Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Episode 4: The Artists Pentaptych

The fourth podcast.

A story is read. Chinese New Year and James Frey are discussed.

"The Artists Pentaptych" [Read]
   —Publication in Lone Star Stories, December 2004
   —Nominated for the 2004 Fountain Award
   —Finalist in the 2004 NCSU Short-Short Story Contest

Komang looks on as her wares are pored over by the American tourists, as they pick through the fruits of her livelihood and determine whether she will eat this night. The American woman eyes an intricate scarf that took Komang the better part of a month to craft, running her thick indelicate fingers over the fabric, not truly appreciating the artistry that went into creating such a thing. Both the tourists reek of Western wealth and privilege, and Komang knows in her soul that they will be stingy in their purchases.

Hers is the skill of batik tulis, the artisan who works in fabric and wax. In her youth, royalty throughout the Middle East and Asia clamored for her designs. Her hand, from a very young age, was the most steady of any that had been seen in a hundred years. When she drew her canting over cotton or silk, she needed no charcoal guidelines, and her strokes and curves flowed like perfection. She would outline the leaves of bougainvillea, or trace scenes from The Ramayana, and her praises were sung throughout a dozen lands.

Referenced Sites

Chinese New Year at Wikipedia
Neomonde Bakery & Deli
Mythologism: Story Grenades Out of Words
"Author Is Kicked Out of Oprah Winfrey's Book Club" at The New York Times
"A Million Little Lies" at The Smoking Gun
"Frey in Hell" by Bill Shunn
"Arctic Monkeys" by Clare Dudman

Music by Cargo Cult

Listen (36:14) | Subscribe

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D said...

Great job. I really enjoyed the rants as well as the fiction. Although, the rants were more like well thought out essays (which is not a bad thing). Also, I wanted to let you know that I think the music you added at the end of the show (during the last minute or so as you close) was just the right touch.

Jason Erik Lundberg said...

Thank you, Daniel. I did spend quite a bit of time writing both those rants, so that it wouldn't be just me screaming incoherently for ten minutes. I'm afraid I don't offer a lot of answers, but I at least pose the questions.

Glad you like the music at the end. It was the same music I used to use for the beginning as well, but I switched the intro music to another song.