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    TAR Issue 14: Live

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    theswedisheditor

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    TAR Issue 14: Live

    Post  theswedisheditor on Wed May 02, 2012 6:41 am

    The 14th issue of The April Reader is out: containing 8 pieces of fiction and 5 pieces of poetry.

    We have altered the design and added a new section with COMMENTS where the editors give small opinion on the pieces.

    Andrew Mendelson is this months winner of the TAR Award with "Better Than Pictures". We highly recommend that you read it. And the following works as well.

    Let's have ourselves a literary debate!

    http://www.theaprilreader.org

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    theswedisheditor

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    Re: TAR Issue 14: Live

    Post  theswedisheditor on Wed May 02, 2012 10:37 am

    I do know that we have at least one of the authors in this months issue.

    A.S.A. perhaps you could explain your thoughts behind the story?

    Why you did the illustrations?

    Why that kind of genre?

    A.S.A

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    Re: TAR Issue 14: Live

    Post  A.S.A on Wed May 02, 2012 10:55 pm

    I could break the story down into it's component parts if you like.
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    theswedisheditor

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    Re: TAR Issue 14: Live

    Post  theswedisheditor on Wed May 02, 2012 10:57 pm

    I always love the "behind the scenes" so to speak. If you are willing go ahead. Im just trying to get some debate going.

    A.S.A

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    Re: TAR Issue 14: Live

    Post  A.S.A on Wed May 02, 2012 11:59 pm

    Very well.


    The idea was to write a short fable comparing the rise and fall of complex civilisations to longer enduring, simpler, often nomadic cultures. Perhaps inspired by the post-apocalyptic children's poems of Riddley Walker. The intention of the text and illustrations being centered was for them to become part of the same column of focus that expands and contracts with the cycles of the story, like a vertical sound wave. The use of repetition is a common characteristic of stories from pre-literate cultures (to aid memorisation), and I found it tied in well with the cyclical theme. The language is deliberately simplified for authenticity.

    Brother Sun and Sister Moon were drawn from a Nigerian myth concerning the formation of the oceans. The name Ur is said to mean "Tower" or "The Moon-God's Home" in Sumerian, and is the name of one of the earliest human cities. The name Ashvar is based on "Ahasver", traditionally the Wandering Jew of medieval folklore - for an enduring nomad it seemed appropriate. The relative merits of stone and sand was an intentional reversal of Matthew 7:24.

    All three temples are based on temples built to the moon by three distinct, now fallen civilisations. The smaller huts are based on the building styles of three ancient nomadic peoples, in some places still continuing today.
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    theswedisheditor

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    Re: TAR Issue 14: Live

    Post  theswedisheditor on Thu May 03, 2012 4:55 am

    Thank you for this post. My respect for your story grew.

    "The idea was to write a short fable comparing the rise and fall of complex civilisations to longer enduring, simpler, often nomadic cultures".
    I actually understood this by your pictures of the houses from great but fallen civilizations.

    I liked the repetiveness because it reminded me of the old folk stories I used to hear and read as a young child.A nice touch.

    Im quite sad that I missed the other part, not delving deeper into what was given. Der Ewige Jude is a literary classic character, I think it was a good choice for the nomad constantly rebuilding his home.

    If i'm not mistaken he was the one who didn't offer any respit to Jesus when he carried his cross through Golgata?

    Some, however, might see it as anti-semitic as well because of the movie produced during WW2.

    The sumerian parts I could never have guessed.

    I like that you made the aesthetic a conscious choice but im not sure I buy the "soundwave" fully.

    The pictures really made this story. I think it would have fallen with text only.

    A.S.A

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    Re: TAR Issue 14: Live

    Post  A.S.A on Thu May 03, 2012 6:29 am

    My pleasure. I am glad it made it into TAR.

    Yes, I believe the reason for repetiton in old folk stories is their basis in oral tradition.

    I found an online translation of the Nigerian myth I took some inspiration from, but it is only tangentially related.
    http://library.thinkquest.org/J0112410/watermoon.htm

    Ahasver is indeed Der Ewige Jude, his immortality was his punishment for mocking (or perhaps not offering respite to, story tellings will differ) Jesus on his way to the site of crucifixion. I am not using the character in an anti-semitic context, surely that is not a problem?

    It is not supposed to be a sound wave, merely the flow or shape is similar in some ways. Perhaps the decibel count is the measured complexity of the civilisation - it is just a vague concept.
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    Mendelson

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    Re: TAR Issue 14: Live

    Post  Mendelson on Thu May 03, 2012 6:31 am

    Here's what I posted on the original thread regarding Portrait of a Mountain:

    I really enjoyed Portrait of a Mountain. It may not be the most original idea, but it has a Jack London/Hemingway vibe to it that I really like.

    My only criticism would be that the author "tells" a bit too much sometime. He doesn't need to spell out that the backpacker has had a change of heart--he shows that in the way he doesn't kill the rabbit and ends up longing for it.

    Near the end I thought maybe the rabbit was a hallucination.

    DomFord

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    Re: TAR Issue 14: Live

    Post  DomFord on Thu May 03, 2012 11:10 am

    Mendelson wrote:Here's what I posted on the original thread regarding Portrait of a Mountain:

    I really enjoyed Portrait of a Mountain. It may not be the most original idea, but it has a Jack London/Hemingway vibe to it that I really like.

    My only criticism would be that the author "tells" a bit too much sometime. He doesn't need to spell out that the backpacker has had a change of heart--he shows that in the way he doesn't kill the rabbit and ends up longing for it.

    Near the end I thought maybe the rabbit was a hallucination.

    Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    Yeah, looking at it I probably did 'tell' a bit too much.

    That's an interesting thought about the rabbit. I personally hadn't considered it, but it could actually make sense - especially seeing as the backpacker only sees the rabbit after his eyes are 'desperately searching for something interesting' at that point (or however that quote goes).

    A.S.A

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    Re: TAR Issue 14: Live

    Post  A.S.A on Fri May 04, 2012 12:05 am

    Having now read the entire issue.

    Most of the content is eclipsed by Better than Pictures. The opening is a little off-putting, however once the scene is set it is a very touching and well-written piece. A Chemical Imbalance comes in next, something perhaps of Palahniuk with the narrator in a dead-end job and occasional morbid trivia.

    Harmon contains some excellent set-pieces but is nigh-on narratively incoherent. I especially like the imagery of "sanguine warmth", although the more I think about it the less sense it makes, particularly with the addition "of my blood".

    A Warm Place was my least favourite, although with better control of language the first paragraph would be quite promising. Show, don't tell applies to this far more than the Portrait of a Mountain.


    Something of My Hometown put me in mind of Larkin, but other than that I do not feel qualified to comment on poetry.
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    theswedisheditor

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    Re: TAR Issue 14: Live

    Post  theswedisheditor on Fri May 04, 2012 5:40 am

    Im sorry guys, i'll try to contribute with something wise. Im literally literally exhausted at the moment.

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