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2010 Story 91 and Essay 41

STORY:

91. Thimberiggery and Fledgelings by Steve Berman, from The Beastly Bride: Tales of the Animal People, edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling.  There's a melancholy sweetness to this story that really moved me.  I can't say I'm particularly familiar with the ballet Swan Lake (as in, I know the basic idea but don't know the particulars of the plot), so I was able to enjoy this story as a story rather than as a retelling of an old familiar tale.  I suspect that if I ever do see a performance of Swan Lake, I will not be able to put this story out of my head.  Berman captures the various forms of love / lust / interest so well -- unrequited, arranged, familial, at-first-sight -- and weaves them all into the story.  I can honestly saw I felt something for all of the main characters, even the sorcerer father of the main character who at first seems almost inhuman in the way he deals with the world.  I have to highly recommend this piece.

ESSAY:

41. Queen Victoria's Jubilee by Mark Twain, The Library of America's Story of the Week for March 11, 2010.  Twain's descriptive ability is in full force here.  He starts out explaining what it is about a Parade that so fascinates us, and how even the most raggedy collection of paraders, if they hold themselves high, can affect the emotions of those viewing the parade. Then he compares the parade in honor of Queen Victoria's 60 years on the Throne (at which Twain is present) with a much earlier Royal Procession, that of Henry V after the victory at Agincourt (at which Twain was not present, but pretends to channel a spirit who was).  The descriptiveness is incredible, and I'm pretty sure more than a hint of the classic Twain sarcasm is present at the end of the piece, when he talks about all the people NOT represented in Victoria's parade.

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( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
mroctober
Apr. 15th, 2010 11:29 am (UTC)
::bends at the knee::
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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