25 September, 2007

Not connecting

Here is a kind of hilarious review of 'A Pig's Whisper', my Magic Pudding story. It demonstrates beautifully how dependent the story is on the reader knowing a bit of Australian stuff:
Why had the children been left in the bush? Who were the three men with the pudding? What was the pudding really and why did they call it Albert? Who were the thieves? Why were the three men roasting people? Who were the people who were being roasted and how did they die? Does the sister see the roasted people as being black because they were burnt or decaying, or because they were supposed to be a different race from all the other people in the story? Who were the foster-brothers who find the children’s corpses at the end and were they also dead?
He comes so close, but despite having his Australian girlfriend explain things, he's left uncertain:
I still don’t know the full details, though, so ‘A Pig’s Whisper’ still doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. But I found it an interesting reading experience nevertheless. It was a curious feeling to be reading something that was clearly very well written, that pulled me in and engaged me as a reader, but which I couldn’t make any narrative sense out of due to a gap in my knowledge of the cultural context the story was being told in. I was lucky in this instance to have someone to tell me what it is I was missing, but I know I’ve had other similar reading experiences where I was left with the feeling that there was probably something I was missing, but having no real idea what or where to begin looking for it.
This story is going into Ellen's Year's Best, so I suspect there will be a few more bemused people out there before long.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's hilarious!

Justine L

29 September, 2007 09:01  

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