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The Ballad of Rue Belliard
140pp, individually bound
$(NZ)20, €15, $(US)15

Published in its entirety in the 48th issue of the Auckland literary magazine brief.
ISSN 1175-9313 #48

The Ballad of Rue Belliard
Guillaume (Bill) Direen

"Occasionally a longer work passes your way that seems wonderfully strange, ‘unpublishable’ and outside conventional and familiar forms.
"The Ballad of Rue Belliard though, is perhaps not that strange, once the reader becomes familiar with the characters (and their harsh names) and the setting, and the plot, yet, there is always such a veering towards compression of content in the sentences, the neologisms, the jammed-together words, that reading is never quite comfortable. It can be a battle for the reader to stay with the text, with its rich way of structuring descriptions.
"There are many levels to appreciate in The Ballad of Rue Belliard, and so unusual is it (even now, roughly 100 years after Ulysses) to find language so utilised and explored in a prose work, that this is one of those rare occasions (there has been one before in the history of brief) where a complete work warrants, I feel, to occupy the entire issue." —Brett Cross