Thursday, August 13, 2015

"Acres of Perhaps" by Will Ludwigsen

I don't care for the 1950s just-folks tone; the narrator's nostalgia is one thing but the story's is...another; and the climactic spectacle of heterosexuality magnanimously forgiving homosexuality only barely avoids grotesquery by virtue of not lasting very long. But the bizarrery — genuine, however ambiguous — in this tale of a television writer who believes his compulsion to write, and to write deeply strange things, is the direct result of his having tumbled from one dimension to another through a rotten tree stump (and of the more ordinary writer who admires, resents, and remembers him), goes a long way towards redeeming the story. And its exploration of the tensions, and the never-ending shifts, between different relationships with writing itself — writing as job, as calling, as monstrosity — though it is often elementary, is just as often captivating, and throughout is refreshingly free of snobbery — in any direction.

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