Brighter Graphite: Two NovellasBrighter Graphite: Two Novellas by Michael Horvath
My rating: 3/5 cats
One StarOne StarOne Star

these are things i know nothing about: art, geography, physics.

whatever parts of the brain are required to understand and retain any information about said subjects is woefully undeveloped in me. (you would think geography would be cut-and-dried, but i have this idea of where things are and what they are shaped like and whether or not they are islands that is immutable and no matter what map i look at, my inner vision of them reverts to “my way.”)

these novellas are about art. so i am sure there are resonances that i am missing here (like when i read black snow—oh there’s another one—theater!! particularly russian theater!) but i can enjoy something without understanding every nook and cranny of it, i am just saying that i’m sure more artworldly people would get more out of this book than i can…

but what i can say, with approval, is that i love the world this author creates. in fact, it is kind of a shame to write two novellas that take place in the same nightmarish landscape and then just call it a book. i would read a whole collection of short stories exploring more but that’s just me being a greedy black hole again—more more more…

the image, in the first novella, of the graphite dust covering everything, blowing in the wind, clumping wetly around his feet after emerging from the lake; it made my lungs itch, but the descriptions were excellent. the second novella i liked more, but i also know i would have gotten more out of if i had any notion of capital a art. formalists and romantics and conflagrations and the motives of art dealers. i’m just guessing there is a layer that is wholly lost on me. but the creepy bits i understood, because i do so love the creepy.

so—if anyone wants to teach me a thing or two about art—i will listen but i can’t promise to retain anything.

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