Read SOCK! by Vi Khi Nao Free Online
Book Title: SOCK!|
The author of the book: Vi Khi Nao
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 17.18 MB
Edition: Per Second Press
Date of issue: December 18th 2013
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Read full description of the books SOCK!:I had trouble understanding the unfolding of the story, and I was turned off by the way that disability was used as a plot-device without being considered or resolved at the end. I guess I didn’t understand what the intent of the narrative was. These are the things that I thought might have been the intent of the story:
a) as a pedagogical tool: to define the words (“woebegone,” “insufficient,” “frangible,” “dilapidated,” “crestfallen,” “flummoxed”)
b) as a narrative about self-confidence: a girl realizes that she doesn’t need to try to be like others (things that she is not) and instead finds comfort in herself and the love of her family (mother)
c) as a narrative about living with disability: girl with a disability learns to love her body because of its uniqueness, rather than seeing having “come into the world without arms” as a limitation
I think that it succeeds, if it succeeds in any of these intentions, if indeed these are accurate descriptions of the intention of the narrative, only in the first one. And, in fact, that the second two readings need to be read “into” the narrative, based on my preconceptions about the themes that children’s stories tend to deal with, and what I would want out of a children’s story about disability in particular. I think if you are trying to produce a narrative that thematizes something that might be called self-love or self-acceptance, that would need to be brought more to the fore.
I found that the encounters themselves, in their formulism became boring really quickly. I understand that this kind of repetitive structure is a formula for telling children’s stories, but I would try to find ways to break the repetitiveness, to introduce new ways of enacting the same scene; i.e. that of Sock meets animal, animal describes her, the descriptor is defined, she tries to be the animal, it doesn’t work, she moves on.
One way to do this might be to make the narrative more “psychological.” I wonder whether there is a way to build in Sock’s responses to the (for the most part negative) adjectives that are being used to describe her, in order to emphasize the transformation at the end when she rejects these categories and finds self-acceptance or self-love.
I would also elaborate, if you can find a way to, upon the reason that she in the end rejects the impetus to model herself on others and instead finds comfort in being herself in relation to her mother. That is to say, perhaps the mother can, instead of simply dis-allowing Sock to become her (mother), say something which would propel Sock to become her-self.
I love the illustrations and the vibrant colors, I was really drawn in by them! And the fonts are great.
I think that the purely anatomical failures of the hybrid Sock-animals (the strange-ness, the non-naturalness of the illustrated figures) thematizes both the inability of a person to transform themselves into an other who they are not, and Sock’s gradual loss of identity, her subsumption of her identity (or self) to the others whose selves she tries to become. But (and this is I think the most important point) I struggle with the implication of disability as other, and the mapping of otherness onto an already disabled (and thereby other-to-“normal”) body.
I also – and this is something that I just noticed re-reading the story – really like the multiple naming of Sock, that she is already multiple (i.e. perhaps a composite of many names and thereby many identities), and that she has already rejected this multiplicity in favor of a self-forming (as simply Sock).
My only other minor critique is that it is sometimes challenging to determine the flow of dialogue and who is talking.
Read information about the authorVi Khi Nao holds an MFA in fiction from Brown University, where she received the John Hawkes and Feldman Prizes in fiction and the Kim Ann Arstark Memorial Award in poetry. Her work includes poetry, fiction, film and cross-genre collaboration. She is the author of two novellas, Swans In Half-Mourning (2013) and The Vanishing Point of Desire (2011), and her poetry collection, The Old Philosopher, was the winner of 2014 Nightboat Poetry Prize. Her manuscript, A Brief Alphabet of Torture, won the 2016 Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Contest. In Fall 2016, Coffee House Press will publish her novel Fish in Exile. She lives in Iowa City, Iowa.
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