Archive for the ‘Allegory/Fable’ Category
Many believe that in today’s tortured times, humanity is mortally wounded. What if our pain manifested itself as visible light, and what if that pain was the most beautiful thing about us? What if the pain would cease and the light would radiate from us all?
In Kevin Brockmeier’s incandescent novel, his characters struggle to adapt to a new way of experiencing pain and loss and indeed, life itself. The author employs overlapping, fable-like narratives starting with Carol Ann whole life “seemed like one long litany of wounds.” Carol Ann had “known days of happiness and beauty, rate moments of motionless wonder, but trying to relive them was like looking out the window at night from a partially lit room.”
In the snow-encrusted archipelago of St. Haudaâ€™s Land, moth-winged bulls and a creature that can turn things white with her gaze share an island with more human lives: people who lose love as quickly as they gain it and who must struggle with the baggage of the past.
November 1, 2010
Â· Judi Clark Â· No Comments
Tags: Fairy Tales, Loss, Real Event Fiction, Small Town Â· Posted in: 2010 Favorites, Allegory/Fable, Contemporary, Debut Novel, Speculative (Beyond Reality), United Kingdom
What is the relationship between persecutors and their victims? In THE DEATH OF THE ADVERSARY â€“ poised on the brink of what soon will be one of the worldâ€™s most horrific tragedies â€“ an unnamed narrator in an unnamed country reflects on an unnamed figure who will soon ascend to power. Although the figure (â€śBâ€ť) is never revealed, it soon becomes obvious that he is Hitler and that the narrator is of Jewish descent.
There are many reasons we read: for enlightenment, escape, education, and in some rare instances, to confront ourselves with truths and insights we never would have encountered otherwise.
BRODECK is one of those rare instances. It is, quite simply, one of the best contemporary books I have ever read. And I have read a lot.
Iâ€™ve thought a great deal about this review, since beginning the book, in fact. (I wonder if even the word “review” is the right one. A review implies more than I think I can deliver.) This is no ordinary book and writing about it is not a normal experience. This book is big and thick and juicy and full of complexities, ripe with humor and allusion, digressions and insights. For this reader, it is the book of a dream. I mean that in two ways…
Baba Yaga is a star player in Eastern European myths. The Russian version involves a crackly old witch ready to spark terror in childrenâ€™s hearts. Croatian author Dubravka Ugresic, in her wonderful book, BABA YAGA LAID AND EGG, lays out modern-day interpretations of this age-old myth. These â€świtches,â€ť Ugresic tells us, are all around usâ€”old women limbs curling from arthritis, shuffling along, waiting, pondering the end of their lives. The book is laid out in three sectionsâ€”each a different take on the myth.
February 3, 2010
Â· Judi Clark Â· No Comments
Tags: Aging, Canongate, Croatia, Dubravka Ugresic, Myth Â· Posted in: Allegory/Fable, Croatia, End-of-Life, James Tiptree Winner, Literary, Russia, Translated, World Lit