“Pallas at Noon”
This is what I was hoping for when I cracked this book. A story where I don’t have to talk about whether it’s interstitial or not because it doesn’t matter. This story transcends genre, rises above it—rather than trying to talk at genre, or batter itself against genre’s walls until one or the other falls down. “Pallas at Noon” has beauty, soul, and meaning, the virtuosity of Kelly Link without the glassy, unassailable precision. There are risks taken here, and sacrifices, and my heart came close to being actually wrenched. This is a story about failed love and creativity and the struggle between. It turns on a stanza of poetry that appears halfway through, breaks itself by the end, and only gives you half the satisfaction you’re expecting, yet everything you need. There is a cautionary tale here for the plight of the artist in the interstice–and here, in this one case, I think I’m willing to extend that classification to everyone who ever reads this blog. Yes, you. Artist, writer, creator of whatever chameleon color, liver in the world, whoever you are: I’m telling you to read “Pallas at Noon”.
I tried to write a story like this once, and it came out simplistic and overwrought and unconvincing. Joy Marchand outwrites me like I’m just some superfluous character she realized she didn’t need.
I think I can quote the last lines without giving anything away but the beauty and surprise of them:
“Gathering the ocean spray around her like a cloak of invincibility she floats toward the far horizon, and then blasts off like a rocket into the high noon sun.”
Damn. I mean, damn.