I only read one of them before and that I bought both because I liked the one enough that I needed to read the other. I still really don���t know what to say about my personal reading history with the books, but this seems to be an intentional aspect of Markus���s style. These books don���t exactly tell the same story over and over again, but each new event in their stories are so similar to events that have happened before. The book���s events revolve around mud, fishing, brotherhood, the river, the moon, Girl, Boy, and so on, but all of these events are tied to each other through similar actions, ideas, and sentences. I can���t count how many times ���He lined up that rusted nail.���Maybe this repetition of sentences sounds like a cheap trick, or like a gimmick to release multiple drafts of the same book, and that���s what the cynical side of myself would say if I wasn���t so sold on how cool these books are. That���s what I thought when I first started reading whichever of the books I read first, but that thought died quickly. These books work by building layers on top of each other. Maybe they don���t work individually: you can see how short my review of Good, Brother is, and perhaps that explains something. Perhaps one read-through of only one of the books isn���t enough to understand what���s going on, and only enough to suggest that there���s something more to Markus���s writing. There certainly is something more. Reading The Singing Fish after reading Good, Brother, adds another rich layer to what I���ve read before and makes the muddy world of the two brothers richer, more imaginative, and even though very unreal things happen, it makes it much more real. The connection between the brothers grows, particularly when the narrator���one of the brothers; which one, I don���t know, which is the point���says, ���I look back up at Brother. He is looking down at me. Us brothers have got these looks between us that we like to give each other when it is not possible to say what it is that we would really like to say��� (47).This kind of sweet, nice, insightful, lovely writing appears amidst events that may or may not have happened before, and adds on to the muddy events to enrich them. And what���s going on in this book with its repetition techniques is innovative and well worth future study. My reading typically is very casual and fun���because, even though I���m a writer, if I���m not having fun while reading, what am I doing with my life?���but Markus���s work is worth looking at academically. This kind of repetition is trancelike in that it makes a beautiful atmosphere while reading it.
Another really interesting Calamari book that is hard to describe, but here's my attempt: Imagine that Faulkner's Vardaman (from As I Lay Dying) grew up to become a character in a Beckett play, and that might come close to what the narrator's voice is like.And something about its cyclical nature and the repetition reminds me of a sestina. Can one write a sestina novella? It seems perhaps Peter Markus has. Shelftalker: "This book has been haunting me in the best way -- its rhythms get stuck in my head like a song. It's lyrical. It's broad like a myth, but visceral. And cyclical and repetitious, like a sestina, like a villanelle. Imagine Faulkner's Vardaman, now a teen with a twin, still beating away at that old fish."
One of my favorite examples of relentless prose and musical authorship, this book is like a second of time that isn't going forwards or backwards, but both directions at once. An endless eternity guided by the brothers and the water and the mud and the fish and the headless boy and girl. Father with nails and mother with soapy buckets. I read this book over and over again, in little pieces all the time.
I found this immensely satisfying, found myself reading certain stories aloud to more experience the beauty of the language. I also liked that certain pieces were revisited, giving a hypnotic spiraling effect. Wonderful read.
It's a bit dense, and the creator's attention seems at times to concentrate too much on the tactile side, ruminating on the texture of his words and sentences themselves. Still, at times The Singing Fish can be very affecting in mysterious ways.
this is some sweet sweet mud music right here. it's all rhythm and rust. it's like a myth you didn't quite grow up in, but wish you had, and i like that
An excellent oddment. Regard my brief critique of his Good, Brother. Rearrange the words and letters if you like. It will mean more or less the same thing. Or, if you prefer, ditto.