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Posted October 6, 2013
Beautiful, Well Written...Uncomfortable
I am new to Joyce Carol Oates...though I have always meant to introduce myself to her writing, I've only done so now.
What I found in her writing is that yes, these are stories of love but not just the love relationship between a man and woman, but also an exploration between a parent and child, a young girl and a maniac, and a woman and her abuser...some may call the stories dark. They are dark and disturbing but when you examine why they are considered so it is because each of us can actually relate to the existence of this "evilness" in our lives. In these different types of love it is disturbing that one can conjure up one or more situations in which this kind of thing does exist in reality. There is a distinct exhibition of the true and ugly side of love and how perception can mold that story.
I found it most disturbing that I was looking at pieces and fragments that I could relate to in my life and found that they do exist whether in people close to me or in stories i've heard and this is what makes the four stories haunting. Like a bad accident, they are addictive and you can't stop staring...but you are sad/annoyed/disturbed to remember an accident in your own life that you may remember whether it was something close to you or you just heard in passing...the existing and ability to relate is what is most disturbing about this book.
Oates is able to delve into the subconscious through these stories and force you to think about things that may have disappeared because of the readers perception. This is a gift and truly the definition of a hauntingly disturbing story. This is writing at it's best...she truly understands human nature. She is able to go somewhere within each person and evoke emotions through simple stories that leave you with questions and dare the reader to think harder.
This is not my last visit into the world of Oates, no matter how disturbing, there is something beautiful and ridiculously talented here.
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Posted December 8, 2014
Posted October 1, 2013
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