The emerging writers whose stories grace this collection engage in the play of symbolic action and detail, capturing sadness and imperfection through an apprehended fictional world—an abstracted reality. The stories resonate because they are intensely focused upon very particular forms of enquiry: Why do the characters see what they see? How do they know what they know? Perhaps it is this—the focus upon a very particular form of sensory apprehension—that lies at the heart of short stories that resonate beyond the final lines of text.
In each of the stories in this collection, the authors examine the conundrum and contradiction of human experience through carefully crafted narrative detail. The brevity of short-form fiction makes it an apt vessel for capturing the haunting incompleteness of human experience. Memorable short stories resonate because they are attentive to specificities and particularities: to detail as it relates to a distinct focalising consciousness. The authors in this collection employ narrative detail with intuitive hands and minds, fashioning an apprehended fictional world, an abstracted reality that resonates beyond the final lines of text. Each story here is marked by the urgency of idea, captured as raw sensory data. Collectively, they are attentive to the crucial relationship between idiosyncratic voice and sharply rendered detail, creating an experiential world that ‘feels real’ to the reader.
This latest project of ‘authorised theft’ amongst poetic friends sees them raiding the 19th century for inspiration—across a variety of artforms. But C19 here is not just a past century; it is also the terrible present moment in which we live, and in which this remarkable collaborative work has been written.