Edited by John Metcalf.
Volume 11 Number 1.
Third Impressions is the third volume of a series by Oberon. The series is an attempt to acknowledge in book form the efforts of some of Canada's best new creative talent. This volume features nine short stories—three each by Barry Dempster, Don Dickinson, and Dave Margoshes. Most of the stories have been previously published in various Canadian fiction magazines.
Metcalf s introduction is worth reading. He edifies the "young unsung writer" in general while complaining vitriolically of the ungenerous nature of literary reviewers. The introduction includes a short monologue by each writer on their attitudes toward their work and how they generate stories, a useful feature for students of the creative process.
Each writer has a story that surpasses the other two in their respective trios. Dempster's "The Burial" focuses on the culture shock of a young white student transported to Calcutta. Although one would not expect it in so short an anthology, Metcalf includes a story of Dickinson's that is very similar thematically.
Dickinson's best effort in this volume is "Fighting the Upstream," a story rich in imagery and colourful vulgarism. The style is crisp and uncluttered. The narrative centres around the social failure of a n'er-do-well Irish immigrant's son, who struggles with life in a work camp and the relationship with an alcoholic father. Dickinson's story "Kozicki and the Living Dog" is not quite as interesting as its title.
"A Change of Life," a story by Dave Margoshes, though punctuated with exquisite imagery, is permeated with feelings of emptiness and spiritual desolation. The general tone of Margoshes's stories is definitely blue. The explicit sexual dialogue (with appropriate obscenities) of "Rabbit Done Run" may titillate the high school crowd but would not impress many parents.
Chris Kempling, Quesnel, BC.
1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995
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