Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Portable Childhoods: "Clip Art"

"Clip Art" is the first story in Portable Childhoods which disappoints, though I'm sure some will enjoy it.

The story is told as a transcript of a television documentary about a very old woman who was famous for collecting paper clips all her life and amassed a notable collection. She was something of a paper clip expert and within the paper clip community, she was extraordinary. Sort of like one of those weird stories which apparently can only happen in America.

Anyway, "Clip Art" features brief "talking head" segments from various people in Frances Hunter's life. Frances is the Paper Clip Lady and the subject of the documentary.

This is one of the shorter stories in the collection, but it is unsatisfying. One could ask "what's the point?" for any story, in particular one which doesn't work for a given reader, but "Clip Art" did not work for this reader. At no time did Klages engage me with the story or with the various talking heads and certainly not with the life of Frances Hunter.

On the plus side, the story is only 5 pages long and even those five pages have a good amount of white space since "Clip Art" is written as a transcript.

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