The powers that be tell us never to judge a book by its cover.
But that is exactly where I am going to start. Jeremy Ley is responsible for both the cover illustrations so far, and I have to say that the cover is what attracted me to the journal in the first place. There is something about the noir look, the cloak and dagger, the stunning girls in trench coats, that makes reading this journal seem impossibly sexy.
I first stumbled across Kill Your Darlings when it was reviewed in the West Australian Newspaper. I can't remember exactly what the review said, but I do remember that I was intrigued. I am always on the look out for places to send my work, and the feel of KYD just screamed at me. It was exactly the kind of publication that I would want my work in.
Issue One was fantastic. I had high expectations for Issue Two, and living in W.A. made things particularly cumbersome, as I had to wait an extra weekend to get mine. But on Monday... a day which was anything but jolly, I may add... it arrived, in all its brown, padded envelope glory.
It was worth sidelining Ulysses, I tell you that much.
It's taken me five days to get through all of it, and that's including stopping to watch Gilmore Girls season five and write for JulNoWriMo. I also took a break to go ice skating. Hilarity ensued.
To date, Kill Your Darlings is the only Journal which has made me want to read everything in it. The fiction especially, but I also really love the reviews and essays. More so in issue one because of the novelty factor I suppose, but issue two was also extremely informative. I have found that if I let them, a good writer can not only make me think about things outside my comfort zone, they can also make me enjoy it.
This issue began with Monica Dux's essay "The Temple of The Female Eunuch." Now, I'm not a feminist, although in the past I have been labelled one... (outrageous) but I know a lot of people who are. This essay raised a lot of very valid points about Greer and about her relationship with the feminist movement she has been associated with. She is, if you will a metonym for feminism. The first article or story in any journal sets the tone for the rest of the piece, and I'm just not sure if I really connected with this one. I would have liked to have seen "Lunch in Mayfair" by Ruth Starke kick off the commentary section. From a writer's perspective, this article was both funny and helpful, and if you happen to NOT be a feminist, doesn't make you feel a little left out when the writer begins talking about famous people you've never heard of. Don't get me wrong, I really liked the Dux essay. I loved that she made the point of Greer's main crime being that she allowed herself to age. But I did not connect with it on the level the writer intended. It was for a target market that I do not fit.
The fiction section this time around appeared to have a theme. Each and every story involved identity fraud on some level. I don't know whether this was pure coincidence or whether the editors at KYD just decided to be whimsical, but I really did like this unexpected theme. The first story was by Pierz Newton-John and it was called Shock. I read it on Wednesday before Ice Skating and talked about it in the car the whole way there. Of the other stories, I also liked Comfort Inn by Samuel Rutter. The other two stories, while very good, where somewhat confusing. In A Terror Story by Leanne Hall, I was neither terrified, nor did I know whether the narrator was a woman or a man. That's all well and good if you don't subscribe to gender, but it did leave me somewhat undecided on the tone of the piece. Was I reading a story about a beautiful lesbian black widow who captured our narrator in a green house? Or was she a nutter who lured old men back to her apartment for kicks? I don't like not being sure. Friction by Virginia Peters was actually quite well done once I finished it and thought over what I had read. But the formatting of the story, the constant switching between 'Fiction' and 'Non-Fiction' and the not so obvious time difference between the two threads had me scratching my head for a while.
Hannah Kent's interview with Phillip Pullman was an interesting study of the writer in a post-religious world. It prompted a conversation with my sister yesterday morning about where the public evil in religion truly lies. These sorts of conversations are most infrequent; a true testament to the intrigue contained in that interview.
Finally, the reviews. There were more of these than last time. I skim read most, but my final verdict is that I now want to a) read some Barbara Trapido, and b) watch Love My Way.
So there you have it. That's my breakdown of Issue Two. Next issue I would love to see way more fiction.
Ta Ta For Now, TTFN