The WEIRD (39)
“Only that warble, which is so close to song, and which is almost soothing in its strange atonality, as if – like so many; like myself – it is simply trying hard to find its place in a universe that is a friend to no one. And so it warbles off key, in various keys, trying to find the tone which resonates in its miseraable gut and heart in the air and earth around it.” – from T.M. Wright story below
Real-Time Review continued from HERE.
The WEIRD: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories
Edited by Ann & Jeff VanderMeer
First published in Great Britain 2011 by Corvus, an imprint of Atlantic Books Ltd.
2 Dec 11 – another 90 minutes later
The People on the Island – T. M. Wright
“Pets. Stories told around a campfire.”
A double wow! When reviewing in real-time, I know one is generally affected by the immediate impression more than by a past one (even if they are otherwise equal) … so – with that proviso – I can report that I find this story (and I am not sure if I will always find this true in retrospect) to be the most personally significant discovery for me in the whole book (so far). It is just up my street, just up my (technically-bereft) word-musical, shape-semanticised antennae. Where do I start? “Winter walks on the beach” – “blood as thick as pudding” (cf the doughy blood in Evenson and the dough tires in Etchison), characters and animals – or a bit of each as both – in a sort of Priestian ‘Dream Archipelago’ island; “the grotesque; I tell her it can be beautiful” – the dying fall relationship with Elizabeth inscrutably spiced by other women seen at some modicum of distance of exercise bike and black-bikini indetermination – “stationery ghosts“: those pages halfway between real pages and ebook pages? the tantric/chakras of Harlan Ellison breath: “Complexity to simplicity to eternity in one effortless outflow of breath” – “Nothing’s obvious […] and that’s the whole point, isn’t it?” – imbued with unmapped genius-loci, living here since we (or they) were children together – people fleetingly seen as ‘ornaments, bric-a-brac, adornments’, Elizabeth-Bowenesque counters in a Reva-Mender’s board-game as played by elves – and, as I head towards some sort of ending with this book (read much more quickly so far than I anticipated because of its delightfully relentless impulse of weird-literary ‘breaking news’ of dream realities: a journey endowed upon me simply for the bargain price of this vast tome as serendipitously enhanced by my own recent seasoned experience of publicly imparting (however instinctively, however amateurishly, however selfishly) many earlier book-journeys – and now, “I think I understand, at last.”) But how can I convey this story’s durably and constructively tantalising retreat from my own reaching towards reading it….? A rhetorical question.
Continued as The WEIRD (40) HERE.
Index of this whole real-time review HERE.