Эссе: Weaver, Gordon. Allen Learst's Stories

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Английский язык
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... And Learst exhibits very impressive facility in the creation of voices per se. I find not a single sour note in the diction. More impressive is the precise quality of those voices, for they straddle difficult lines to maintain. As I read it, there is a species of stream of consciousness-unself-conscious thought and emotion-melded with interior monologue, which is required to orient the reader as to the essentials of what and where and when. This is no mean feat. I suspect most writers would have opted for one or the other. That Learst gives us both in a pretty even mix in both fictions makes for admirable density and texture in his stories' surfaces.


Narrative itself is one of the primary challenges of short fiction. How do you, successfully, present narrative-experience over considerable time-in the small canvas of short fiction? Learst's solution seems easy, at least on first thought. But just as the reader is, I think, compelled to imagine the violence of combat duty in the first segment of "A Sheet, A Clothesline, A Bed," so is that reader pointed toward what must have occurred between the three segments of the triptych. From combat in Vietnam to the carouse of civilian life to the inevitable disintegration-for the narrator and Homeboy-that follows, the reader has no difficulty in imagining how this all came to pass. In "Shadowboxing," this reliance on ellipsis is even more pronounced. ...