mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli

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Bigger inside than out. (49)

Strange Roads by Peter S. Beagle, inspired by the art of Lisa Snellings-Clarke.

King & the vizier,
The angel & the dybbuk
the ghost & the duel.

I got into these chapbooks through Strange Birds. That one had Gene Wolfe riffing off some pieces of work by Lisa Snellings-Clark, who is the artist who makes those poppets of which I'm so fond. This on is Peter S. Beagle, of The Last Unicorn fame, doing the same. Three stories-- one of which I really enjoyed, one of which was par for the course, & one of which was...fine. The first one in the collection is "King Pelles the Sure" which was what I expected. A bit of a moral told in the trappings of a fairy tale. I enjoyed it, but wasn't surprised by it-- I told you he was the Last Unicorn guy, right? So yeah, I was braced for it. The second tale is "Spook." "Spook" is too clever for my own taste-- a couple of well-educated fellows getting up to supernatural hijinks. A duel with a ghost conducted via bad poetry. Not having the fondness for bad poetry that some might, it didn't click with me. The final story, "Uncle Chaim & Aunt Rifke & the Angel" is really a gem, though. Apparently somewhat auto-biographical? The narrator is a young boy who's uncle is visited by an angel-- who demands said uncle paint her. There are a few moments in this story-- the bit where she's talking about being afraid of the Named angels, & the part comparing the sound of Heaven to Tennyson's horns of Elfland-- that really got me. I'm a sucker for "The Splendour Falls". There, I said it, I'm a 14 year old girl & I like Tori Amos too. So what. The twist in "Uncle Chaim & Aunt Rifke & the Angel" comes a little suddenly, but given the short format, it is easy to overlook that.
Tags: books, haiku, poppets

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