Best known for her Gothic language handbooks (reissued recently as The New Well-Tempered Sentence and The Deluxe Transitive Vampire), Karen Elizabeth Gordon here turns her extraordinary talents to fiction, and the result is as unconventional as her seductive grammar dramas. The Red Shoes consists of tatters of a half-dozen tales ( The Glass Shoe, The Gingerbread VariationsBest known for her Gothic language handbooks (reissued recently as The New Well-Tempered Sentence and The Deluxe Transitive Vampire), Karen Elizabeth Gordon here turns her extraordinary talents to fiction, and the result is as unconventional as her seductive grammar dramas. The Red Shoes consists of tatters of a half-dozen tales ( The Glass Shoe, The Gingerbread Variations, The Little Match Girl, Don Juan Is a Woman, and the title story, among others) sewn together into a novel by two seamstresses. Fabric, fabrication such is the stuff of these lost chronicles come together here, Gordon writes in her introduction. Swinging their hatboxes, swaying their hips, chapters with torn slips wander in on high heels and blistered feet. Looking back to the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm, but also casting sidelong glances at metafictional sugardaddies like Queneau, Nabokov, Cortazar, Gass, and Milorad Pavic, The Red Shoes is a Rabelaisian romp through the language of sensuality."...
|Title||:||Red Shoes and Other Tattered Tales|
|Number of Pages||:||192 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Red Shoes and Other Tattered Tales Reviews
This was a fascinating and intricate book that never completely connected with me. It operates on textual, meta-textual, and meta-meta-textual levels. There is the text; fragmented, ephemeral, hinting at narratives - multiple narratives, many derived from fairy tales - but sparse and jumbled: "fragmented". The meta-text; the book itself is cobbled together by two seamstresses, ordered in a dictionary fashion (each page is the definition of a word - sort of, not really - and many pages point you to other pages. This kind of works like a frame narrative in sections where passages direct you to read other passages in the middle of passages, so you drop down levels and those levels interrupt themselves to direct you elsewhere, to where there are moments that you're holding the book like this:In spite of this, you still have to read the book in the traditional fashion, as many passages exist as islands, with no markers to or away from them.At the meta-meta-textual level there are then "notes" made in many sections, some explicate the passages, many are asides or reminiscences of the mostly unnamed note makers (by textual reference there are two, one is referenced throughout and explicitly named in the end).And there is but one more level, another character who is repeats referenced in the notes, provides an endnote where she claims some influence over the book being read, and some negotiations on her part on the notes and structure, but the text, the stitched together book, the notes with the book, all exist outside of her and her influence.I've never come across a book put together like this, so I certainly enjoyed the experience of reading it, but the overall story within never really connected with me, it always seemed to elude me right when I felt I was beginning to grasp an overall narrative. It's possible some skeleton key to the text exists that I've missed, but as it is this was mostly an interesting read, though not one that I would go out of my way to recommend.
This book was fascinating, not only because I love retellings of fairy tales, but also because the form was something I had never seen before. I needed to read it a couple of times to feel like I really understood everything that had happened (although even then something eluded me) but the language is an exquisite treat.