Jeremy Fernando presents: excerpts from ‘Scratch & Sniff’ by Peter van de Kamp

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“An erudite conversation with the European tradition combines in these poems with often comic interactions between the poetic persona and his neighbours, family, friends, and his dog. Yet they are painfully agnostic about their own range of reference and whether it reaches beyond the confines of the individual soul. This drama is conveyed in clipped lines, equivocal transitions and picaresque narrative that work to mute and dissimulate the joy and despair of self-transcendence. Like the work of another European melancholic of recent memory they have the Jesuit strain injected the wrong way, and the result is a beautiful, humorous, and strangely topical book.”

(John Richard Tangney)


Peter van de Kamp. Scratch & Sniff, edited with an afterword by Lim Lee Ching, introduction by Jeremy Fernando, and illustrated with layout by Sara Chong & Yanyun Chen. New York: Atropos Press, 2010.

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