Were we to watch King Lear to the end of Act Five, walk across the street to buy a movie ticket for Monty Python and the Holy Grail, we would have moved far from Chapter 96 of Moby-Dick, wherein Ishmael rejects Rabelais for the "fine-hammered steel of woe..." to raucous hilarity and grotesqueries that challenge a steady state.
In Thin Gloves, Meadows asks: what can a work be? To write through source works such as Melville and Rabelais, through commentary by philologist M.A. Screech moves questions of influence in ways "not doctored fields as our old judgment taught." Neither genealogy begotten by absence nor lineage as metaphor for history, Thin Gloves means a palm split open before ten. A memory of voyage orphaned by the factory floor may "leap from logical trespass/to moral fuss," yet will the "prior world of Pan" "make articles folly and dogma comic?"
Author of the Green Integer book, Representing Absence, Deborah Meadows teaches at California Polytechnic State University, Ponoma. She has been part of recent writers' and scholars' exchanges with Havana, Cuba.