A Disagreement Over A Marijuana Stalk at the Agency Hotel en Anglaise

by carlyrough

The Capilano Review 3.12

Meredith Quartermain

‘The Not of What She Didn’t Know’


Microfiction is defined as, “A style of literature or fiction of extreme brevity.” It seems that North American culture today can take anything and make it faster and more convenient, including creative fictional writing. Meredith Quartermain’s pieces stand lack plot lines and character development, but still manage to perplex and engage the reader quickly and intensely. In snippets of less than 500 words, she manages to invoke thought and prompt imagination that leave the reader hungry for more. Much to the delight of the swamped college student, or the business executive who’s eternally pressed for time, each piece only takes a few seconds to read, but packs more punch than most daytime TV shows. The miniscule word count of each of Meredith’s works certainly doesn’t mean they are easy reads, however. Each and every line begs for interpretation and the application of critical thought. Without aspects commonly found in fiction, such as character introduction or mention of setting, Meredith’s works can be confusing and frustrating at first. For example, when reading “Hotel Narrative” the audience must follow carefully and read the choppy sentences repeatedly, only to find that imagination and thought still must be applied to interpret Quartermain’s masterpiece. Quartermain effectively takes advanced, almost poetic prose, combines it with storyline and structures it so that it reads as free verse. With the need for so much personal input, Meredith’s pieces are almost communal efforts between author and reader in attempt to shape the story. In today’s convenience and speed-oriented way of life, Quartermain’s pieces take only a few brush strokes to paint an entire mural of fictional wonder and amusement.


3 Comments to “A Disagreement Over A Marijuana Stalk at the Agency Hotel en Anglaise”

  1. I love the title. It summarizes the confusion that I’m sure a few of us felt after reading “The Not of What She Didn’t Know”.

  2. I agree with alessandranakhleh. Good review.

  3. Grin-making title accompanying this sharp little review!

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