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Beauty in Vignettes

By LondonIvy, member

Sep 14, 2011: The writing reflects the characters. Most of them are common, everyday people who are not writers, and it shows in the prose. But this doesn’t mean there’s not beautiful paragraph here and there that is astounding. No, the prose never gives way to being writerly. It is mostly written in the character’s voices and at their skill level, yet the beauty comes purely from people experiencing their lives and describing it honestly and truthfully. It made me reflect on how perhaps people who are not trained as writers (and I’m talking about the first person narrators here, not the author themself) can show more honesty without being restrained by writing conventions. Sometimes it makes for something interesting, and these pieces made me reflect on the fact that the act of writing unto itself is a near magical and ancient medium of communication, restrained not by technology but by mere language and the skill of the writer. The language of this piece is unadorned but not simple. It says everything it needs to say in all the words it needs to say it.

I read the 9/11 story, and it is one of the few pieces of this kind that truly reflected the hurt and anguish of the tragedy without resorting to melodrama. There is honesty and truth, and because of that the piece works and is beautiful. There are no false machinations of the writer forcing the event into pretty words. It’s simply a character living her experience, and the reader experiencing it with her. There are many excerpts I could pull out to prove my point, but I don’t want to spoil it. The best part of these shorts is finding the beauty in what seems to be average experiences.

Overall: I liked it, and I think other people will like it. It made me feel and experience moments in the characters’ lives with concise prose.

3 of 3 members found this review helpful.
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