“She is a tall dark beauty containing a great many beauty spots”
I wasn’t sure what a reread of this book was going to bring me. But I did it. The reread did go better than the initial one, but I am not sure I liked it any better when it comes down to it. This book is a retelling of Snow White, but with a lot of artifice and structure stripped out of it. So this postmodern rendering of it is often told in detached dialog and descriptions. It’s also re-placed in a contemporary setting (1970s) and reads as if it takes with in a hippie collective. So Snow White and the seven dwarves are more in a free-love kind of situation here. It’s also funny because at least one of the dwarves is really starting to get annoyed with her.
It’s hard to emphasize how very different this is from other Donald Barthelme writing, especially the short stories, at least from my impression. His stories are often little epics really — full worlds developed in the backdrop of little stories. It’s not always the case, but there are times in those stories where I almost feel a whole novel being implied by the little moments we get in the stories. Here it’s almost the opposite, where the novel feels missing and even destroyed, rather than implied.
It’s still interesting and a lot of the writing is really interesting, but I find it so hard to grab hold of even the good writing because of the feeling of the loss of the rest here.