For this novella, my main goal was to produce a work that was at the same time absurdist and decidedly literary. I think I've succeeded in both aspects.
The story takes place almost entirely inside a priest's confessional office. Chapters alternate between a psychiatrist giving her confessions to the priest and the confessions of the very patients mentioned by the psychiatrist in her sessions. Every sentence that is written in the past tense is spoken aloud to the priest or by her, and every sentence that is written in the present tense is one of the priest's thoughts or an action she experiences.
I think you can see why Murder in "Utopia" may be a confusing experience the first time through. There are no quotation marks to set off dialogue; the tense of the writing changes based on whether the words are spoken or experienced; and, to top it all off, no names are mentioned for any of the characters - each is referred to only by his or her occupation or the pronouns her, she, etc.
But fear not, dear listeners. Continue on despite any confusion. Confusion is part of the experience. And by the end, I think you may realize that you've found more clarity than you thought possible in such a jumbled, messy "utopia".
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Twisted and captivating
- Mary Karowski
- Beyond Opinions