Review of They Had Goat Heads

Kate Onyett has written a erudite review of They Had Goat Heads (vis-a-vis structuralism) for Sein und Werden. Here's the first two paragraphs:

"Getting to grips with this book is akin to those dreams one has when one knows it is important to run, to move fast, but cannot; a force holds one back; a binding, slowing force. It prevents independent flight and demands that one submit to the direction and timing of the dream. This can feel very threatening; what should be familiar (running, walking) becomes skewed, slanted and something alien and uncertain.

Wilson takes what we might think of as a story and then percolates it through a filter of his own devising. He is either a genius or an egotist; or possibly both, as they tend to be twinned facets of one jealous breath of description, and we are forced to play the game and read the book on his lines. Those lines are non-sequiteur comments, lined up after another, seemingly with little connection and wildly descriptive, contrasting landscapes of potential meanings. Any reaction is entirely in the eye and mind of the reader. Funnily enough, I would be willing to bet that despite this people could read the same messages embedded in this crazed fictional landscape; that though the message seems garbled, the gist would be similar to most readers. Those that bear with it and finish it, that is. For those to whom it is impenetrable, this reaction has already sorted them from those who can claim to find a meaning and would follow in understanding. And as random as the narratives seem, I doubt that there would be too many randomised readings."

And here's the Final Word:

"Come that day Wilson manages to create work that can direct specifically examined content with all the obscure working-out of his current style, he will truly be a speculative giant, indeed."

Ah, Bartleby ...