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Rachel Swirsky climbs inside the mind of a violent misogynst

Harpy1

A couple of days ago, Rachel Swirsky — an award-winning science fiction and fantasy writer who posts at Alas, A Blog and sometimes comments here on Man Boobz as well — sent along a link to a brilliant, brutal, and horrifying short story she’d recently published in Apex Magazine. Titled “Abomination Rises on Filthy Wings,” the story is essentially her attempt to get inside the mind of a violent misogynist.

As the editor’s note to her story explains:

Swirsky wrote this piece after talking to multiple editors who worked with horror stories, all of whom reported receiving many submissions about men murdering their wives or ex–wives. Despite the fictional veneer and supernatural justification [for the murder], many have the feel of personal revenge fantasies, and most characterize the women through disturbing, misogynist stereotypes. Swirsky wanted to see if it was possible to write a story that included all the markers of the trope but nevertheless subverted it.

In writing the story, Swirsky told me, “I drew heavily on Manboobz for mood and imagery, to try to get the sense of the narrator.”

So, enjoy. But first, I should warn you that the story is very violent, very disturbing, and could very well be triggering. So giant TRIGGER WARNING.

Here’s the LINK.

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Howard Bannister
7 years ago

I think there’s a number of points that work in the moment that turn the fridge logic up to 10.

Gur zrgncube bs pbageby ebbz sbe nhqvrapr erznvaf cbjreshy. Gur purrevat juvyr crbcyr qvr cneg fznpxf zr va gur snpr rirel gvzr V jngpu vg.

But ultimately, I’ve said about twenty times in the last week, the failure mode of satire is when it comes off as just a straight version of what it’s trying to deconstruct/mock/explicate.

It worked for me, but it may have worked for me because I was expecting it and looking for it. And a movie that tries to have it both ways–to be satire and straight-up horror–is always going to be susceptible to that kind of failure.

freemage
7 years ago

Howard:

V jnf arire fher vs gur nhqvrapr jnf fhccbfrq gb or Pbageby, be gur Ryqre Tbqf. Va gur ynggre pnfr, Pbageby vf zber yvxr gur fghqvb urnqf–“Jr unir gb tvir gurz jung gurl jnag, naq jung gurl jnag vf gur sbezhyn.” Vg jbexf cnegvphyneyl jryy va gur ‘svefg xvyy’ fprar jurer gurl’er jnvgvat sbe gur tvey gb or gbcyrff–abg orpnhfr gurl jnag ure gb or, ohg orpnhfr gung’f cneg bs gur ehyrf ynvq qbja ol Gubfr Orybj.

marci
7 years ago

Gracias Argenti!