Paratalk or Torque?

Suzie Eisfelder

Today I am looking at a paragraph from the Wordly magazine from 2018 published by Deakin Writers. These are the people who published my short stories in 2017 and made me so happy as that was my last long-term goal. I have short-term goals such as staying alive until tomorrow or ringing Mum. While short-term goals are good, it’s these big long-term goals that are so satisfying when you achieve them.

Zeus would find any excuse to throw a party. Hades didn’t understand the innate need to spend your Sundays nursing a hangover and cleaning the remnants of a torn apartment. So, there he was again, observing everyone as they snorted lines off the coffee tables and drank until their heads spun.

This paragraph comes from a short story called ‘Spring Personified’ by Gabi Kypriotis. While there are some good things here I find it leaves me with the question I’ve been asking for some time: how to correctly pronounce Zeus.

I know it’s a silly thing but it’s been on my brain for far too many years. If you look at Prometheus you might notice that as English speakers we pronounce every vowel. But Zeus, which has the same three letters, we don’t pronounce every vowel. And one day I stopped and asked myself why. And there’s the next thing, why do we suddenly look at something differently and ask questions? I have considered asking my Greek friends, and I should, I’d like to find out how both words are really pronounced and not how us English speakers who mangle pronunciations say things.

What I love about this story, which you can see in this paragraph, is that it brings the Greek Gods down onto Earth and makes them relatable. If you read the rest of the story you’ll find they’re in an apartment building with different Gods on different levels depending on their status on Mt Olympus. It’s nicely done.

I note how much you can see of Hades’ character in this paragraph. How you can see he’s so much different to Zeus. Doesn’t like parties while Zeus does. He’s a people watcher and watches everyone snorting drugs.

Speaking of snorting. The line I like the most is where they’re snorting lines off the coffee tables. I can’t say why. I’ve never been a drug taker and never will, but that line just really appealed to me. It doesn’t mention what type of drugs they’re taking. But there does appear to be an implied judgement that taking drugs is wrong.

If you want to read more of this magazine you can do so here. It’s free and it’s well worth the time.

    1. I probably should do something radical like that. I’m putting in three links here as they published three things of mine. I’m really curious what you think about them.


      1. Wow, Suzie – I think this is the first time I’ve read your fiction!

        The foreshadowing in The Garden is brilliant. This is something about which I need to learn more. And may I say how I envy Siobhan – as I do all people who find gardening, cooking, etc. to be more a pleasure than a chore!

        How to Contact Your Sister is such a clever title! Titles and headings of any kind are my weak point. The story had me empathising yet again with everyone isolating with small children at home.

        I loved the imagery in Leaving Home, and especially the starving subway entrances. Have you been to Staten Island? I know an author who writes amazing tales rich in sense of place who has never visited the settings of her stories!

        I’m so happy to have read these stories, Suzie. And I hope I’ve been successful in not leaving any spoilers here.

        1. It’s the first time I’ve shared my fiction. I stopped listening to my inner voice and started listening to other people

          Thank you for your kind words. I’m feeling very emotional about these now.

          I’m not good with titles, I had to ask for help.

          I’ve been to Staten Island, didn’t see much of it as we went straight to a cousin’s for a meal. But for Leaving Home I had the idea as we were walking around the Statue of Liberty. Didn’t write it down until we got home so I had to do a lot of research on the internet. We had spent a few days in NYC so I had noticed the piles of rubbish, huge piles of rubbish.

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