I lack the words that would make Ali Smith’s latest project of the seasons’ justice. I have now finished Winter that I picked up at Daunt books many months ago, but left unread, treating it like the kind of Christmas present one knows is the best of them all, not to be opened until I could no longer. And it is as fantastic as her Autumn.
In awe of this writer, I cannot commit to analyzing her style, despite being curious about the tricks of her trade, of which some are quite obvious, other being those of a very skilled magician. She has her own, quite original and unique rules regarding storytelling and magic-making, which only serve the purpose of protecting whatever forces of humanity and empathy left on this planet. Her writing makes me think her presence is due to some divine intervention, as she tries to help us understand the human condition, our weakness as a species, and other challenges we need to address. Whatever her main aim is, I am sure part of it is about making a case for humanity and empathy, and to remind us we can do better. And should do better. Just because we can.
Reading Smith is like coming home, even though she might demand a bit more of you than other writers. But she demands nothing of you, instead she inspires you to read slowly, like you did when you were small, and just had figured out the rules of reading, and the point of a story. She allows you to read, and reread a sentence, a passage, just because of the beauty of it. And even if her work appears to be fiction, it is in many ways more real than reality itself. So. Please read her, if you are ready to be challenged – in many different ways – or if you are ready to learn to see the world as it is, how we hurt each other, despite the fact we have none else to depend upon.
The seasons change, but for what true reason, I am not really sure. But Smith reminds us there is magic in the turn turn turn, and of that old, Bible song. Maybe we will never understand the magic of our existence. But every time I read any piece by Smith, I am reminded each and every one of us have the power to create magic to-day and every-day simply by accepting we are not alone, and not being afraid of making the right choice – to stretch out a hand, speak up or support the ones who have nothing.
Oh, how I look forward to reading Smith’s Spring and Summer….
À propos Winter by Ali Smith
Anita B Krišto © 2019