Trompé Setsuled (setsuled) wrote,
Trompé Setsuled

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Hot Lunch

This is the feast that was happening outside the Japanese restaurant where I had lunch to-day (大川).

It sure feels like the hottest summer in U.S. history. I just got back from a variety of errands on foot--gas is too expensive even in this heat--and I'm completely soaked in sweat. I feel like an udon man.

I printed out the first story in the Sirenia Digest, "ONE TREE HILL (THE WORLD AS CATACLYSM)", and read it over lunch and tea. It was good. It's not related, as far as I can tell, to the television series of the same name, though I can't be sure never having watched the show. Caitlin says in the prologue it's influenced by the work of Shirley Jackson but, as usual of Caitlin's work, it strikes me as being more Lovecraftian. Which was interesting as it got me thinking about the essential differences between Jackson and Lovecraft. One might say "ONE TREE HILL" is close to how a Shirley Jackson story written by H.P. Lovecraft may have looked.

I suppose the primary difference between the two is that Jackson wrote from the perspective of nervous, introverted, unreliable narrators and Lovecraft wrote from the perspective of nervous, introverted narrators in unreliable worlds. In Shirley Jackson's work, even though your vehicle is this person whose point of view has been made so strange, whose categorical discernings are so rigid and strange, you still get the impression of a world ticking outside this head without Jackson ever deviating from the first person narration. That's one of the things that made Jackson such a particularly great writer, and it's a talent that I think makes her more accessible as a writer for many people than Lovecraft's talent does. People like dialogue, being fooled into thinking what's really just one writer concocting all this stuff is in fact several independent minds. In Caitlin's work, and in Lovecraft's, the narrator's mind and the environment are inextricable, the characters seem to be manifestations of the protagonist's nerves. What's interesting about "ONE TREE HILL" is the character or creature the narrator perceives but never looks at directly. It seems for most of the story to be a manifestation of the narrator's better judgement, or indoctrinated civilised judgement, until the end when it seems to be shown as a more definitely supernatural other. An entity whose nature is precisely that which the entity had been attempting to dissuade the narrator from investigating. So it becomes an interesting rumination on how the mind works and the validity of perspectives on certain modes of living being better than others.

Twitter Sonnet #414

Chilled choices sap Google's grain demesne.
Huckleberry raspberries blame genes.
Friendly records duped Andy Dufresne.
Prisons deprive disks of bonus dirt scenes.
Television Yosemite sinks grey.
Martian shellfish help carry pills back home.
Animal robbers need concrete to stay.
Lamination negates the careful chrome.
Strong scented sundae mantels still remain.
The pipes replenish ponds on the old street.
Diverse rations are too strange to retain.
Squares trust too many pixels to compete.
Luminous dagnabbit and tarnation.
Disturbed dunk tanks trickle radiation.
Tags: books, caitlin, hp lovecraft, shirley jackson, sirenia digest, writing

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