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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

From Willow Temple by Donald Hall

Unlike Junot Diaz's story Fiesta, 1980, From Willow Temple is written in a rather lengthy narrative. There is little dialogue to the story, but Hall is able to capture the voice of a woman. On reading this story one becomes lulled away by the narrative, and then quickly drawn back to the essence of the story as Hall narrates vivid scenes of sadness and horror:
"After an hour of searching outside the house the men came back, thinking to look in the root cellar. It was Agnes's young father, cousin Michael, who found Rudolph where he had hanged himself in the attic. As Michael walked up the steep stairs with his lantern low, his face brushed against the boots. The impact pushed the boots away, and they swung back to hit him."
Later in the story Hall draws several examples in to one word:
"The word in arbitrary," she went on . . . "Why did the pigs die? Why do poets write poems? . . . Why did Raymond [another person in the story] put a noose over his head? Some mistakes you don't point out . . .

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