Alas, no, the title of this post does not refer to an ancient Chinese fortress built between two gnarled trees on the bank of a silent lake with golden stones mined in holy quarries by men whose feet no modern shoe could hold. A fortress studded with the kind of defensive machiolations that regularly bring architects to their knees; that sits in solemn grandeur, seeming to affront the clouds themselves – or scare away the lightning storms. A fortress of incomparable strength and dignity, wherein resides a sombre yet successful warrior whose beard is as long as his sword and who breeds alligators in his spare time. A fortress wherein also resides (in another of its eighty-seven rooms) a woman of such beauty that only a cretin would dare to describe her (I’ll say this: her fingernails are a knock-out). The relationship between the man and the woman? A mystery deeper than any ocean.
No, this is not what this post is about.
Xengho, in fact, refers to Jean-Paul Xengho; crafter of impossible sentences and literary architect of the unassailable fortress that we call, Yellow, Red – into which yet another brave critic is attempting to break, armed only with a dozen paragraphs. Does the critic succeed? Personally, I think that he has done no more than create his own, smaller, fortress in the grounds of Xengho’s: a base-camp, perhaps, put up in preparation for later attacks.
Of course, should you desire to have opinions of your own (not a bad thing when you think about it) you may find the review to which I refer in the latest issue of Lit Up – a trendy new literary magazine available from all good bookstores featuring a ‘last days’ sign in the window.