Bernard Cohen reviews 'horse' by Ania Walwicz

Bernard Cohen reviews 'horse' by Ania Walwicz

horse

by Ania Walwicz

UWA Publishing, $24.99 pb, 192 pp, 9781742589893

Virtuosic performance text, palimpsest of a nineteenth-century Russian folktale, and a merciless and often very funny sectioning of the self, Ania Walwicz’s horse enacts what it names: ‘Polyphony as identity’. The narrative more or less follows the story of The Little Humpbacked Horse by Piotr Jerszow, in which a magical horse repeatedly helps Ivan, a foolish young farm boy, towards his fairy-tale ending. In Walwicz’s wilder and more fragmentary retelling, the protagonist’s identity comprises both horse and rider, tsar and groom, tyrant and the tyrannised, abused child and academic, the self of fiction and the ‘autobiographical’. The effect is almost Cubist, in that all of these facets are visible without becoming a settled, realist literary image.

Read the rest of this article by subscribing to ABR Online for as little as $10 a month.

We offer a range of subscription options, including print, which can be found by clicking here. If you are already a subscriber, enter your username and password in the ‘Log In’ section in the top right-hand corner of the screen.

If you require assistance, contact us or consult the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Bernard Cohen

Bernard Cohen

Bernard Cohen is a Sydney-based writer and director of The Writing Workshop. His latest book, the story collection When I Saw the Animal (UQP), was published in September 2018. Bernard’s last novel, The Antibiography of Robert F. Menzies, won the 2015 Russell Prize for Humour Writing. His poem 'Fruit Barn' was shortlisted for the 2018 Overland Fair Australia Poetry Prize. For Bernard’s writing, see www.bernardcohen.com.au. For his teaching, please visit www.writingworkshop.com.au.

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to comments@australianbookreview.com.au. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.