A Partial View Towards Nazareth

The up cutting of the curve is sometimes all the distinction between the mouldings of far-distant countries and utterly strange nations.
—John Ruskin, on the Gothic dripstone

So begins these five narratives, published in 2010 by Stillwater Press, secular in their way, grown out of the privately circulated The Spokane Trilogy and excerpted in the 2023 A Little Family.

Try reading this book as if it were a musical score. Listen to its cadences and you will see what I mean. If you read it like this you will enjoy discovering the recurring themes that knit this work together into a coherent whole, says Neal Leadbeater in his review.

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Excerpt

I skirted the wall, taking with me a magazine with an advertisement for Steinway pianos, a piece Rockwell Kent had illustrated with an angel—heroic, of course—flying against night and sea, suspended by thousands of engraved lines, free as a chord in a white kind of diving shape with hands turned up slightly, ready to part the water but easy against the air, not diving but going through. The knees were bent so its delicate white feet would clear the mountains and the hats of those in the street (who might not, anyway, notice an angel’s touch), but not so bent that the toes would not pleasantly graze the soft tops of hemlocks and yews the way pendant fingers make lazy chevrons as they dangle from a boat.

Reviews

Hurray for Kathryn Rantala and her thrilling sorrows!
—Gordon Lish

What a painful joy to read. Blew me away. This has become one of my favorite books.
—George Farrah

Ultimately it's a story of grief and loss, but grief so
ingrained in an acutely observed life that you almost
don't notice it. And then it wakes up beside you.

—Mark Rich

These [pieces] soothe and lure and settle ... it is like an excursion into the worlds of feeling and linguistic Yoga.
—Nina Jablonski

I have to say that this book intrigued me right from the outset. It is hard to classify since it is neither poetry nor prose in the conventional sense and yet it succeeds in being both at the same time. I am not even sure if it could be called a prose poem since it is the length of a novel with distinct breaks like chapters but the lines never fail to sing. Reading it, I was reminded very much of the Ian Robinson / Ray Seaford collaboration, Thunder on the Dew…an intriguing work in which each writer gave free reign to his imagination whilst at the same time making some sort of connection with whatever had been written by his counterpart. The means may be different on this occasion, but the sense of interconnectedness is there.
—Neil Leadbeater from the review in Galatea Resurrects

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