Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Dredgeman’s Revelation by Karen Russell

This story seems to investigate the strangeness of life and death, being and not being, living and not living. The main character, Louis is born dead to a dead mother and then as if he reverses his decision to be dead decides to live. Unfortunately for him he is sent to a family where he describes his escape from them as a coming alive, while also alluding to having killed his adoptive father. Simple put he has killed not to save his life but in order to live.

Louis later signs up for work on a barge where the crews lives our put on hold so that they are waiting their return to land in order to live again while Louis wants to avoid this return to land and perhaps to living to the point he fantisizes about sabotaging the ship.

Then, the end of the story, the ship does not return to land but instead catches fire which kills a crew member attracting scavenger birds. Louis discovers before being killed by these birds that he does in fact want to live just as death is at his door step and it is to late for him to do so.

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