Discussion → Re: Peacemaker

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    Adam Sifre
    Dec 09, 02:11pm

    I enjoyed this piece of flash. The mark of good flash is that it leaves you thinking for a while, and Peacemaker did the trick.

    It read smooth and the few nitpicks I have are really more along the lines of personal taste and word preferences.

    The use of 'per se' in the opening was a literary hiccup for me. There was a lot of word repetition, but it was obviously intentional. The only place it didn't work for me was there "yet" ended one sentence and began another.

    That's pretty much it as far as critique goes.

    There's a lot going on in this story and it's told in a few words and the entire story plays out well on the page. When I was done reading it, I could sit back and replay the story in my mind quite easily. That's a mark of a well written piece.

    There is often an element of mental masturbation in stories that are about writing and they usually cause me to roll my eyes a bit. Not this one.

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    Mathew Paust
    Dec 09, 03:33pm

    First the gratitude...bows...then the rage. What? Nah, I appreciate your discerning observations. I shall even try to respond to them.

    As the point of view was "close" -- almost first person -- I intentionally used "per se" to betray this fragile dude's machismo with a touch of effete. It might have worked better in 1st, but I trusted the closeness of the 3rd to carry that point.

    The "yet" echo was intentional but I can see it as a bump -- an author's indulgence. I almost took it out.

    This story popped into being when I read a comment in one of the forum threads here. A contributor half-jokingly suggested he might bring physical mayhem to bear on a hypothetical editor who had rejected him repeatedly should he happen to meet said editor at a conference and find him alone. This same contributor had recently posted a story about boxing, which had a brilliantly rendered Hemingwayesque outlook and voice.

    I remembered that Hemingway supposedly punched out or threatened to punch out an editor at Scribner's for one reason or another. I'm thinking it might have been Perkins, but I didn't Google it.

    Then Robert Cohn, Hemingway's pugilistic outrider in "The Sun Also Rises", who queers his fragile membership in the group by decking one of its members, popped onto the stage, followed by Capote's amazing skill at arm wrestling. For voice, I recalled that the commenter adores the writing of Cormac McCarthy (which I admire style-wise but find tedious theme-wise) and the whole thing came together with a click. I'd never before tried to parody McCarthy, but this flew off the keyboard in about half an hour.

    I had hoped the original inspirerer of the piece would find it amusing, instead he immediately posted a chapter of his novel-in-progress that deals eloquently with the notorious Sen. "Tailgunner Joe" McCarthy. This might have been purely coincidental, of course. I left an adoring comment on his piece, but the fellow has not acknowledged mine.

    Oh, well. In a bar he'd probly have punched me out.

  • Frankie Saxx
    Dec 22, 02:26pm

    I messaged you my full critique on this, Mathew.

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