Compendium is published by Scrambler books and is paired with Correspondence, which was reviewed earlier. Compendium features the main character, Madeleine, and “the connoisseur” who briefly attend the landscape of the pages and tantalize our imagination into bringing them to life. When I look up the title’s meaning I am led to “a brief treatment or account of a subject, especially an extensive subject;” which perfectly describes the dance around the relationship and subjects contained within these pages. Inside the pieces are the delicate items Ms. Darling often bestows within her work, small glass buttons, delicate lockets, slippers, all part of the dance between the characters inside. Below I am happy to share a sample:
That evening, the connoisseur presented Madeleine with an unusual box. Despite its array of glass buttons and sheet music, he explained, one must never open the smallest compartment. But before long the room would darken. Alone with her sanctimonious parcel, its blue paper wrapping, and cluster of green ribbons, Madeleine heard the old piano’s most delicate song drifting from beneath the lid. Around the box, a disconcerting stillness. Snow falling outside the great white house as she danced and danced.
This scene above paints a lonely, but not necessarily lonesome, one in my mind. Madeleine is left with a box with a mystery she is never to reveal which is tantalizing enough and then to pair the scene of the room of Madeleine by herself with snow falling outside magnifies what the sound must be from the box. It makes me wonder what the relationship is and why Madeleine is dancing instead of sneaking open that smallest compartment.
From: Footnotes to a History of Desire
6. She slipped the epigraph under his door to preserve the ritual, its mythic stature. That was when the snakeflies emerged. Their delicious humming.
7. The documentary (c. 1996) follows a woman through an analysis of recurring dreams. Despite several attempts to establish boundaries between real and imagined, she continued to describe the fictional beloved. His pale hands and delicate wrists.
8. Translated from the German as The empty rooms of the unconscious.
This piece makes me wonder of the relationship between the two characters again: she slips something under his door, there is no response from him and even in her dreams she has difficulties reaching out. A barrier that is made up of the invisible walls between two people rises up to the reader and we are left to determine what might be creating the distance between the two characters.
In this collection a mystery is revealed just enough for readers to create their own story. If you enjoyed this sample of Compendium by Kristina Marie Darling's Compendium, then you may purchase a copy for $12.00 at:
Thanks always for reading, please drop by again soon…