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Hello again C. Hope you are well. I’ve just read your story on the other thread and I think it encapsulates what we’ve been talking about here – our dilemma about the dark and the light. What your story does – wonderfully, I must say – is show a way that, as writers, we can (and should) acknowledge both worlds.

I suppose if we were horror or crime writers, the bleak side is always going to be at the forefront but, free of genre parameters, we can explore both sides of the human spirit. I don’t know if you like William Blake but in his foreword to one of my favorite collection of poems, Songs of Innocence and Experience, he described it as ‘showing the two contrary states of the human soul’. That is what we must examine as writers.
While I may choose to turn the news off and skip over the ugly stories I may chance upon on the internet, as a writer, I can’t do that. I must take responsibility for it in the search for truth. As writers we must never turn our backs on the dark corners of the human condition if we ever want to find the light.

In your story, you have shone a light at both worlds. Your character is both literally and symbolically in the dark. But there are also shafts of light. Tiny slivers of ones. We want her (her? I’m not sure we know) to prise open the brick in the wall just as we want her to let light into the story. You show us both conditions and deliver on the promise of the story’s title.

I love your writing style too, evoking a sharp feeling of time and place. Those short, descriptive sentences really do carry the story along. This is the sort of story you want to read when you begin to have your doubts about human nature.

I’m sure you are familiar with Blake but he’s certainly worth a re-read from time to time. The Marriage of Heaven and Hell also explores the eternal theme of good and evil. He sought to find solace for his own, rather desolate world view. I’m not sure that he succeeded but he certainly left behind a magnificent body of writing and art.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by Helen.