It’s the first Wednesday in the year and the first Wednesday of my “Weird Wednesday” feature dedicated to the analysis of “The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories” edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer. Initially, I decided to launch this feature with the rather longish discourse I have for “The Other Side” by Alfred Kubin, but then held back on the idea as I think that this compendium deserves a fair and true beginning.
Inspired by this notion to do a proper analysis and ensure that there is a certain amount of the grandeur and drama I enjoy [so much] to this feature, I will start at the very beginning. First, I want to announce the rules of the game [it’s a game, because nothing planned to run for the span of a year is allowed to be too serious] and the goals I am after.
1. “The Weird Wednesday” will run every Wednesday from January 4th until December 27th with each post being dedicated to a single work. I have done the math and know that I have around 52 weeks to work with and over 100 short stories to work with. One of the solutions to this predicament is multiple posts per Wednesday. I will have to see whether another strategy won’t be more interesting for the readers.
2. Each analysis will be based on some research on the author, the work itself and the links it shares with previous works. I’m saying some, because I’m far from assuming that I will have the necessary time and investigation skills to reach to a groundbreaking conclusions about any given work. Context matters, true, but so does sleeping at some point.
3. There will be a proper schedule for each month as well as update posts and a page on this blog, where all links from previous reviews will be gathered. I plan on linking an icon of the book to the feed for the category in my blog for the sake of easy navigation.
1. I’ve abandoned all delusions that I command the English language. Don’t misunderstand, I do think I’m doing an admirable attempt to do it justice, but it’s still mostly an attempt. I wish to level up as they say, improve how I express myself and how I carry myself with my words.
2. I avoid reviewing anthologies without internally connecting each work with a different one. With “The Weird” and it’s thousand pages, hundred stories and decades of genre history, it’s neither physically possible nor appropriate to do. I intend to experience the evolution of this genre chronologically, through the stories and through my reflections.
1. I hope that I finish this within the year of 2012. On paper, this feature might look easy to do and stick to, but life is unpredictable. There will be setbacks. I will get in my way. Others will get in my way. The hope is to make it through the year with a successful conclusion and what I hope to be a better grasp over the English language.
2. I hope I create a dialogue the way I have always failed to do on Temple Library Reviews. I hope to lead discussions about the different points in the stories that I present in this space and learn more than I have on my own.
Here is the initial schedule for the rest of January. Since this is exam month at the moment, I will have to limit myself with one work per week.
[January 11th] Thoughts on “Foreweird” by Michael Moorcock and “Introduction” by Anne and Jeff VanderMeer
[January 18th] “The Other Side” by Alfred Kubin
[January 25th] “The Screaming Skull” by F. Marion Crawford
Last [far from least] I wish to thank Maureen Kincaid Speller, who inspired me by reviewing the compendium story by story. Check her analyses on The Paper Knife.