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Interfictions Reviews – "Climbing Redemption Mountain"

April 21st, 2007

“Climbing Redemption Mountain”
Mikal Trimm

A simple, powerful premise, well thought out and cleanly executed. In his author comment Mikal Trimm calls this (or at least his original version of this) fantasy. But there’s only the one real speculative element, and even that is only subtly speculative: the notion of climbing a mountain to achieve salvation. Sysiphus. Prometheus. Moses on Mt. Zion. Kilimanjaro. It is one of those fundamental elements of story which I most fervently covet, and have such a struggle achieving in my own work: a monumental metaphor. I hold up Borges as the master of this form: the circular ruin, the library as universe, the universe as tiny, unassuming patch of shadow underneath the cellar stairs. But he’s not the only one. Kafka’s cockroach. Hawthorne’s handprint birthmark. The white whale. Foo on fairytale–the foundation of the mythic, the origin of all story and belief on this planet is not fairytale, but monumental metaphor. And to stumble upon a metaphor of such ancient resonance and depth, and recast it in such a way as to grant it an intimate, personal impact on the reader, as Mikal Trimm has done, is what we all ought to be striving for.

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5 Comments »

  • Jeff Howell says:

    Just wanted to commend you on keeping up with one review a day. Many I’ve only skimmed, awaiting my copy of the anthology, so I look forward to returning to them and reading your insights in more detail soon. Thanks, Jeff

    • mjd says:

      Thank you, Jeff. I have to admit I’m no Shara. Don’t know how she keeps churning reviews out week after week. After the 30th rolls around, there will probably be a period of silence where I sit back and recover. Still, as with everything, it’s been a learning experience.

      I look forward to finding out if you agree with my evaluations.

  • Mikal Trimm says:

    Well, after seeing your earlier reviews, I was worried, to say the least, but… glad you liked it, Michael!

    • mjd says:

      Hmm. I admit I did indeed shoot myself in the foot in one or two cases… overall, though, I sort of thought I’d been saying mostly positive things.

      As I said over in Tempest Bradford’s blog, I do believe no publicity is bad publicity. I’d rather be honest and garner some resentment than gush indiscriminately and have nobody believe anything I say. Time will tell if I am wise in that or not, I guess. At the least, I hope I’ve been reasonable.

      Thanks for you comment!

      • Mikal Trimm says:

        Actually, I think you’ve been critical in the true sense of the word — i.e., funcioning as a critic (rather than being negative for its own sake). I just know that some folks — even ones who have been writing for some time — will always react badly to what they conceive of as a ‘negative’ review.

        Still, as Wilde would say, “The only thing worse than being talked about is *not* being talked about.” Heh.

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