Sunday, February 15, 2009

the ache of perfection

I read so much bad fiction online that I'm always a little surprised to find something good: a contemporary fairy tale, with more than a hint of Margaret Atwood.

This is "The Red Shoes," by Genevieve Valentine, via The Journal of Mythic Arts.

Good stuff, this Journal: fiction and analysis both. And of course I find it after it's gone.

It's not a perfect story; I thought the ending was a little weak. Although the pace and style were consistent throughout, I would have preferred a more definite ending. Nevertheless, the writing is clean and efficient, the story predictable but satisfying--there's a hint of doom that makes the plot inevitable, rather than pat.

And the story resonated with me--that strife for mastery, to integrate the body and the spirit in skill and artistic expression. The frustration of seeing the long road ahead; the torture of fearing you'll never get back to where you once were.

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