The Apache Sorcerer in Other Poetic Observations, review: over one hundred micro-stories in Lansdale sauce

The Apache Sorcerer in Other Poetic Observations, review: over one hundred micro-stories in Lansdale sauce

The Apache Sorcerer in Other Poetic Observations, review

In the Italy that gave birth to Salvatore Quasimodo, Giuseppe Ungaretti and the even more contemporary Pier Paolo Pasolini, there are an estimated three million poets, with a reference market that has about half a million books of poetry sold per year. But how is it then possible that poetry passes so "unnoticed" to a potentially wider audience? Today we want to tell you about a book that reminds us that poetry is simply a "model" that authors use to tell their stories, with the same (if not greater) possibilities of appealing to readers. The Apache Sorcerer by Joe R. Lansdale published by Cut-Up Publishing shows us how the same Texan writer has unusually adopted poetry to continue telling his stories that range between his favorite genres, or horror, weird, science fiction , dark, thriller and noir.

The Apache Sorcerer, over one hundred micro-stories in Lansdale sauce

The Apache Sorcerer And Other Poetic Observations is the brainchild of three-time Bram Stoker Award winner Alessandro Manzetti, as Joe himself explains in his introduction. In fact, it was Manzetti himself who suggested to Lansdale that he write a collection of poems, after having read one intended for one of his publications. The collection then saw the light for the first time with the original title of Apache Witch and Other Poetic Observation, published by Independent Legions Publishing in a hardcover and extra limited edition of only 180 copies for the exclusive The Last Bookstore in Los Angeles. Thanks to Cut-Up Publishing today we can recover what until recently was an exclusive (in English) now sold out.

The Apache Sorcerer is a collection of over one hundred poems, 114 to be precise, but here, after having read them one by one, we feel we can confirm that they are micro stories , all translated into Italian for this edition of Cut-Up masterfully by Stefano “ El Brujo ” Fantelli , horror, dark fantasy and weird writer, who also edited the preface. And those who know Lansdale well should know what to expect.

We are talking about one of the most followed and prolific authors of recent years, with a vast literary production that includes science fiction, horror, thriller and noir works, but also children's stories, totaling over fifty works, including such as the famous Drive-In trilogy and the cycle of novels starring the inseparable duo Hap & Leonard. In 2022 he published for Einaudi the novel Moon Lake and Don't open the dead one, the latter an anthology together with his daughter Kasey Lansdale.

What Joe R. Lansdale himself defines as "the Lansdale style" imbues this collection of poems full of his usual black humour, which aligns itself with his stories, the set poetics has no pretension to upset any balance, on the contrary he immediately distances himself from them from the very first verses, assuming the connotation of micro stories.

You will therefore be in front of what we can define as a real volume of "Lansdale in a nutshell".

The verses follow a totally free scheme, free from rhymes, accents and specific musicality. Many dwell in small and authentic stories, others take the reader by surprise in three or four verses with unsettling openings and epilogues. Each of the poems is full of darkness, grotesque everyday life, but also of paradoxical and completely weird situations, still others filled with incurable black humor.

But the horror drift is also inevitable:

After the funeral

After the funeral

Willard is back home

s orprising all

when entered.

They thought it was

still covered

by earth and flowers.

Social criticism, amorous disagreements and the usual inevitable irony of his verses:

How is our love

I can assume

from that pointing pistol against me

that our love has gone bad?

And his cynical approach to politics:

Political Visions

I like to complain about capitalism

until I cash a check.

I like to criticize socialism

until I get sick.

Is it okay to marry two ideas?

Lansdale's pulp poetry

Reading Lansdale in this unprecedented poetic guise, one often finds oneself laughing, horrified or crying, in a mixture of feelings that enhances the reading and does not allow refer to a administration of "a poem a day" as the author himself would like in his brief introduction. In any case, once again the Texan author shows off his direct and penetrating style in the stories he manages to tell in a few verses, offering a wide variety of poems available for every possible mood, always going from being magnificently pulp .

This work also reminds us that lyrical prose does not require spectacular linguistic mechanisms or the use of pretentious terminology to express our thoughts and feelings to one another , making it easy and simple to understand.

Having also read the original English-language version of Apache Witch and Other Poetic Observation, published by Independent Legions Publishing, we can confirm that Stefano Fantelli's Italian-language translation is not simply accurate, but traditionalist in its purest form" Lansdale style” adding value to this final experience.

Cut -Up Publishing packages a work that does not look at high-profile poetics, but wants to place itself in the same panorama as its standard works, ultimately trying to be simply pulp and dedicated to all the Lansdale public and not only.

The care reserved for the volume, available only in the paper edition, is typical of the publishing house which offers readers a hardcover typical of luxury editions, with a Preface and Introduction in neat inserts in black pages and ivory paper.

Those who want to rediscover Lansdale's unmistakable style in this collection of micro-stories that follow the model of poetry will not be disappointed at all, while the immediacy of the stories could also excite a much wider audience, which perhaps could harbor some prejudice towards poetry , here definitely dissolved.

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