Another great review for The Penguin Book of the Ocean
In case any of you missed it, last Saturday’s Weekend Australian had a long and extremely positive review of The Penguin Book of the Ocean by Felicity Plunkett.
I recommend you read the piece in full, because it’s a terrific piece of writing in its own right, which tries (and succeeds) to find a language capable of responding to the pieces in the book. I’m still delighted by her description of Hakluyt’s ‘The Last Voyage of Thomas Cavendish’ as “a vertical wave of a piece”, or her recognition of the manner in which the ocean’s (and by extension the moon’s) imagined femininity underpins both our sense of its imaginative infinity and its capriciousness, or of the way the language in Wallace Stevens’ extraordinary ‘The Idea of Order at Key West’ suggests not just “Yeats’s sea-compounds, his ‘dolphin-torn’ and ‘gong-tormented’ sea”, but the way that desire to push language to its limits “attests to the ocean’s mystery as well its ineffability”, its capacity to wreck and reimagine language.
And I’ve mentioned it before but I’ll mention it again: if you’d like to buy a copy without leaving your desk Booktopia are currently doing a special 26% discount on all online orders.
Yes, that review was a pleasure to read, and the book is a range of pleasures as well. I confess most of it will get read slowly over a few months, but it’s still gorgeous.