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Review: These rough notes / Bill Manhire, et al.

May 29, 2013

These rough notes : an evocationAt first glance, this is an interesting book with its wintry cover, the words barely visible, as if becoming lost in a blizzard. On second glance, flicking through, it presents as a ‘vanity’ sort of coffee-table book: sparse content, not much to see or sink one’s teeth into. But perhaps that is the point – maybe the entire book is an exercise in paucity to match the subject matter.

‘These Rough Notes’ by Bill Manhire, Anne Noble, Norman Meehan, Hannah Griffin is a collaboration between national leaders in their fields: Manhire (writer), Noble (photographer), Meehan (composer), and Griffin (singer). It is divided into two parts: ‘Beneath the ice’ remembers the tragedies of Scott’s polar expedition; the ‘Notebook Songs’ aims to capture the experiences of scientists and other contemporary visitors to the ice.

In my un-educated opinion, the poems and photographs are good and enjoyable, but perhaps that is a bit low-brow. And there isn’t enough content to my liking – but if I had more time to read and re-read, I suspect it would be more fulfulling. There is a compact disc in the front cover which I was unable to access at the time of reading, and this may add to the experience. If you take it out, do let me know if it does.

– Tamara Jones

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From → Non-Fiction, Review

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