Saturday, May 28, 2016

Saturday Revue May 28: Vogelein

Ladies And Gentlemen! 

Let Me Introduce You


Every once in a while, a story gently slips into your heart, finds a cranny for itself there and makes itself at home. Vogelein is one of these. It's the tale of a clockwork fairy who must be wound each day or risk losing all her memories and with them, herself. It's a tale about what makes us love and what makes us human. It's a tale of longing and loss, independence and indebtment. It's a story that gently reminds us to find out what we really need and search for it. It's the creation of Jane Irwin,
and you can read it yourself here.

The Rating

Evocative, loving and wistful. 

The Raves

It's compassion that makes this story stand out. The creator explores the intricacies of interdependent human coexistence, with all the conflicts of need for protection and need for free will. The story touches on the ways loss and need change us and our personalities. But it is all done with gentleness and with such tenderness that the story itself might have the power to heal some wounds. Even the most unpleasant character in the story is shown in a compassionate light, given the right to his bitterness and his grieving after terrible experiences. Irwin doesn't want we readers to naively think  that everyone is good. But they do want us to remember that everyone has a story, and everyone is capable of redemption. The creator underlines this point with thoughtfully chosen poems acting as chapter breaks, and I as a reader felt it was an extra treat to turn a page and find a poem that was at once new and achingly familiar to my emotional experiences, including Emily Dickinson's 'You Cannot Make Remembrance Grow' and J. K. Berndt's 'The Duskie'.

As if to emphasize the message, the art is done in gentle watercolor shades of grey, facial expressions painfully honest and bodies expressive. There's the feeling of children's story book illustration about these drawings, though this is a story for people who are no longer so free of care as children.

Now you know me readers. I have a penchant for the poetic and the lyrical. Well, this hit the spot and no mistake. 

And if that wasn't enough, Irwin gives us one last gift at the end of the book: the end notes. The last ten pages have in them an amazing wealth of research details on the people, places and technologies in the tale. I was utterly enchanted that a creator would go to SUCH hard work to not only tell the story, but to get it right in every detail, to the extent that they reached out to experts in each field in order to tell a true, honest and respectful story about people from so many places and times.
Jane Irwin, I tip my hat to you. You are one of the best. Thank you for your work

The Revue

This story will melt your heart and open your eyes. Please read it. 

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