- Tapa blanda: 202 páginas
- Editor: Cheeky Frawg Books (24 de octubre de 2013)
- Idioma: Inglés
- ISBN-10: 0985790466
- ISBN-13: 978-0985790462
- Valoración media de los clientes: Sé el primero en opinar sobre este producto
Datura (Inglés) Tapa blanda – 24 oct 2013
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Datura by Leena Krohn, translated by Anna Volmari and Juha Tupasela. From the author of the World Fantasy Award finalist Tainaron, one of the most respected Finnish writers of her generation...Our narrator works as an editor and writer for a magazine specializing in bringing oddities to light, a job that sends her exploring through a city that becomes by degrees ever less familiar. From a sunrise of automated cars working in silent precision to a possible vampire, she discovers that reality may not be as logical as you think-and that people are both odder and more ordinary as they might seem. Especially if you're eating datura seeds. Especially when the legendary Voynich Manuscript is involved. Where will it all end? Pushed by the mysterious owner of the magazine, our narrator may wind up somewhere very strange indeed. "Datura is luminous-at once a secret history of losers, dreamers, and quacks, and a lyrical argument on the nature of reality. I thoroughly enjoyed it." - Sofia Samatar, A Stranger in Olondria
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Datura presents itself as the straightforward story of two years in the life of our unnamed narrator, the editor of a paranormal magazine, The New Anomalist. While the narrator dislikes her job, due mostly to the cynical management of her friend and boss, "the Marquis," she enjoys getting to know the oddballs and eccentrics attracted to magazines like The New Anomalist. All the while, in an effort to cure her asthma, the narrator consumes the seeds of the datura plan given her as a birthday present. Are the oddities the narrator experiences a result of living in proximity to the Arctic Circle? Is it the influence of the magazine? Or are the datura seeds have unforeseen side effects?
By keeping chapters short, typically two to four pages, Krohn creates a surreal, dreamlike atmosphere. The details related in each chapter are episodic, snapshots in the life of the narrator and her acquaintances. This is not to say that the chapters don't build upon one another, but the relationship of one chapter to the next is often tangential, with the whole only revealed at the end of the book.
Krohn's language is beautiful, even in translation (a testament to the skills of the translators, no doubt). Consider, for instance, this early nugget on the nature of reality: "The dead of winter is like a pocket you can hide in. Winter offers one of the best illusions: the illusion that time can stop. If nothing grows, blooms, or flourishes, nothing can wither away, either" (page 25). Which happens to be exactly the way I feel about winter. Or this: "There are moments when everything is new, as if seen or heard for the first time, even language, words that I've read a thousand times. People, landscapes, items, even books. Now and then I stop at a familiar word as I read, and all of a sudden it amazes me, and I savour it like a new taste. For a fraction of a second I hesitate: what does the word refer to, does it really signify anything at all?" (page 33). What reader hasn't from time to time come across a word or phrase and thought, "But what does this really mean?"
Which, incidentally, most readers will ask themselves as they make their way through Datura. The narrator glides from one odd encounter to the next, with no apparent rhyme or reason. Consider the Master of Sound, who develops a device that can mute all noise. Or the Pendulum Man, who determines whether or not food is safe to eat by swinging a pendulum over his plate. There's Loogaroo, the vampire, or "Otherkin," as the narrator refers to non-humans residing in human bodies. Such ephemera make up the narrator's day to day experience. As with the contents of The New Anomalist, or the occult shop ("parastore") the Marquis installs in the magazine's offices, including a singing fish that bedevils the narrator, some readers may find themselves, "What's the point?" Which, given Krohn's interest in perception and reality, is to miss the point entirely.
Datura is a curious book that defies categorization. Is it "weird fiction"? Perhaps, but there are no cosmic monsters here. Krohn writes with a light touch, gently poking fun at her oddball characters even as she sympathizes with them. If the story seems aimless, be assured that you will enjoy its twists and turns. Krohn's language is hypnotic, compelling the reader ever forward. Highly recommended.