(BOA Author Adam McOmber) In his review of Adam McOmber’s “This New and Poisonous Air,” Gabriel Blackwell of HTMLgiant.com, focuses on what it means to impart our selves on to empty vessels of our own creation. Blackwell argues that works of art do not wholly exist without our understanding of the artist. “When we make reference to the ‘Mona Lisa,’” Blackwell explains, “It is only rarely as a stand-in for its namesake, Lisa del Giocondo. It is the artist we want to speak of, the portraitist rather than his subject, for he is what we see in the portrait, not her.” Blackwell’s review explores this process of projection both within the narrative itself and the experience of the reader – how do the protagonists project themselves onto their art within each story and likewise how does the reader fill the narrative with themselves? Blackwell continues to praise “This New and Poisonous Air,” explaining that the “skeptical use of the fantastic in McOmber’s fiction seems at first a reference to Poe, to Poe’s blend of the fantastic and the real. but Poe’s was often only a science of spite, sugar to make the bitter pill of his satire swallowable. McOmber’s is the science of melancholy. It has the lyric at its heart, loss at its core.” The entirety of this review is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. It is an incredibly intelligent close reading of what is a truly wonderful collection of short stories. so please, click here for the full review and/or here for a copy of "This New and Poisonous Air" and enjoy yourself. Seriously, these two links make it suspiciously easy.
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