Wednesday, February 9, 2011

On "Necklace" by Ravi Mangla (415 words) ****

Here's another story by a master of oddness. It involves teeth, lots of them, strung around a neck. In Mangla's world, such a necklace becomes a vehicle for self-transformation. Displayed, they symbolize power and hold an awkward sway over those around (yet there's an odd juxtaposition here, because teeth--outside of the skull--are essentially powerless). Watching the reactions of the others in the story is the real joy, though--and the weird buglike mating customs that go along with those reactions. A blog entry on the piece notes that the piece is about death--personal and public--and such would certainly work in the context of how death both robs us of power and, through grief, provides a tremendous amount of power over others. Read the story here at Bull.

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