>Universidad Nacional del Comahue

>I believe I’ve mentioned a few times here recently how far behind I am on posting about any number of things. Perhaps the single item about which I’ve been most negligent has been the Advanced English class at Universidad Nacional del Comahue, taught by Magdalena Zinkgräf. In Magdalena’s words, “One of the aims of this course is to help learners (teacher- and translator- trainees in the last years of the programme) to be able to write reviews of short-short stories.” To that end, students in her class wrote reviews piece in Issue 17. Magdalena was kind enough to share some of the reviews her students wrote, and I’d like to share here the review we felt was best-written among those, penned by Angélica Verdú. Many thanks to Magdalena and her students.

For long, mainstream literature has been strictly ruled by the Cannon. Yet in today’s ever-changing world, who is to say where the artistic lies or even what art is in the first place? No doubt about it, the flash fiction genre engenders the seed that will propel the literary world into a new level where canonical standards will not be the least bit significant, especially when considering that all that matters, these days, is engaging demanding audiences and providing them with a breath of fresh air that transports them out of their quotidian duties, regardless of the way.

Indisputably gifted Claudia Smith surely knows how to weave a masterfully rendered tale that will utterly enchant alert readers with a most strikingly imaginative take on thorny issues such as childhood traumas and sixth senses and Prow is living proof of her unrivalled talent in this respect, as even the title attracts readers’ attention from scratch.

Set in an indefinite place and time, this utterly abnormal, bizarre narrative provides a most detailed insight into out-of-the-ordinary Louise Hennesy’s supernatural experience when she reports having been threatened with death by a male psychopath during a telephone conversation at the age of 12. Doubting about the actual occurrence of this most unfortunate event as an adult seems to reflect either a possible delusion or an attempt at putting this weird memory off her mind as the lead character in Cadwallader’s Oblivious does. Yet, when her mother states she is changing her telephone number, Louise’s traumatic fears are taken back to her present day, 20 years later, under the reader’s watchful eye.

Clear and intense character portrayals as well as meticulous event reconstruction with a helping of witty dialogues add to the author’s crowning achievement in skillfully threading a memorable, artful tapestry that undoubtedly displays Smith’s unparalleled writing genius.

All in all, on providing a most grippingly engaging challenge that will leave readers wondering about Prow’s true meaning, Smith compels her audience to step up and offer their own interpretations, while feeling they can contribute to the “writing” of the story. Entertaining, evocative, life-changing.

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About smokelong

Our Mission: SmokeLong Quarterly is dedicated to bringing the best flash fiction to the web on a quarterly basis, whether writtenwidely published authors, or those new to the craft. The term "smoke-long" comes from the Chinese, who noted that reading a piece of flash takes about the same length of time as smoking a cigarette. All the work we publish is precisely that—about a smoke long.
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