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SkinnyDippingIntoBooks

Skinny Dipping Into Books

I like the rain. I want to have a spring bookworming rain party full out with wellies—but not those Hunter Boots; absolutely not—, with yummy airy things like puffed pastries, meringues, mini fluffy cheese cakes, mousse dessert, macaroon, biscuits, crepe, and Earl Grey tea, definitely Earl Grey tea.  and Tillandsia. We'd have lots of "air plants". Lots! And We'd read, but not anything structured. We'd bring books, trade books, read out-loud, pass books around between sentences and paragraphs. We'd leave with books we hadn't discovered.

 

I like books like I like my Jazz; euphoric, dangerous, occasionally a bit manic, sorrowful, bleak, raging, mood-incongruent, mournful, unforgivingly ragged, symbolic in a quiet way, warm apple pie for the soul. Give me a Plath style. Yōko Ogawa, M. Roach,


Criteria: Not rated on likability of characters. Not objective. I like Moxie Soda; chances are you don't.


time spent in that before bed reading slot:

5-until blurry eye 4-Later than I intended, but I still kept to my extended, extended reading time 3-I really should have been to bed an hour ago  2-customary 30 minutes. 1-book. side table. eyes closed.


How are common themes handled?

5-With an aesthetic that repurposes everyday themes into something fresh. Think of Hole Celebrity Skin covered by Cat Power  4-there is a comfortable air of familiarly.
3-Deja Vu 2. No deviation from its mates  1. Devastatingly trite, redundant, and stale.

Where would you keep it post-reading?

5-Next to my bed.  4-it's the center piece of my favorite bookshelf 3. On my other favorite bookshelf, but it's a bit dusty over their 2-Great cheap bookends 1-It never made it out of the box marked 'moving'.


Emotional response-

5- Where is my teddy bear? Emotional-hangover 4- If I wasn't so emotionally stunted I'd cry.
3. Did James Cameron co-wrote this? Artfully contrived. 
2- calculative emotional manipulation. This was literally written by James Cameron.1- I…feel…..nothing.

Mechanics (plot structure, voice, presentation, word choice, sentence structure, characters, writing style, pacing, and consistency):

5-Chanel 4-Prada 3-J-Crew 2-Gap 1-Old Navy

Currently reading

The Complete Stories
Flannery O'Connor
I am No One You Know
Joyce Carol Oates
Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls
Alissa Nutting, Alissa Nutting

The hen that flew into a brick wall

The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly - Kim Chi-Young, Sun-mi Hwang, Nomoco

NETGALLEY


Laced with a heavy emphasis on themes such as family, transition, adulthood, and death, this novel traces the life of a hen, her offspring, and the various life transitions speckled in between. This simple tale recalls previous works, including charlotte's Web, Love You Forever, as well as echos of primary themes often seen and explored in Haruki Murakami's work.

The downside of this novel is that it is overly literal in the way it explores these themes. Compared to the works listed above, it separates itself from the pack by being too simplistic; an approach that will ultimately lead to its failure.  Rather than taking on a more abstract tone, Hwang decides to write in a simple style that is heavily on metaphors. Unfortunately this does not work. She would have been fairly successful if she used one of these techniques—a heavy emphasis on metaphors or a simple style of exploring life transitions—, rather than both, and if she painted these themes with a light wrist, rather than heavy, forced brushstroke. What I mean by the latter is that it's essential to embrace a light hand when explore life transitions using metaphors, and it is more successful if these references are covert, written in a more abstract form, such as Murakami's work. Sometimes quiet is delicious.

Yes, the beauty of the prose alone is something that may intrigue readers. Taken at face value, the simplistic style is approachable, if one does not pay attention to the overt and weighty emphasis on life and lessons. If you were to simply look at this as a hen who finds her dreams coming true, then it may be a winner. However, like I previously mentioned, this does not work, given the heavy analytical prose.

One may question the translation, however, and even go to such lengths as to explore how the translation to English may have deadened the meaning, damaged the tone, and wrecked the prose. Perhaps in its original language this book flourished. This is something to keep in mind while reading The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly. However, one also must return to this version, and in this particular English version this novel just fell flat.

2.5