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Interfictions Reviews – "Post Hoc"

April 12th, 2007

“Post Hoc”
Leslie What
A lonely, pregnant woman comes upon the desperate solution of mailing herself to her ex-boyfriend, but ends up lost in mailroom limbo. Another literal translation of interstitiality into physical form, and as such an apt metaphor for itself. Finding herself in one of these unaccounted-for cracks, Stella experiences a slow slippage from indignation to acceptance to second-nature. I found this a little gimmicky and a little glib. The cleverness of the idea carries more weight than it should have to. I don’t really get drawn in. The metaphor of mailroom limbo for post-relationship limbo doesn’t really come around to any satisfying close, In part I think because Stella’s solution to her problem was so terrible and wrongheaded to begin with. As a result, I don’t believe in the character or her emotions–I just go ‘Heh, post hoc. Clever.’ and move on.

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  • MaggieDR says:

    I found this story very readable, in fact, rather engrossing, although I agree that it felt too glib, particularly the beginning. There were several sentences that served as clever observations but did nothing for the story, other than prove the author’s talent with words. Still, once Stella lands in the Post Office, I became involved with the day to day doings and her developing relationships with the Post Office employee. Although as a former PO employee, I found the characters far more charming than anyone I met during my short stint. Also, I was disappointed that nothing came of the Shadow People–unless I missed something. There was some vague threat from their presence, as well as Bart’s evil temper, but then everything wound up with a homey “we can find a family if we don’t have one” sort of way.

    • mjd says:

      Somewhere I read a really gushing review of this by someone who gave solid and even convincing reasons why they felt the need to gush. Unfortunately it was in passing and the middle of writing more reviews of stories I liked better. Wish I could find it again so I could see if I was still convinced.

      Actually I was also pretty engrossed by this while it was Stella experiencing the wierdness of the limbo. But yeah, the setup and the wrap-up left me unsatisfied.

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