Sunday, September 19, 2004

Home Sweet Home

Okay, so here's the more general overview of the Summer 2004 issue of Tin House. I liked it a lot -- it was definitely a fulfilling and rewarding read, though some of it seemed a little bit "form over function." But, it was worth the $12.95 I laid down for it, and at least it was willing to take a few chances.

I guess my favorite story was Graphology, by Dan DeWeese, followed by Dancers, by Ellen Litman. Eros 101, by Elizabeth Tallent, was a really cool idea but somehow it took a while to dig into -- there was something a little distant about the beginning, a little hard to follow.

Another really cool idea: Severance by Robert Olen Butler. However, I would say the idea was better than the prose, and that one is a very telling example of the "form over function" problem. It contains snippets from the minds of figures over the ages who have been beheaded. However, I think that the prose itself was lacking in power, though the overall effect is, "what a cool idea."

So yeah, overall a good read. Though, I don't know, while I thought the recipe for the Tin House martini at the end, was cool -- it also felt pretentious and ivory towerish. I think one of the things that I feared about Tin House all along.

Overall though, if you decide to pick it up, there's a lot to like within its pages. (There's also the fact that visually, it's a lovely publication.) There are other perfectly good short stories in there, and decent poems as well as essays. Again, a satisfying journey into literature. Maybe it didn't knock the doors off, but I didn't feel cheated of my time or money either.

Thanks for reading,



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