Jim Meirose


W<J>P Newnham’s Experimental Discourse
“El Greco Rides Again”

The Encounter by Ruizanglada

This is an Easter story. Presenting the zombie-Christ; a brilliantly off-center characterization. So, this is on the first page, setting you up. And, the characters sometimes communicate by kite. Again. A kite is a prison letter. This opens all type of probing questions about what things should be called. And multiple answers to that question. But; pushing on. The first-person protagonist is provided with money and means to attend an Easter celebration held by El Greco—a larger-than- life character also appearing in other work by Warwick. A luxury flight and luxury ground transport to El Greco’s shindig. The narrator seems critical of the whole notion of Easter, the resurrection, et cetera. The narrative becomes allegorical in nature; the protagonist enjoys a “Christ Free Night” in his hotel upon arrival; he reflects on the fact that “I am drunk and Christ is dead”—then he passes a night of “stroboscopic vignettes” which is written so well, the feeling of being in strobe-lit dark room—of trying to see but not quite being able to—is well invoked. His awakening on the morning of the celebration is presented as a kind of resurrection. Fitting for Easter—and the celebration seems analogous to entering from death into the waiting arms of God the Father (El Greco). “The reports of my death…have been greatly exaggerated”, etc., and the arrival at the party he’s greeted by, “Come—my Father is waiting!”, and snippets like “And then there was food” et cetera—one after the other this is—thought-provoking and extremely enjoyable. Will not go any further for fear of spoiling the ending. Read this to find out.


About Warwick Newnham:
W.J.P. Newnham hitchhiked around Australia working as barman, bum and waiter, slaughter hand, deckhand and master, spending 25 years working in the Northern Prawn Fishery. He has travelled extensively in Southeast Asia, the Americas, and Japan and speaks marketplace Indonesian with some fluency. He is the winner of the 2016 The Lifted Brow’s Experimental Non-fiction Prize. His numerous short stories have been published in Nocturnal SubmissionsOverlandThe Lifted BrowMeanjinWesterly and Horror Sleaze Trash [to name but a few]. Newnham is an Associate Editor for Content and Contributing Editor for Experimental Discourse at O:JA&L.

About the reviewer:
Jim Meirose‘s work has appeared in numerous venues. His novels include Understanding Franklin Thompson (JEF), Le Overgivers au Club de la Résurrection (Mannequin Haus), and No and Maybe – Maybe and No (Pski’s Porch). A new novel Audio Bookies is forthcoming from J.New Books.

Image: The Encounter by Ruizanglada (1929-2001). Acrylic on linen. 146 x 115 cm. 1995. By free license.