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Fireworks by Angela Carter
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Fireworks

by Angela Carter

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Returning to the story, "Penetrating to the Heart of the Forest"-- longing for an Edenic thrill and this fits the bill. ( )
  allyshaw | Apr 4, 2013 |
9 short stories from Angela Carter. As always Carter plays with language enveloping us in rich, dense prose. This is a strange collection though - ranging from the experiences of an unnamed European woman (or women) in Japan in A Souvenir of Japan, The Smile of Winter and Flesh and the Mirror; life in remote areas in stories such as The Executioner's Beautiful Daughter; Penetrating to the Heart of the Forest and Master; to the even more fantastical - The Loves of Lady Purple and Reflections and one set in London in a time that seems like the 1970's to me but a London on the verge of anarchy - Elegy for a Freelance.

I did enjoy reading this collection but I think this is one for established Carter fans. The brevity of the stories doesn't leave much space for character and all of the stories, except for the last, are more about the imagery and ideas. ( )
1 vote calm | Sep 1, 2012 |
Nine unsettling stories, some fantasy (one of which, The Loves of Lady Purple, I've read before) and some about a young European woman living in Japan and her feelings of alienation, which I didn't like so much as she was too self-absorbed and nothing much happened in them.

"I should have liked to have had him embalmed and been able to keep him beside me in a glass coffin, so that I could watch him all the time and he would not have been able to get away from me". ( )
  isabelx | Feb 26, 2011 |
My introduction to her writing. This is a book of short stories with the emphasis on fables rather then naturalism. The prose borders onto poetry for its density and imagery. However for me it was experienced as over rich and pieces that the writer was using as exercises rather then what she would have published if alive. For example for me the over educated word choice got in the way:- tremulous, numinous hinges of the solstice, trajectory, sinuosity, necromantic, oracular blindness, all within the first few pages of a story. This meant that in many cases for me the images of the story were conveyed by the mood of the piece and the general pattern of the story rather then the build up of words. I suspect that being short stories was also part of the problem in that the characters were too often plot devices rather then growing living people. I would still advise people to read them as even flawed works by Angela Carter are better then others sweated efforts. ( )
  ablueidol | Mar 4, 2007 |
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Here is the ritualism of Tokyo where lovers ponder intangible reflections of themselves, 'reflections of nothing but appearances, in a city dedicated to seeming', and the 'velvet nights spikes with menace' of a wasted London, poised on the brink of destruction. Here also is the marionette Lady Purple, the quintessence of eroticism, whose electric energy is unleashed by a kiss, and the executioner's daughter whose pastel beauty shines incongruously amidst the chronic malevolence of a mountain community fit for Wagnerian cycles. In these short stories Angela Carter pinpoints the symbolism of city streets and weaves allegories around the forests and jungles of imaginary landscapes.
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