Barbara Adair on The 9 Lives of Ray The Cat Jones

Stewart Home headstand

Stewart Home headstand

“So what is the text about? There is a story; the story is of the life of Ray the Cat Jones. It progresses in a linear fashion, Ray Jones is born to a working family in Wales, and then later, after many adventures, he dies of cancer. Ray Jones is a cat burglar, he is also a victim of the vicious exploiter of the working class, the British bourgeoisie, (and he is Welsh and we all know how the English hate the Welsh -‘sheep shaggers’, so he is a victim of racist bigoted loathing), but he is a righteous man. And so he takes a stand, he is, (becomes) a person of agency, he knows he does not want to die in the coal mines of boredom and pain, so he steals from the rich, why should a ‘toff’ have a full belly and the poor man one groaning in hunger. Furthermore his dreams of one day being a professional boxer are thwarted as, just as he is making it on the boxing circuit, he is set up by some lackeys of the bourgeoisie, (those who are employed to protect wealth and property, uphold unjust laws, those who have ‘sold out’, grassed their spirit to slothful owners), a ‘plod’ (‘rozzer’ ‘old bill’ ‘fuzz’) and so spends time in jai…” Read the full text here: http://sensitiveskinmagazine.com/the-9-lives-of-ray-the-cat-jones-a-novel-by-stewart-home/

Above: Stewart Home doing a headstand in front of one of the 13 pieces by him in the group show In Praise Of Laziness at Trade Gallery in Nottingham on 1 November 2014 at the exhibition opening. Photo by Bruce Asbestos.

 

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Barbara Adair On Mandy, Charlie & Mary-Jane!

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“The word anti-novel is always used when a novel by Home is reviewed, talked about, considered, analysed (and he is reviewed in erudite journals and newspapers; the London Review of Books, the Guardian, the New Statesman to name a few, he must be famous, egotistical notoriety is probable his second name, his not intrinsic nature). But what is the anti-novel? It is a question that is vexing….”

“…So what is the message, unless one casts the book aside after the first page, but then the message has already sunk in (literally), this reader is already the zombie that Home describes, the living dead reading to pass the time, reading because a good story satiates limitation, for this reader there is no message, this reader is the message? And if one does not cast it aside, one ponders and thinks, what one finds is that the anti-novel is an insolent challenge to everything that one knows; a work filled with plagiarism and appropriation, it flouts a society that cherishes the notion of individuality and originality…”

Read Barbara Adair’s full review for Sensitive Skin Magazine here!