421 Followers
372 Following
Ceridwen

Ceridwen

You kids get off my lawn. 

The Labyrinth - Catherynne M. Valente I have to admit, I didn't finish reading this book, but I am done nonetheless. The book flap called it an anti-Quest tale, which is more or less right: a confounding of conventions of plot, purpose and narrative. The problem is that the conventions of plot, purpose and narrative often render a work readable. The "story" is crammed with poetic language: compound words not generally found in English: "thousandthousand," "morningglorytime."
Which brings me to my next complaint: who ever decided what constitutes "poetic language," and why, if we've dispensed with plot, etc, can't we dispense with that concept as well? Some of my favorite writers wield language like both a scalpel and a bludgeon, mixing common and ornate with surprising results. See, for example, Angela Carter's short stories (especially Lady of the House of Love: the bicycle! the vampire! WW1, oh crap!), or poetry from someone like Wallace Stevens (Anecdote of the Jar: who knew metaphysics was so funny?)
Anyway, this is her first novel, and I'm willing to give something else she's written a shot, but this is not for me.