Monday, August 22, 2011

Unremembered Histories

In 1991 my short story "The Breaking Point" won the Arrowhead Regional Fiction Competition. The unexpected rose had a thorn in it. This was the first year that the winning story was not published.

It's strange how those things go. After this, repeated submissions to literary magazines and other publications were perpetually returned. I started to conclude that publication of an unknown writer's fiction seemed to be a futile pursuit. I did not have the postage or the motivation to continue that route and instead chose to share my stories on a website that I created in for that purpose, among others. Three of my stories were eventually translated into Croatian, Russian and French.

For the most part the stories remained dormant as my energies had been directed into other pursuits... until this past winter. An email from Portuguese artist Margarida Sardinha reminded me that I had poured a lot into my fiction, had been serious about it and took great pains to craft stories worthy of any collection. The stories were things of value and needed to be treated that way.

My very first impression is that there's a certain style in some ways similar to Franz Kafka which is good and intense - very mysterious for one doesn't know where the whole thing is going to go... but is sure that there's a message to be captured from the many moments stated in the short sentences that are all poignant to the story. Perhaps what I want to say is that I feel the work to be extremely existentialist in a serious way and not in an ironic one - best portrayed by Sartre.

Also, there's an enormous spiritual and ethical awareness in your writing which is not directly implied in Kafka's work but if one reads him under the light of the Jewish religious upbringing he had like Harold Bloom pointed out, one will find it there, something that is completely ruled out in Sartre's views. Yours, generally speaking and only from what I've read so far, is slightly more lyrical or poetic if you will, but carries that acute seriousness and extreme loss of hope and faith (common to Kafka) only you give it a try in explaining it, be it searching for religious/spiritual arguments or other author's references which I very much sympathize with because it becomes a "loss of hope when hope is not all lost"... And there you achieve something great for the stories are open cycles (not dead-ends like Kafka), they become allegories, which by definition are circles constantly closing and opening on themselves. You match Borges here beautifully. I also like very much how you build the stories to show the two sides of the same coin without being preachy or moralist, again this duality which has been around since the beginning of time, is explored in a very simple and engaging way enabling us to breathe and reflect when needed; for although the stories are of an existential character they are mostly of an extrovert attitude, in the sense that the reader understands what the character is feeling by what he says and not by some introvert description of how he feels which in my modest opinion is extremely liberating and contemporary - reminding me of Eco in some ways and of Plato's simple dialogues full of meaning and hidden messages.

Maybe this is a very simplistic way of putting it and I know you are influenced by many other writers and not necessarily by Kafka or the others I mention here, but still as I'm meant to humbly and with all respect say what I think in these comments I hope you take it as a personal view that is only "simply another view" and not set in stone in any way.

Ms. Sardinha's commentary set in motion a renewed desire to see the stories brought to a wider public. As the year progressed a pathway opened up and the launch of N&L Publishing has created the platform from which several books will be launched this fall. N&L Publishing is a collaboration with TJ Lind, a high school student with an iPad attached to his fingertips.

Currently we are in the final stages of preparing The Red Scorpion, my debut novel, for publication. It's starting to feel like we're close, aiming to launch in September. The three volumes of stories will roll out on the heels of that release.

Unrembered Histories is a compilation of six stories with a supernatural twist. The collection will feature:
Two Acts That Changed the World
The Empty Space
Duel of the Poets
Lu Lee
Unremembered History
The Nonsense Room

This volume will sell for $1.99 on Kindle and Nook. And I'm fairly confident that they will make you hungry for more.


Lloyd's Thoughts said...

Hi Ed -

Glad to see your renewed interest in following your passion. We get busy with life and responsibilities to others and forget our own responsibly to ourselves! After all that is truly who matters...

ENNYMAN said...

Thanks. I appreciate that.