After three relatively recent stories, this time we’re going a little further back. Angela Carter’s “The Merchant of Shadows” was first published in the London Review of Books in 1989, and is available to read here on the LRB website. Normally, at this point, I’d link to some online commentary, but there’s not a lot out there for this story. The only treatment of any length that I could find was in a piece by Kate Webb, written for the occasion of what would have been Carter’s 70th birthday. Webb describes “The Merchant of Shadows” as ‘containing Carter’s most playful writing on film’, and notes ‘many vertiginous moments [that] Carter achieves through narrative twists but also by stylistic effect: the writing here is pathetic fallacy played as camp, the California landscape is flooded with cinematic meaning’.
What did you make of “The Merchant of Shadows”?
(On a side note, I’ve been wondering about including a couple of questions in these discussion posts as ‘conversations starters’. Let me know if you think that’s a good idea.)