Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Guide to "The Last Easy Summer"

I just finished a near-final draft of my short story "The Last Easy Summer," which I've been slaving over these last few weeks. Actually, I've been working on this story for over 3 years, ever since my love of Southern Gothic literature intertwined in my mind with the fear of a rusty, chain link fence that I frequently passed by at Boston University.

This is effectively the short story I've always wanted to write and it is clear that all my writing before now has led to this work. I almost want to disown that earlier work just so "The Last Easy Summer" can stand proudly on its own.

For potential future readers, some themes you should know about Southern Gothic Lit:

* The setting and or/characters are Southern
* There is always an element of the grotesque
* Cruelty pervades the tone
* There is often a revelatory moment

Personal goals I strove for in writing:

* Sparse prose, akin to other Southern Gothic writers like O'Connor and Faulkner.
- people who know me know this a difficult thing, to wrangle my predilection for long sentences and difficult diction.
* Some ambiguity, but not too much
* Incorporating a continuing thread of figurative imagery, similar to Joyce's beautification of the disgusting
* Suspense

I don't want to talk much about meaning or themes because that's for other people to explore and discover. But an interesting theme, or perhaps framework, that arose that I think people might miss is a weird recapitulation within the text, as if at some basic level, the same events keep occurring with slight variation. I'll admit, it was unintentional, but I love that it's there.

Email me if you'd like a copy to read:

It may take me a little while longer before I feel ready to relinquish the work and strong enough to take the inevitable and important criticism, so please be patient.


Mike said...

i'd like to read it.