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Distance & Proximity

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Thomas A Clark. pocketbooks, 2000. 123pp. £7.99 (ISBN 0 7486 6288 X)

'The impatience with which we seek the confirmations of light is a flight from information brought by all the senses to the evidence of the eyes alone, ' says Thomas A Clark - a remark that recalls the argument of Juhani Pallasmaa's polemic The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses (1996).

Neil Gillespie quotes Clark, this time on shade and shadows, in assessing the recent renovation of Gillespie Kidd & Coia's St Patrick's Church, Kilsyth (see pp 28-35). Whether discussing moonlight, the sea, a blue field of flax or - recurrent theme - the pleasure of walking, Clark's 'prose poems' in Distance & Proximity do lend themselves to quotation. Each is composed of a series of single sentences (perceptions, thoughts), and each sentence is placed on page with enough surrounding space for it to resonate. More often than not, it does.

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