Majnun Ben-David

Phrases I Liked: Berit Ellingsen

Periodically I will read a few short stories by a contemporary author, usually one relatively close to the beginning of their (published) writing career, and post a few favorite phrases.

The author in this case is
Berit Ellingsen, who does a good job of describing herself on her website here, which means I don't have to.

Now for some phrases I really liked in her stories ...

"his gaze like a blood-warm waterfall down your body"
Sexual Dimorphism - A Nightmare Transcribed from Sanskrit
in elimae

"He fears little cancer animals are growing warm inside his flesh."
The Celtic Itch in decomP

"We were escaping to: beauty, harps, and Jane Austen."
Le Monde Est Artificiel in Esc Magazine

Overall, the stories I read by Ellingsen were creative, innovative, and well-written. They are, though, more conceptual and experimental than I personally prefer. I suppose Italo Calvino's Cosmicomics (excellent Ursula LeGuin review here) might be a point of comparison here, especially given Ellingsen's science background that is sometimes in evidence, though again this is not a style of literature I know all that well.

I admit that my limited enjoyment of this style is a matter of personal taste and bias. (I don't entirely agree with the now-[in]famous "
A Reader's Manifesto" by B.R. Myers, but there are some points worth thinking about in there.) I appreciate Ellingsen's work, the language, and the effects/images that her stories invoked. Her website has a nice list of links to many of her stories, plus her volume of collected stories is here as is her philosophical novel.

Disclaimer: I have exchanged a few messages with Ms. Ellingsen on Twitter, but I otherwise have no connection with her.

blog comments powered by Disqus