In Where Is Here?, what's the twist?

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In Where is Here? , Oates takes a number of processes and interactions usually viewed as exemplary of vibrant human activity and gives each a dark twist. Love becomes rape, painting a picture drains the life out of the subject of the painting, and a writer loses the ability to...

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In Where is Here?, Oates takes a number of processes and interactions usually viewed as exemplary of vibrant human activity and gives each a dark twist. Love becomes rape, painting a picture drains the life out of the subject of the painting, and a writer loses the ability to create anything new and endlessly edits.

This collection is incredibly dark and in many ways can be understood as an exploration of the way in which any kind of interaction has the possibility of going terribly wrong. The tone is reminiscent of the kind of depression which sees the worst in everything and accelerates all hypothetical futures toward their darkest conclusions.

While in many ways the collection can feel exaggerated, it asks us to question how such horrors we often frame as unthinkable actually come to be and to question whether the kind of darkness expressed in the collection is really so far from the world we live in.

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