Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Wizard, the Lover, and the Ghost---Jen G.

In the White Edition of The Fairytale Review, I came across a rather intriguing and wholly confusing story called "The Wizard" by Dara Wier. The narrator goes into a stream of consciousness, beginning with the present where they are enjoying their solitary work in nature, then jumping backwards and forwards into time as they turn their thoughts into a dialogue with a lost love. This lover, however, takes on multiple roles throughout the story as the living lover, a god-like figure, a ghost, and the stranger, culminating in the overarching and titular character of the wizard. Wier does an admirable job at reproducing the memory breakdown of a surviving partner; the narrator has a certain defiance at the beginning of the story, and dreams "of another another world, a world uninhabited by humans" (125). As the narrator begins to remember their lost lover, however, the structure breaks down, and the reader is plunged into a stream of memories, regrets, and other emotions. With each memory, the lost lover takes on a new role, and sometimes changes character within a few examples. When the narrator says, "With you in mind I work to continue with what we had started before you departed. With you in mind when my spirits pale I go on. There are ways in which what I do conflicts with what I know you'd intended" (125), the lover becomes a Muse, a ghost, and then an almost god-like presence, directing the will of the mourning narrator. Admittedly, I had never really thought about the different roles a partner plays, or at least in the manner that Wier presents them. When I had first read the piece, I thought the narrator was the wizard due to the "work" and "experiments" they are constantly working on; by the end, however, the narrator becomes a lonely, almost bitter person, whose thoughts are dominated by memories of their lost lover.
Overall, "Wizard" is, at times, overwhelming with the details but paints a poignant and fairly thorough picture about loss and reflection in a stream of fragments.

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