Author Topic: Pseudopod 83: Heartstrung  (Read 16145 times)


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Reply #25 on: January 26, 2010, 06:18:27 PM
I think eroomtam and Sgarre1 hit most of the things I wanted to say about the feminist message in the story. It didn't turn me off or offend me, it just made me uncomfortable.

I think the best element in the story was the air spirit.

I think the reading was perfect for the story, as a neutral reading for a majority of the story is appropriate with the removal of the emotions. Another alternative to the feminist message would be to consider a "better living through chemistry" message where we're drugging ourselves and our children to wash away anxieties and depression. But when you fill in the valleys, you tend to shave off the peaks to provide enough material to fill the low spots in.

All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”


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Reply #26 on: July 22, 2010, 11:09:18 PM
I liked this one.  Well told, well paced and with a highly engaging central idea and plot.  It was very subtle, personal and introspective - qualities in a story which I usually do not enjoy - but this one proves that anything can be great, if it's done right.  It was a wonderful, wonderful example of magical realism - without unecessary exposition to clutter it all up (cf. "The Wild Y").  Although I had been expecting the mother to have a great, gaping hole in her chest when she took her sweater off.

I did have a few little issues with it: (1) Doesn't the phrase "wearing your heart on your sleeve" mean expressing your emotions freely and openly?  Quite the reverse of what was happening. (2) The language tripped me up in a few parts.  It was generally good - for example, I liked the description of her tears "detonating" - but that was followd up by "like bullets."  Bullets do not detonate.  They do not explode unless they are hi-ex rounds fired out of a .50cal or something.  That metaphor really pulled me out of the story.  A nit-pick, I know.

Finally, while I'm not going to editorialize about how much or how little this was an allegory for women's oppression, I will state that I disliked the ending in the sense that it implied the only escape was suicide.  And yes, I also despised The Awakening by Kate Chopin for the same reason.  It says something about allegories for women's oppression that they often end with the death of the heroine at her own hand.  Perhaps that alone kept me from including this one in my top 10.  Suicide is an over-used ending which goes double for this type of story (horror and women's oppression) so I was disappointed to see that was the way it was resolved.

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