These eight hundred pages about bustles are disagreeable at best.
You demonstrate an 8-track mind lost in a world of digital scholarship.
Your diction is coarse, often touching the pornographic.
Making my way through this was slow and awful – like consuming a sink full
of dishwater with a tablespoon.
Rather than coagulate, your arguments add up to a froth of seedy observations.
Like current through a diode, your barely suppressed libidinal obsessions
run in one unwavering direction.
Your ideas are hitched to a worldview that is anachronistic even for the time
period you write about.
You fling terms like “exaggerated” and “concealed” as if your assumptions
are not offensive to contemporary sensibilities.
The three hundred and twelve pages describing methods of folding fabric exceed
the demands of careful study and enter the realm of the salacious.
The work’s concluding rant about “the perfect silhouette” is not only disgusting
but also evidence of a deep neurosis.
The rancid stain that makes page 98 partially transparent could have been easily omitted.
I can only assume its inclusion is intentional.
Previously published in Pudding Magazine, Issue #56.
Nathan Moore has been published at elimae, Quarrtsiluni, Menacing Hedge, Fleeting Magazine and others. He was the winner of the 2009 William Redding Memorial Contest. Nathan’s “Exegesis” and “Anecdote of the Impossible Knot” are also in Reprint.
Object(s) to bring back to life: “I wish I could bring back my vestigial tail and an old-fashioned Christmas that would include drunkenness, cross dressing, and general misrule.”