A Journal Divided
However, setting this disturbing image on the facing page to Cecily Park’s poem “Savage” is so distracting that I actually had to fold the magazine over lest my eyes strayed to the flying blood and mule pieces. (Threaded seemingly randomly throughout the magazine are visual images which, in black and white, are starkly set in the middle of each page. Unfortunately I found that them to be a bit too random, in many cases doing a disservice to both artists and writers represented.) Why not set this image opposite the story it belongs to instead of polluting Park’s poem?
With this many contributions (almost 50) and this many editors (20 plus) this issue of Redivider seems to lack a unified vision, and suffer from an aesthetic imbalance between the varying pieces. Additionally, much of the work here, while demonstrating potential, was not brought to full expression. In some cases I wished that Redivider’s editors had worked more thoroughly with authors and/or offered greater editorial direction (i.e. a rewrite request) and even perhaps cut back on the number of contributions so that the issue has less of an overburdened buffet feel.
Christopher Boucher’s two short stories come to mind as work that seemed one-edit shy of perfection. “Maryland” is an amusing tale about a character that decides to act upon the advice of fantastical face, Sam, who is literally embedded in another character’s stomach. Boucher’s dialogue is crisp, dramatic and, at times, very funny. In his second short story “The New Allen” Boucher again offers a well-crafted story sprung with a fantastical conceit: placing a deceased cyclist’s wig on a remote controlled car to memorialize his death. Boucher’s ability to keep the logistics – time and place – flowing is impressive. However, in neither of Boucher’s stories does he offer a character who experiences significant change or development, potentially leaving a reader with such expectations to feel frustrated.
Dan Moreau’s short story, “Resource Officer,” presents as the diary of over-the-top accomplishments by a school resource officer. This was an amusing story. I did, however, wish to see more conflict for the main character. Perhaps this was Moreau’s intention. Or perhaps I am just not the ideal reader for this piece.