Monday, March 07, 2011

Reader's Diary #691- Sharon Erby: Parallel

Yay! I discovered a new source of free online short stories. Out of Toronto, The Puritan "seeks, above all, a pioneering literature. Work featured here may push toward the symbolic frontier, challenging limitations and forging into previously unexplored aesthetic territory. But it may also revisit and revitalize traditional forms."

Enter Sharon Erby with her story "Parallel" found in the current issue of The Puritan. I have to admit, I really didn't like the opening paragraph. It took me three times to figure out what was going on and even now I still feel like it's awkward and lacking. If this is unexplored aesthetic territory, I'll take familiar territory any day.

But, if you can get past that, it quickly becomes more accessible. (Revisiting traditional forms, perhaps?) It's gloomy as it's mostly about death, but when Erby isn't attempting symbolism, it's at least well written from a descriptive stand point. "Parallel" is about finding comfort in fatalism and I'll give Erby credit for taking on such a topic, but I can't say the story worked for me as a whole.

Still, excited to find The Puritan.

(Did you write a post for Short Story Monday? If so, please leave a link in the comments below.)


Teddy Rose said...

Not so sure I want to read 'Parallel" but it sounds like "The Puritan" is worth checking out.

I read another Hurston:

Anonymous said...

Parallel doesn't sound like one I want to read.

I haven't participated in while, but I did today:

Loni said...

I agree with Teddy. I also read a story I wasn't thrilled with.

Em said...

Great! A new source!
Have you heard of Necessary Fiction?

Em (

Unknown said...

Before you decide about Parallel, you should keep in mind that this story is part of a linked collection. The whole is much greater than the sum of its parts in this case. The whole collection is less dark, more redemptive.

John Mutford said...

Christina, thanks for the insight!