The Slip is the final volume of Perril’s trilogy excavating a crime scene at the centre of archaic lyric. We can’t know whether ancient Greece’s first lyric poet Archilochus ‘really’ used his Iambic prowess to curse Lycambes’ family to its grave for a broken marriage oath. But neither can we doubt that his poetic legacy, in Antiquity and beyond, was a by-word for judgements over the acceptability, or otherwise, of indulgence in poetic harm; just as the literary form of Iambic he is famous for initiating is a locus of ethical crises. So, here are the last steps of the ‘wolf walker’ Lycambes, undergoing his curse in the Dog Days of summer on the cusp of following the death of his daughters with his own, and reminiscing. Central to this reminiscence are the early expeditions to colonise Thasos he undertook with Telesicles, Archilochus’s father, and that doubtless confirmed, if not established, the bond between the families that he shatters in breaking his oath. In pottery, the slip is a liquified suspension of clay in water and was painted onto the areas of ancient pots intended to emerge black in the firing process. Needless to say, notions of the slip also encompass all manner of acts of evasion, disguise, and the tying of a noose.
Citation : Perril, S. (2020) The Slip. Swindon: Shearsman.
ISBN : 9781848617216
Research Institute : Institute of English
- School of Humanities