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Scire Nefas


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Jun
16th
2019

What door? · 11:50pm Jun 16th, 2019

New Grimm fic already? Man, time flies. Let’s talk about this one too, shall we?

TDon't Open the Door
After breaking her leg in the middle of the Everfree Forest, Applejack is forced to take shelter with Rainbow Dash in an abandoned cabin in the woods. Historically, this sort of thing has only ever ended well.
Grimm · 14k words  ·  486  9 · 6.2k views

Preamble

Before I begin, a note about this author and this post. Due to past events that are not withing this post’s scope, I hold Grimm as the greatest author on this website. It’s not fair to him and to anyone else, but I’m so over myself with my obsession for his stories that I’m unable to write a fair, balanced or even appropriate comment to his works. This applies to my previous post, as well. As far as this current post is concerned, I want to make it clear that this is not a fair comment, nor should this be considered a critique or anything worth anyone’s attention ever. Like my previous post, this is a shapeless amass of personal opinions, feelings and everything else that might cross my mind. With that out of the way, let’s get something off my chest.

1. Themes

1.1. House

The house has a description that goes above and beyond what typically concerns a setting. It’s given depth and almost personality all of its own. The house alone has me feeling scared, yet I can’t look away and go elsewhere. It’s the only refuge in this even scarier night.

The decadent, horrific traits portrayed remind me of similar descriptions from Wuthering Heights. In that novel, the house is taken as a mirror fir its inhabitants and serves as a lead for the reader to hint at what the residents will be like. I’m having here a similar sensation, with an intuition of a terrible resident I should be scared of.

Interestingly, in spite of all the features provided about the house, I don’t think of them as something that needs to come up again. The scene has now been set and the story is ready to begin. Somehow taking a look at all these details doesn’t feel like shining Chekov’s gun, there’s no need to come back to it later. Surely it would be welcome, but far from needed.

1.2. Indefinite

First encountered with the description of the house, all details are never quite clear. There’s a “long- since-empty water bottle”, a table with food “long gone”, a knife embedded “deep” within a table. What stands out to me here is the lack of exact measures, of any exact number. All edges are blurry and undefined, leaving the final touches to me, the reader. This is not uncommon, especially in horror settings, but I still want to point it out as a standout feature of well-designed worldbuilding. I tend to see Leopardi’s poetry of undefined within it, but maybe I’m just too much over my head.

I wish I had read Lovecraft, this sounds a lot like what a friend of mine once told me his novel are like. Maybe I’ll get around to it one day.

2. Techniques

2.1. Static and dynamic description

One description style well implemented and carried out through a story is usually enough to earn my praise. To have two, masterfully executed and expertly juxtaposed to represent different narrative paces it amazing to me. The slow, in-pose description of the house gets brutally broken by the arrival of the two ponies, alive, with the hurry that comes with them. They don’t have the time to have a picture taken, they can’t waste a second. Descriptions cone in brief and sparse, only when they are relevant to the events that are happening in the moment. This mix of narrative and descriptive elements always succeeds in keeping me glued to the book. It also reminds me of some great passages from Harry Potter, of what is said and mostly of what is left to the reader’s imagination.

2.2. Non-linear narration

Starting in medias res, following the action, and then explore the previous event that lead to the current state not by an omniscient narrator’s flashback, but through the speaking voices of the characters themselves. It that’s not good narration, I don’t know what is. It’s true that it’s not a ground-breaking innovation and that many others have already pulled off exemplar stories with these techniques, but it’s ever so great to find another one.

3. The obvious

Perfect grammar down to the smallest details, on point characters... All of that I can almost take for granted in any Grimm fic, but I can’t not renew my awe at jet another example of such great execution.

3.1. Mandatory in-progress random notes are mandatory

The passage in whch Rainbow reads the message cared into the table transmits an urgent importance. It’s amazing how effectively the desperation and necessity to leave a message are relayed to the reader.

The passage after that one is even more impressive in how powerful it is. That’s Cadence enjoys cucking levels of uncanny. I’m scared.

3.1. What’s missing

At times like these, I regret my own ignorance. Most of what’s above here comes from the first paragraphs, from before the story even starts. Of the main events, all I can tell with clarity is that the characters are true to themselves, that they’re driving the story rather than being driven by it. I may praise some smooth transition into indirect speech and monologues of Joician (?) memory. Al of that is too little too late. I can tell there’s much more to this story than that, but I can’t look into it and break down what that is. I don’t have the skills to read this story the way it’s meant to be read, to pick up all the details and motivations that make it great for what it is. I can read it and I can enjoy it, but that’s an enjoyment similar to a kid watching the Simpsons. I’ll get just the obvious, and the great, the meaningful and the important parts will all pass by me, too ignorant to pick them up. Enjoyment is still enjoyment after all, and I’m still glad I got to read what I got. I’m happy for those who can see further than me, and those in the comments that point stuff out.

4. Conclusion

Yet another tale full pf pathos, intense emotions and pregnant tension all the way through. It’s been awesome to read it and be terrified by it, even with my limited understanding pf the matter. An amazing piece, recommended to everyone.

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