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The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - BOOKS REVIEWS -

THEFALLATHOME:NEWAND COL­LECTED APHORISMS DON PATER­SON Faber & Faber, £16.99

Hav­ing singly-handed re­vived the apho­rism, Don Pater­son has been grow­ing this su­perfine gritty col­lec­tion for over a decade. “A poem is a lad­der to the sky; an apho­rism just a stair to the cel­lar.” And al­though he would prob­a­bly clas­sify Ec­cle­si­astes as wis­dom lit­er­a­ture ( there are pages of aphorisms defin­ing aphorisms here), I felt a de­light­fully dour kin­ship be­tween them. Pater­son is much fun­nier, of course, his dark view bizarrely com­fort­ing. What could be seen as ar­ro­gance must be brave, whether he’s ex­am­in­ing “the self” or him­self. That hon­esty earns the reader’s trust even though I couldn’t quite de­cide if his ap­pre­ci­a­tion of women un­nerved or pleased me. But truth and wit carry the day as he takes the reader on his sub­ter­ranean jour­ney. He nails our cur­rent un­ease: “Right now there is prob­a­bly more you need in the cel­lar than in the sky.”

MARTINA EVANS

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