The WEIRD (27)

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.

29/11/11 – two hours later

The Snow Pavilion – Angela Carter

Too white. It is too white, out.”

Is it too glib to say that this story is enchanting? Perhaps, it risks falling out of its zone too easily and finding everything the same as it was before I started reading it.  Reminiscent of the doll-Ligotti syndrome and the Frances Oliver snowstorm-globe [perhaps Frances Oliver should have been considered for this book.]  Gautier-pointillisme of a white-noise vision of a hide-and-seek (play Catch) house or mansion – towards the brink of waking up from childhood innocence (and from “a vista like visible Debussy“) … then towards, today, the crone (the mother of all worries?) – and the merely hinted at but absently omnipresent Melissa and her husband (the Ice Man?).  Pervasive, though, is the “bee-stung” (cf King) whiteness that aches deliciously.  The “melodious twang like a note from an imperious tuning-fork“, the “white carpets“, “white walls” (the house tantamount to echoing the snow), “a mimicked tenderness“. Dolls past-enhanced, white-enchanted – later, dolls-coloured by the present moment (with their own “murky history“). Leading to a “black vanishment” beyond “the house on an invisible spool“, conveying the pitched-perfect ley-line of fiction with the most perfect art for art’s sake without even a snowflake of didacticism. As I say, enchanting. Yet, threaded with thoughts of age overcoming youth (so real to me today in more ways than one) and of a car-broken-down-and-then-the-house-as-hospice syndrome: just like Aickman’s Maybury… Hmmm. Enchanting yet ultimately cold (but feeling warm from acknowledging it’s cold). Ultimately great literature.

Continued as The WEIRD (28) page HERE.

Index of this whole real-time review HERE.


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