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Tim Horvath on Tim Horvath.

November 28, 2010 \pm\30 5:15 pm

Tim Horvath reviews a story by Tim Horvath
from [C:] an mlp stamp stories anthology

Tim Horvath’s untitled minim 0pus, touted by the publisher as a “stamp story,” seems to want to wander out over the abyss and set up a retractable popsicle stand there. Its ontological return address is Macondo all the way—by the end the story has vanished and left behind only the scuff marks, verbal traces, the tent pegs of a Big Top whose circus is already one state over and has paid its legal fees to wipe away any record of clown gropery, the clown already having joined the rodeo elsewhere, not as a rodeo clown nor as a rider but as…let’s say the timekeeper, nay the backup timekeeper, in case the main clocker should get gored or succumb to severe indigestion or decide one morning to go to LA and write screenplays instead.

The question you’re asking: Does this story manage to stay aboard for its full fifty? Is it aback a chute fighter or a double kicker or a hat bender or something in between?

If it’s to be thrown, let us at least throw it where it belongs, in that new, emerging genre known as “flicker fiction.” A subgenre of flash (some would say a subsubgenre), flicker derives what danger it can muster from a strobing rhythm analogous to that which can induce seizures in epileptics. You see it in the opening credits of Noe’s “Into the Void,” and in any given club in NYC on a Sat. night you can find two to three aspiring flickerers, moleskins propped on knees, pens poised, jaymcinerneanly gazing off into the dry ice fog in search of a dénouement or at least an opening line, a word. And in this case? Well, Horvath’s story oscillates between a series of affirmations and negations: a couple is together and then she leaves and next we are inside a metaphor and then back in the literal world, then back inside a metaphor again. Maybe flicker fiction should come with a warning, or perhaps the thrill lies in the novelty. When the lights come on, do you like who you’ve been dancing with; do you want to go home with him or her, or are the moles and skin revealed too baldly? For the burgeoning genre, it remains to be seen; let’s just say that I’m going back and forth for now.

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