A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library
Slowly you will drown in the depths of the blackness around you. From your familiar world you will enter another. An unknown mist-clad universe, bereft of all feeling. Time will stop dead in its tracks. And then, suddenly, a howl of drums will wake you.
I’ve been reading weird fiction for a long time. I thought I knew where it was all at. And then The Weird came into my life. It’s one of the few big-brick literary anthologies with enough revelations in it to justify the unwieldy weight. The Weird is definitely worth a few checkouts, a few renewals, and the wrist strain of trying to actually hold it up where you can see it.
“The Discovery of Telenapota” by Bengali author Premendra Mitra is a good place to start if you want to skip over some of the more famous authors in The Weird. You won’t find much of Mitra’s work in English, and nothing at all in the U.S. apart from this tale. It’s a hallucinatory trip into rural India where you get to do some fly-fishing, fall in love, take a rather cramped ride in a miniature cart pulled by miniature bulls, and accept a marriage proposal under a false name. And it’s all directed at you in a mesmerizing future tense. But “Telenapota” is not just the trippy prose-poem that all suggests. There is some genuine emotion in the tale and a kind of clever twist in the end too.
A great little discovery from a great big anthology.
Review by Matthew