Thursday, April 2, 2009

Sexy, Hot, Sad, Tragic, Accident

A short story by Krishan Coupland
Reviewed by Lawrence Reeve
Digital cameras make a shutter sound when the button is pressed, but they don't need to. The tinny recorded sound (they all seem to use the same one) is a nod to the days of bulky Nikons with heavy shutter mechanisms that wound film and chunked metal, and each one made you feel you had captured something important.

Like a digital photo shoot SHSTA transitions through several offline and online perspectives of a young woman's death, and each transition makes a false noise hollowing out the meaning of her death a little more each time. The accident is re-configured into an online event, a brief spasm of YouTube hits, a bid for Twitter-fast popularity, me-too souvenirs, and a stadium memorial full of grief-stricken faces on the big-screen designed to feed the nightly trash news.

People feel connected to her because she is online, only because she is online, a Little-Girl-In-The-Well story that touches but does not penetrate. One is left with the impression that nothing important was captured here, that her tragic death was observed but not felt, tagged but not understood, and recorded without context.

At 2500 words it is a splendid, fast read. Enjoy.

ePublisher:  Eclectica Magazine Vol. 13, No. 1 - January/February, 2009. Eclectica describes itself as one of the longest-running literary ezines on the web. Their global perspective adds flavor to the ten pieces of short fiction, and includes other magazine content, such as travel, reviews, etc.

Format: I read online using a browser, without being annoyed by advertising, and it prints nicely, too.


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