…And Egypt is the River
Michael S. Judge
...And Egypt Is the River is a collection of mystical prose-poems which the author describes as an attempt, based on the linguistic theories of R.W. Emerson, Ernest Fenollosa, and Hugh Kenner, among others, to trace the evolution of cosmology and myth as derived from a people’s immediate sensory experience. In one sense it is an exploration of the genesis of language, the primal utterances that transcend from the physical world of sound denoting object to how images come to bring about self-awareness and fuse shared mythologies; or as the poet would say – “impact that compels words, that collect in fossil tidepools of the skull.”
Explore the world of Hibou, the experiential, Klang, the experienced, and the 3rd, who oscillates somewhere in between. The reader will embark upon a brave and exploratory work in which he or she will have to embrace a new language, one that evolves as a physiological outgrowth of such a world. In good literary company, Michael S. Judge deftly manages to dispense with the cloying parameters of time and place and send the reader into a world of strange amalgamated scopes and scapes. Of his work he says coyly – “you could say it takes place in the pharaohs’ Egypt, though it doesn’t; or in Pisistratian Greece, though it doesn’t; or for that matter in Missouri, say around 2666, which it might.”
“If Egypt was a river, then it would eddy and flux, and sinuously expand like MSJ’s hypnotic language. This is something rare and dangerous. Rich, sensuous and edgy, an unfurling scroll or a besotted map, powering Conrad up inside a post colonial Kubla Khan. Let it read you and be transformed.”
— Brian Catling
“Riffs of heightened prose pleasure the senses, with auditory, tactile, and hallucinatory provocations. To endure such a rigorous and sustained assault on the essential poetic metaphors is a fierce initiation. This Egypt of the Mental Traveller is a dream of the true path, subtle and dangerous and undeceived.”
— Iain Sinclair
Michael S. Judge was born in 1987 in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. He grew up in an Irish Catholic enclave in Kansas City and was taught and terrified by Jesuits, much as per Joyce’s Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man. He spent his adolescence in a basement making records, some of which still exist, and then went to Texas to study music. Blake, Eliot, Joyce, and Pynchon made him want to write; Ezra Pound, Djuna Barnes and Iain Sinclair showed him that it was possible. He was very briefly employed by Purdue University, after which he says he spent about a year “in disintegration.” He’s been in Texas since 2011, writing.
Judge has written several novels as well as translating Charles Baudelaire and Dante, among others. Not confined to pen and ink, he is also a multi-instrumentalist and generator of various indie music projects, including The Wolf Tickets, Jerusalem, Sinthome and most recently, The Nerve Institute.