Sunday, December 9, 2012

Constellations and Emporium reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement


‘Comic pieces superficially similar to the breeziest light verse turn out, on closer inspection, to be mined with interpretative dangers, while his lyrics – especially in Constellations – pulse with emotional inconclusiveness. This is writing which, admirably, regards deception and ambiguity as principles that govern the literary . . .
Constellations . . . sheds some of the high-concept comedy of Emporium in a work which unsettles as its themes are painstakingly, almost symphonically, elaborated . . . As in the cinema of Luis Buñuel or Lars von Trier, Constellations takes the bourgeois domestic scene as a stage for the slithering intrusion of death and anxiety . . . Nodding to the post-structuralist philosopher Gilles Deleuze’s rejection of the transcendental, the sixtieth meditation’s bald statement that ‘Life moves on the Plane of Matter’ sets up this resolution, an ending which retrospectively lends sense to the intimations of mortality in the apparent blissfulness of the earlier poems.
This is undoubtedly ambitious territory, but Pindar negotiates it without awkwardness or sententiousness, and the constant presence of linguistic puzzles and semantic traps sets readers to work in a manner which means they are never patronized: there’s a real generosity in the way this poetry trusts its audience’s intelligence. Pindar’s opening brace contains a great deal of promise.’

Joe Kennedy in the Times Literary Supplement (23 November 2012)