The Far Side of the Lake – Steve Rasnic Tem

Real-Time Review continued from HERE



Her flesh became a thin paper memory, dry and without scent.”

This is a highly poetic soliloquy (disguised as a a fiction narrative) of a Ghost Hunter dwelling on bereavement and finally embracing impermanence, as he sits in his favourite trip out during the Autum of his yearss; a bouquet of smells, archaeologically-primed ectoplasm, global shock or earthquake (cf ‘Underground’ and ‘Ice House Pond’) – and a post-life, dare I say, post-Valentine meditation upon his late wife and then upon others “lost” from his life as another word for ‘dead’.  It is beautiful, it is unbearable. Another reading experience to cherish. I am so glad I was encouraged to visit this book’s complete text. If it were not for ebooks I may never have been introduced to it. And the ‘thin paper memory’ quote above seems to be a tellingly oblique testament to that. And the story’s last lines, too. All that together with “old breath” to match the book’s earlier “cold breath”, tears “in the grain of stone“, “diggings“, scryings, cryings, cryologies. I originally sensed the aforementioned soliloquy to be Shakespearean, like one of Hamlet’s. Nah, no point in mentioning that in my review, I told myself. Just my imagination … until I came across the phrase “too solid flesh“. (15 Feb 12)




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