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Speculate: A Collection of Microlit

af Eugen Bacon, Dominique Hecq

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This thought-provoking collection of Microlit incorporates prose poetry, speculative flash fiction, and cameo-like word sketches. The book is divided into two sections, with Part 1 featuring Eugen’s writing first, with Dominique’s response to it on the opposite page, then in Part 2 this interaction is reversed as Eugen responds to Dominique’s work. Sometimes the responses continued a theme, sometimes took it in a completely different direction, but they always succeeded in generating a conversation between the two authors … sometimes deeply reflective, sometimes full of teasing repartee, sometimes provocatively challenging. Although some of the pieces are as short as a couple of sentences, and none any longer than a page, the interchanges between the authors added depth and complexity to the ideas being explored. I always found myself wanting to re-read each piece, sometimes several times, not only to reflect on their thought-provoking, insightful ideas and imagery, but to relish their imaginative, expressive use of language.
I loved the sense of fun which emerged from their verbal riffing: interchanges which frequently felt akin to, and just as enjoyable, as listening to one of my favourite jazz groups. As I was reading I found myself wanting to join in, to add my own thoughts, ideas and improvisations. I really enjoyed this interactive element which was, I felt, encouraged by the free-flowing nature of the authors’ exchanges, as well as by their explicit ‘invitation’ in their introduction to their collection.
Although this is a relatively short book, I think it’s not one to read quickly but is best enjoyed in small ‘doses’ in order to enable the magic of it to develop in those spaces which, with the best writing, occur between reading, reflecting and gradually absorbing what you’ve read. I’ve only recently become aware of Microlit but I love how it can encompass a range of ideas and themes in such a succinct, yet powerful, way.
Extra layers of pleasure in reading this book were provided by not only the striking cover, which is eye-catchingly bold and satisfyingly tactile, but also the imaginative interior design. Most pages feature graphics, some of which are simple, others more complex and intriguing and I loved the shaded grey monochromatic background, with the contrasting white typeface, to some of them. All the time I was reading, I felt these designs, the work of Meerkat editor Tricia Reeks, were constantly adding a powerful extra dimension, that they were enhancing the ‘colourful’ prose from both authors.
In many ways this has been a difficult review to write, not because I didn’t enjoy it (by now it will be clear that I did!) but because I know I can’t possibly do justice to the range of feelings, themes, ideas and reflections which the authors explore. All I feel I can do is to encourage anyone who loves playing with language, words and word association, and who relishes being encouraged to ‘think outside the box’, to get hold of a copy of this collection from two remarkable wordsmiths. Their individual styles may be different, but their creative collaboration has resulted in a ‘whole’ which feels so much greater than its constituent parts. It has been a joy to share (and feel part of) their intimate conversations and to gain a sense of the mutual respect which underpins their relationship.
With thanks to Meerkat Press for providing me with my copy in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  linda.a. | Mar 14, 2021 |
A series of dream-like pieces of writing. Do they make sense? Perhaps not if you try to analyse them, but the flow has sense beyond normal reckoning. These evoke pictures and feelings that will change with each reader. These are a beautiful experiment. Abstract art in prose. ( )
  AngelaJMaher | Jan 9, 2021 |
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Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Bacon, Eugenprimær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Hecq, Dominiquehovedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Korpa, JrOmslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Reeks, TriciaOmslagsdesignermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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