SQUARE ROUNDS -
by Tony Harrison
Directly inspired by events during the Gulf War, this play looks at the history
of relations between the East and the West, and warfare in particular. Tony
Harrison is the author of "The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus".
1992 edition, by faber and faber
130 mm x 200 mm format
With musical score section for the sung parts
With plenty of Direction notes...An excellent reading and reference copy
Spine intact, no creases, no pen marks or notations, only very slight signs of general reading wear.
Picture shown is that of the actual item.
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An enthusiastic review...
'Whatever can a `square round` be? An oxymoron if ever there was one. The title
of Harrison’s verse-play comes form the eighteenth century work of James Puckle
“fashioned square rounds
to kill those who scorned Christian
If it’s the cross you revere you get killed by a sphere
but if you
face towards Mecca at prayer- - -
the pain you’ll feel is redoubled when
bullets are square.”
The play explores one outcome of a particular new discovery, that of
synthesising ammonia using chemical methods. Ammonia could be used to
manufacture fertilisers that would enable all humanity to be fed, or to
manufacture explosives with which to wipe out the human race.
The verse pursues many topics simultaneously, British and German antagonism,
racism, colour sensitivity, gender, religious intolerance, some history of
warfare as well as human love and respect.
The poetry shows as man lives and his knowledge increases, his instincts
remain constant. We are only doing now what the Chinese did one thousand years
ago, but our current methods use proven scientific facts.
This is another piece of Harrison’s work in which the author leaves the
reader with the question, “ How far have we come – and how far do we need to go?
Where is peace? '