Monday, August 20, 2012

The Fifty Year Sword by Mark Z. Danielewski Review

    From the first page, readers can never quite know what to expect from any writing that has been crafted by the hands and the mind of Danielewski. 
    Readers find themselves in the midst of a party where Chintana listens along with five oddly named orphans to a dark tale from a mysterious figure.  The story told to these characters and us is one that speaks of a quest to quiet a deep and painful darkness.  However, the further one goes to vanquish this darkness, the more one finds themselves embracing the darkness.  Danielewski and T50YS fulfill the usual promise of taking readers into a realm that contains those essential bits of plot, character, and in one form or another, narrative.
    More important than offering us a gripping tale of a man navigating a forest of shattered sound and mountains echoing solitude in an attempt to gain the perfect weapon, T50YS offers its readers a truly refreshing literary mode of delivery.  A great writer wants language to engage with its audience, and communicate to them a new method for seeing, for reading, and for thinking.  I certainly feel this desire to be at work in T50YS.  On all of these pages I read novella.  I read short story.  I read the lyric of poetic verse.  I read visual abstraction.  I read language and image that are willing to push the limits of genres and their conventions so that they can achieve greater writing.  What I’m reading, here, is Danielewski.   
- Justin

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