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Loss Reviews

Loss by David Harsent


David Harsent

Score pending

1 review

Category: Poetry, Non-fiction
Imprint: Faber & Faber
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Publication date: 16 Jan 2020
ISBN: 9780571290550

It is 00:00 and the full of the night yet to come. A man sits at a window through the dead hours of night, his sleep broken by troubling dreams of a figure in a white landscape. He is a man afflicted by personal loss, but also a man of his time, all too aware of the troubled world in which he lives.

5 stars out of 5
Kate Kellaway
17 Mar 2020

" It is a compliment to its power that I longed to break free"

It is the permeability of Harsent’s writing that astonishes: global catastrophe, violent incident, mechanical threat – all absorbed into the text. Yet the paradox is that he seems to be on the wrong side of the membrane of what matters to him. “Women of the house – he lay in the dark and listened to their voices… Their talk was a constant, soft, overlapping,/under and over music, soft questions, soft laughter, diminuendo.” It is their music – not his. Repeatedly, women’s hands appear, but their soft caresses do not soothe. Lovers are seen through a glass, darkly. Femininity and domesticity continue like a play on an unreachable stage, as though taking place in another world.