How does a Clark Blaise story feel? The tactile emphasis is crucial. Blaise's characters are inseparable from the things they touch—gooey, sticky, dirty, infested things that "ooze" through swamps, broken buildings, jungles. But if we read only for sensation (consider: "his brains are coming out of his mouth") or only for repugnant shock ("the hiss of a million maggots") the rawness metaphor seeps by us. (p. 26)
If you ask someone what they think a Clark Blaise story is about, their first answer will probably not be: rawness. Critics have stressed the extraordinary sensitivity of Blaise's characters to "dilemmas caused by conflicting cultures,"… their articulate response to particular...
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