Gentle Art

Published by Trolley Books, 2012
96pp, A6, softback

Gentle Art is a collection of short texts about folk devils; creatures at war with respectable society and the conventions on which respectable society is based. It can also be read as a heartrending account of the permanent degradation of men of great talent due to persistent lack of self-control, often indistinguishable from madness. The book's diminutive dimensions echo the intent of early devotional literature - disposables object, designed for personal edification and spiritual formation. Referencing Stephen Graham's 1927 work, The Gentle Art of Tramping - a manual for life on the 'other' side - Gentle Art is a departure from standard experimental literature. Its aim is not to be difficult. Kidnapping personas from 'real' life (marvellous George, the petrol-drinker, the ket-head with a woman for a cock and many more!) and entering them into absurd formatting, the texts demonstrate how and why people slip beyond the norms of society and report back on what lies in store for them when they* get there.

A book to be carried around and consulted—Prospect
Each story is unconventional and magical—TPG blog
Like [..] lots of thick books imploded into one little one—Moors

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