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Author Topic: PC269: Selected Program Notes From the Retrospective Exhibition of Theresa  (Read 10937 times)


  • Lochage
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I listened to this story yesterday, then listened to it again today. And then I went home and read it because I do have Clockwork Phoenix 4.

And I have to be honest, each time, I grew more and more disturbed. Which was a feeling I hadn't expected from this story.

I can't put my finger on why, either. It's a gorgeous story and I could easily picture each portrait in my mind. The fact that this is a ghost story didn't bother first. At least, not until the last portrait.

My guess would be that, gathered from the bits and pieces in the notes, I don't think Theresa Rosenbert Latimer had a happy life; in fact, I got a feeling that she was a tortured individual. Wow...that landscape picture where everything is drab and monotonous and painted the same way--if that isn't depression, I don't know what is. Once she started seeing ghosts, that didn't make things any easier. The one with her "highlighted" parents certainly showed that. So the last portrait with herself "highlighted"--right before her suicide-- should have been downright chilling to the anonymous writer of the program notes.

Which I think is the brilliant point of the story. We have a woman who went through much emotional turmoil, and it is all viewed by a dry, clinical, oblivious narrator. I think this one will sit with me for a long time.

Kudos to Peter, though, for an *excellent* reading. There was a point when I really did feel like I was listening to a PBS or an NPR station.

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  • Sir Postsalot
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Hm, it appears that I get to be the lone voice of dissent on this one.

The story was well-written.  The life was well-described.  I felt like they were all real people, and this was real art.  This was all good.

The tone was very dry and distant.  Which, given the title and format was entirely appropriate.  I entirely believed that this could've been grabbed from some art curator's filing cabinet and published as though it were fiction.  And I like going to museums, and reading this kind of thing on the plaques by the exhibits. 

The thing is, I enjoy reading those notes in a different way than I enjoy reading really good emotional fiction.  I find the details interesting, but the format makes it hard for me to really connect to it on a deep emotional level like this story apparently was meant to do.  Apparently I'm the only one here who had that problem, which is fine. 

It seemed like most people were convinced that this was a ghost story rather than just metaphor in painting.  Anyone care to elaborate on that?  Given the format, I don't think there's any way to tell--every bit of the painter's life that we know is portrayed in the paintings which means it just had to come from her mind not necessarily reality, but maybe I'm wrong.


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I've been thinking about this one well after completion, so that's a good sign. I have struggled with audio stories that are excerpts from texts. I think why this one worked so well in audio where the others have failed is that this just sounds like one of those audio tours where you put on a headset and walk around the museum. With that frame, and the strong descriptions of the pictures, it's easy to visualize walking around the gallery.

This one's definitely going on the next road trip disc, as the wife and her art background will really dig this one.

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


  • Sir Postsalot
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In case anyone hadn't heard yet, this story got a Nebula nomination this year:


  • Matross
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My sister was telling me last week about a story on Clarkesworld, and I said hmmm, that reminds me of a story on Podcastle a year ago or so, Notes from an Exhibition something something...
I finally looked it up, and this was the story. Wow, all the way back from 2013! I guess the great stories really stick in my mind and seem fresh even years later. I listened to it again today, and it is still just as impressive.