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“Cool, postmodern,” in the words of Kevin Hart. Armand’s first published volume of prose explores – by means of a rigorous experimentation – the relations between “psycho-geography” and “geo-psychology”; between the stability and instability of place, personality and perception. In the verbal setting of The Garden (with its echoes of Bosch, Eden, the classical “forbidden garden” or the Perfumed Garden of Arabian literature), figures mesh in a half-light of memory and desire. The text moves fluidly between the exotic and the banal, the archetypally general and the minutely specific. Sometimes compared to the work of Claude Simon and Alain Robbe-Grillet, Armand’s “unpunctuated” prose is less about the construction of imagistic or verbal ambiguity, than it is a way of writing with the ambiguities that exist already in the world, by virtue of the fact that the world is something “experienced.” It is for this reason that Armand’s language always remains “concrete,” the language “tangible” – it is not about experiences but the experience itself.
‘Louis Armand’s The Garden, exemplies more bold trends in the internationalization of Australian literature. Written in an experimental form borrowing from the French recit as practiced by the likes of Maurice Blanchot, this work consists of a cascade of unpunctuated disorienting prose drifting between subject and object, traversing spatial and temporal warpings as well as boundaries of imagination and reality.’ —Sebastian Gurciullo, Colloquy: Text, Theory, Critique
‘The atmosphere of The Garden reminds me a lot of the work of the French fiction writer and theorist Maurice Blanchot – sparsely described interiors, characters who remain effectively faceless, an atmosphere of cold yet sometimes desperate alienation. It’s an utterly European Modernism.’ —Keith Jebb, Poetry Review
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