Shortlisted for the Manitoba Book Awards in the category of Most Promising Writer Talented newcomer Jonathan Ball's Clockfire is a suite of poetic blueprints for imaginary plays that would be impossible to produce -- plays in which, for example, the director burns out the sun, actors murder their audience, and the laws of physics are flagrantly violated. The poems in one sense replace the need for drama, and are predicated on the idea that modern theatre lacks both 'clocks' and 'fire' and thus fails to offer its audiences immediate, violent engagement. They sometimes resemble the scores for Fluxus 'happenings,' but they replace the casual aesthetic and DIY simplicity of Fluxus art with something more akin to the brutality of Artaud's theatre of cruelty. Italo Calvino as rewritten by H. P. Lovecraft, Ball's 'plays' break free of the constraints of reality and artistic category to revel in their own dazzling, magnificent horror.
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