Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Correspondence by Kristina Marie Darling

Correspondence and Compendium are combined together and this week I will feature Correspondence, written by Kristina Marie Darling and published by Scrambler Books in 2013. True to form, Darling’s work exposes empty spaces to be filled by the reader with footnotes and appendixes given as clues to the story unfolding in its pages. The main character is struggling with her desire for her beloved who is no longer in her life yet whose mementos remain distressingly clear. The romance and obsession of keeping these pieces close dance among the pages. I am not able to produce the exact effect of the footnotes and symbols in her text but I will expose them as best I can. Below I am happy to share some examples:

1. The ledger documents her gradual displacement from the beloved. His sparse eyelashes and luminous red necktie.
2. Within each envelope she placed violets and locks of her tangled hair. It was then she imagined him as a tiny bird in golden cage.
3. Diminish.

+1. To make smaller.
++2. To detract from the authority of.

I imagine the main character trying to distance herself from his memory by tucking pieces of herself, such as locks of her hair, away. As she tucks the violets and her hair into the envelopes she imagines him in her own way, “trapping” his memory and likening it to the bird in the golden cage. That is how I picture the scene. The bottom notes expose her way of trying to lessen his hold on her memory.

1. It was his letter, with its intricate flourishes and belabored epigraph, that prompted her to bury the necklace.
2. Within the locket she kept small photographs and a loose thread from his jacket. The little clasp at the back of her neck still gleaming.
3. “I had wanted to discard the strange trinket, with its silver chain and innumerable compartments. Now the interior has been cordoned off with a white ribbon.”

Another example of the main character struggling to distance herself from the memory of her beloved but finding it difficult: her attempts to bury the necklace are futile. I love how Darling always makes the smallest pieces that much more intricate, a trinket with innumerable compartments is hard to imagine, and then it’s been “cordoned off with a white ribbon” adds to the complexity of the trinket and therefore the relationship before it ended. Darling creates a world of delicate fragments that are further complicated with every turn of the main character’s movements and memories.

Dearest ,

this letter will burn & burn

In a series of letters where the name is absent, Darling eliminates all but the most enticing and obscure lines of each letter to which we are left to imagine for ourselves its potential contents. In the above, I imagine the main character writing to her beloved and then erasing all but that which pleases her most. Perhaps, also, the beloved’s letters have been scrubbed away leaving only that which the main character chooses to keep for herself of each letter received. Either way, it lends mystery and the capturing of the reader’s imagination and who could ask for more?

If you enjoyed this brief sample of Kristina Marie Darling’s Correspondencen as much as I enjoyed the collection, you may purchase a copy of copy of Correspondence/Compendium for $12.00 at:

Thanks always for reading, please drop by again soon…