|Reviews for That Body of Work|
| Honunjama chapter 7 . 6/23/2012
I’m sorry this took me so long!
First off I was *really* wowed you wrote all this about my stories, so thank you! And I enjoy your interpretations so much and I won’t comment too much on those, because whatever my stories mean to me is obviously secondary to what they might mean to anyone who reads them.
‘Bertrand Russell's definition of drunkenness – "temporary suicide"’ I lovelove that idea!
When you talk about ‘Wildflowers’ being about death, it really touches me because of the perspective I wrote it from, from where I was emotionally when I wrote that.
I guess what I want to say about ‘Love story’ is- I was attempting with the middle section to show a depressing, low scenario, where things become truly hopeless for the characters that is remedied by the uplift at the end. I haven’t read through it in a while, and as I’ve told you I’m not great at viewing pieces as a whole, but if I do edit, I will look at this aspect.
I was interested in what you had to say about “Swallow the White Feather”, about Alexander being the nexus- I hadn’t really thought of it that way! But yes, yes I can see that.
‘All Cats are Grey’ is my experiment in a lot of ways. I find it interesting that this is the work you are most effusive about as it is the one piece where I feel I am writing blind. Also, it’s in third and you know how I feel about that. I like that you’ve picked up the sort of echo I wanted Theo and Levi to have…I see it as though the same note is being played on different instruments, if that makes sense.
And you’re right, I do have a small XD obsession with connection, how and if people can connect deeply in some way…I guess this is true for my real life experiences as well as my stories…we’re all searching for something right…?
| TheEpicAlienGirl chapter 1 . 6/13/2012
Would you consider looking at me? Just tell me if you hate me or love. I have three stories, enjoy.
| GreenGrass1 chapter 7 . 6/11/2012
I just want to say that I agree with you, Suki's stories are really lovely!
| Honunjama chapter 5 . 3/17/2012
Okay, so I said I wasn't going to comment on this review on xanthofile if I didn't have anything more than 'oh my god that was amazing' to say- but I will anyways
I loved both stories I've read so far ('Letters to Maine' and 'Wyatt').
I agree with you that Letters to Maine is very sensuous and that was why I loved it ultimately.
But I think Wyatt is my favorite because the characters were so real to me, I could feel their pains, their awkwardness, I could really identify I think.
Anyway thank you for writing this piece, your words were entirely why I went and read those stories, and I'm sooo glad I did
| tleiaxu chapter 6 . 3/9/2012
You have a talent for literary analysis! I am enjoying this partly because I am learning quite a bit as I read. It's great to get a little more about these authors and their work than I would normally get from limited story descriptions. I enjoy your honesty and I'm really impressed by all the thought you have put into this. Cheers for taking FP authors and their work as seriously as one might take published works. Looking forward to your next installments.
| ImmanenceEnsured chapter 5 . 3/2/2012
"The fact that xanthofile so consistently mixes this kind of existential awkwardness with explicit sexuality is just one more indication that they were meant to be together"
For me, with xanthofile you start reading, you start loving the characters. I've read all four 'long stories' you mentioned, and I can still picture some of the scenes, remember some of the expressions on the character's faces, the feelings they had at a particular moment, etc.. That shows those stories are powerful and leave a deep impression. When you say 'the characters are the story' I totally agree. If those characters weren't so wonderful, the stories would lose a lot of their worth.
However, I have another opinion on the statement above. In both Stepbrothers and Wyatt, in both the social awkwardness is clearly present, and I remember the characters were both suffering from their environment. That makes you like them, feel for them and wish they'll get a better life.
Then they meet someone new... and the relationship turns sexual immediately. I have the impression xanthofile is rather fond of explicit scenes, which doesn't really bother me (okay I'm lying, it Does bother me if it's just sex for the sex) they're very well-written and have a nice emotional edge to them, but with both stories I had the impression it stayed at that. And because I loved the characters so, it was disturbing to read about them being intimate in a (possibly loveless,) unstable relationship with someone else. Who also hurts because of the social awkwardness. I think I stopped reading them for that reason, or maybe because the plot went somewhere I didn't want to follow (you have that right too, their plots seem to have a life of their own sometimes) but I do agree when you say xanthofile is one of the best, they certainly are and you already gave all the reasons why.
Awesome job on this one by the way. It was really enjoyable to read!
| xanthofile chapter 5 . 2/27/2012
I feel you did a wonderful job, actually. While there were some themes I knew already-the awkwardness and 'realism'-it's still enlightening to see someone else's take on it. And honestly, I had not realized how often the theme of awkwardness shows up in my work. I have done my best to never marty/mary sue myself into my work but I obviously have-I am socially awkward to the point that I would literally eat glass rather than have to tell someone something honest through my spoken word alone. Meh. But enough on that.
I found it surprising that you feel Letters To Maine to be my best work-surprising, but then again, not, for I concede your point. I played with sensory images quite a bit in that one, which I tend to do quite frequently.
Ehhhh, I wax on more than I should. I found it very insightful and well-done, and not just because it was favorable to myself. Thank you very much.
:bows and tips hat:
| Honunjama chapter 1 . 2/22/2012
Okay, so I wanted to say something about Nayslayre’s here because I was really interested in your comments about it (it’s kinda messy putting it under this chapter but I can’t leave two comments for the same chapter, sorry).
First of all, I didn’t like it- not because of any dark themes or anything that happened, but because the writing was too distant and cold for me to care about any of the characters (apart from maybe the Knolves). And it was the sudden/abrupt changes in characters thoughts and emotions that I had the biggest problem with- for example there was little clue, I felt, at the end when David had had enough of Arturo, before that their relationship seemed to be pretty strong. This maybe just the style of writing, where the protagonist is feeding you all the information, but I didn’t get it. And Arturo didn’t seem particularly like the devil either, despite all the awful things he did, he seemed too...steady (not dangerous).
Secondly- the typo’s drove me *nuts!* especially in the beginning, it did get better. I can normally ignore typo’s (I know I must make loads, it happens), but I felt it really detracted from the flow.
Thirdly- I felt the ending was an anti-climax. It didn’t go anywhere, tie up anything, mean anything. There were too many unanswered questions. To be honest it felt like the author got bored and wanted to end the story.
Fourthly- The first part of this story with all it’s trashy glamour was far more interesting than the second part. I know that may be a device to show David becoming jaded, but the events in the second part dragged.
Now what I found really interesting were your comments about this story, and they were what in the end drove me to finish it- and I’m glad I did, don’t get me wrong, I did learn something- I like the scope you saw it encompassing, and to a certain extent I agree with you, I just feel it failed on the points I’ve mentioned above- mainly that it failed to fully engage me with the characters.
| Wild-Eyed Joker chapter 2 . 2/20/2012
This is unlike anything I have ever read and I am intrigued by your decision to post it. Coincidentally, this was one of the first pieces I've read on FictionPress for at least over a couple a months, and I am very pleased with it. I cannot say much about the writing since it is more of a reclist, but I will say I hope you continue to update it.
| ImmanenceEnsured chapter 4 . 2/18/2012
Again this is excellent. Only your Outlines gave me the desire to read some of the stories, while the part where you went in-depth took it away again...
Maybe the 'empty shell' 'disappointed with the ending' and 'existential meaninglessness' threw me off a little bit. I'll be sure to check them out sometime though, it's kinda hard to resist
| Honunjama chapter 4 . 2/16/2012
‘I think the exploration of pornography opens up some interesting questions. In a sense, in every story we read on fiction press that involves explicit sex, the characters are porn actors dredging up their feelings for our arousal. The fact that we are reading about people who are trying to create the illusion of meaningful sex, as the illusion is being woven, opens us up to questions about ourselves. What is our own relationship to this pornography? Are we no better than Jack? I'm not sure if these questions go anywhere, but they are brought up.’
I haven’t read anything by this author yet (though I probably will at some point), but I was interested in this statement you made (I was actually struck by how cynical it sounded).
I like to think there is a distinction between porn and erotica. And while there are plenty of stories that could be classed as just porn (which I see as basically unfulfilling sex), there are a lot (that I like to read) that involve feelings and the sex is just a deeper part of that, which is more erotica. It’s like the distinction between shonen-ai (love relationships) and yaoi (sex relationships).
It’s a shame you can’t hold conversations with comments on FP, that would be nice!
Anyway, I do enjoy reading these in-depth things you do.
| ImmanenceEnsured chapter 3 . 2/6/2012
I finished 'Out of Luck' some time ago and only continued reading to the end because I liked the main character and the author's way with words. The story left me feeling... uneasy. Not my piece of cake at all. Now that I've read the things you have to say I'd like to thank you for warning me, because I'll never, ever under any circumstance whatsoever read another of d'Neronique's works. They seem awesome, no question about it, but I'd like my morals to stay intact.
As for Dorian Stray, I've read 'Imaginary Beings' up to the second last chapter. You just can't not love the author for the way she writes, all nice and poetic and awesome, and up to one point the story really caught my heart and left me floating on cloud nine. It's about as much angst as you can get, and I was hoping the revelation of Dolph's past would give us a valid explanation for his lack of, well, b*lls throughout the whole story. Something along the lines of 'Ah, so he hasn't always been a spineless chicken!' But when it turned out that wasn't the case I got all disappointed. Maybe that's me being an idiot and expecting too much, but it still was an awful bummer to realize the initial reasons for his constant angsting and zombie behaviour were, Aha, more angsting and a stupid, stupid misunderstanding. I stopped reading 'cause I didn't want to get all frustrated and ruin it for myself. But as there's only one more chapter left I guess I'll finish it after all. I was going to read it again anyway, just for all the nice mood/scenery/character descriptions Dorian Stray has such a knack for.
But anyway, it was really nice to read what you have to say about these authors and their stories. Your opinions seem interesting, I'll definitely alert this:)
| Honunjama chapter 2 . 1/27/2012
This makes me want to read Nayslayre's
| NightDayEndBegin chapter 2 . 1/24/2012
I read down to the point where you went more in depth with the stories. Given that fact that I suddenly wanted to find out on my own by reading them for myself, I skiped that part. I did read the conclusion however. I think you shone the writer in a fair but true light telling both the good and the bad. I do hope you continue this. Keep writing.