Hal Porter

andrey-grinkevich-402039

The thing about Hal Porter is that I do not know why I am reading him. I found him by accident and the volume was dull, without a dust cover, neither new nor old. The title, The Tilted Cross was quiet. It did not look at me.
This book came to me within a library that was gifted to me, an enormous and unexpected gift that will take me the rest of my years to discover. The reasons that libraries are put together and the decades it takes to put them together makes each one its own province with an understood currency and an exceptional climate. This library is a monarchy and this book, by Hal Porter, is now my favourite so far. The library is now blended with mine, and after the usual difficulties of integration and acceptance of minorities, is now settled mostly comfortably. It sheds more light, merged light, so different light and it is very beautiful inside it.
Now I am reading this book, The Tilted Cross, which is bizarre and difficult to read and difficult to understand and set in Hobart Town, Tasmania, convict history and ugly.
But what it is about is just the skin. The characters and the places are all just skin. What happens is just skin. What it holds is really it. It is not entertaining and not reassuring, and it is not clear. What it is, I am not clear on either, but it is important to me. I am unable to analyse the book, I am only able to read it.
It is something like a glass jug, held and turned and regarded in every light, upside down and inside out, bottom and handle, lip, glass, base and translucence. Regarded empty and fallen or full and erect. What is it and why.

Photography by Andrey Grinkevich

2 thoughts on “Hal Porter

  1. I was curious about this book as it takes place in Hobart, where I live. Wikipedia has an interesting review from Canberra Times. Look like you and the reviewer think alike. Read on: A reviewer in The Canberra Times was not as enthusiastic as some of his colleagues: “Porter’s baroque style gives his wordage full play. He spins his words like a thick spider’s web and in the depths of the web he sets an evil collection of characters . . . They move dimly and poisonously in the mess of words like red-back spiders stirring in a thick web in a dark corner.”

    Liked by 1 person

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