A Snippet from Afar

It’s lunchtime here at the writing workshop that just got underway– not a creative writing get-together, but one that will hopefully serve me well in my professional life. And since we just did a “blog this now” activity, I thought I’d try the same quickie approach to my latest review of Saunders’ CivilWarLand.

The short and short of it? Saunders, much like David Foster Wallace, can pick out the logical extremes of everyday absurdity, get behind their facades, and display them for us, motivations and assumptions and deeply rooted nonsense in clear view– all without being obscure or abstract. And in terms of caricatures (which get at the truth of things while simultaneously blowing them out of proportion), his portraits of the left fields into which religion may lead us (I’m thinking especially in Bounty) are frighteningly dead-on.

I’d like to look again at Saunders’ treatment of ghosts in a couple of the stories in the collection– an interesting, and unexpected, inclusion. But it’ll have to wait ’til later, since five minutes is really all too short a time to have taken up this little conversation, and I’m being called back into the fray. Sallying forth!


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