Thus revealed, the creature buried its nose in the tire-tilled soil...
February 1, 2004
So I read this story...
Category: Miscellany

Nothing really new to add, except look for the debut of a new SC ongoing feature really soon. Like maybe later today, maybe Monday. Soon. I'll keep you posted.

Tonight's post is courtesy of Hannah, who also has a link now in the sidebar. In a blog post today she referred readers to "Kafka in Bronteland", a short story by Tamar Yellin. If you've got the time, give it a look and let me know what you think -- I'd be really curious to hear what you've got to say about it.

Me? I hated it. And here are my thoughts on it, which I also posted in Hannah's comments section:

Hm. So I read the story, and I'll be honest -- I hated it. Not because I thought that it was really terrible, mind you, but because I didn't get anything out of it. I hate that kind more than a story that I violently dislike -- at least there was something in the latter type to make me dislike it. You know that I'm a big fan of Kafka -- that's because his stories are actually about something. They're about a lot of things, of course, but something really significant will always come through for a reader. This story had that "breezy, lazy" templated sort of feeling -- it's a story that just kind of ambles along through several scenes (often contrived; there will typically be the scene with the foreigner, the scene with the friends spouting random views on something, the scene in which someone experiences a death in the family) until it ends with someone standing in a meadow and smiling up at the sky, or something like that. "Blah blah blah, and remember, life is beautiful." It's a story that not only doesn't tell me anything, but it doesn't even seem like it's really trying to. It just felt... empty. Aimless. And intentionally so. And I hate that.

I also hate that these stories continue to sell like maple syrup-filled hotcakes while all I get are rejections galore. 🙁

Hannah mentioned that she went looking for the story online because her hard copy of the anthology in which it appears is misprinted -- apparently she's got two of the second-to-last pages and is missing the last. In my case, given how the story struck me, I'm not even sure I would've noticed that I had double pages and was missing something at the end. No, I'm exaggerating -- I'd have noticed. But I might have thought it was intentional, and maybe even thought the story was more interesting for it, since it might have evoked some feeling of deja vu. Stories like this, I think, would benefit from being misprinted.

And now I'm totally going to do something like that in one of my own stories. Whenever I get back to writing them, that is... :/

-posted by Wes | 1:01 am | Comments (0)
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