Let's get (pretty much) the only negative out of the way first ... the writing sometimes would wander off into a sort of self-indulgent maze, as if the author was telling the story to herself and was unconcerned about whether you were following the story or not, or hearing every word or not.
It felt more like listening to someone cast a spell in a language I didn't understand ... a charming, benevolent, impenetrable spell.
I can forgive that.
There's a way emotions are dissected and described in fiction that non-fiction can't touch. The complexities, the dissonance, the myths ... that sometimes only a fictional world can create space for. 'Elementals' did all the things I like ... showing human beings as confusing, cynical, kind, hungry, lost little things.
I'm drawn to that.
One of the stories, 'Jael', is a long, meandering monologue by a director about metaphors, a Bible story with good metaphors, a pseudo-girl gang in primary school, cultural shifts in language, nostalgia, youth ...
... There wasn't really any structure, or chronology, or surprises. It was just a middle-aged director reminiscing. There's something almost sacred in the boring, to me.
There's no time. Everything's beneath the surface. It's quiet.
'Elementals' is a collection of 6 short stories but the characters felt developed and whole. There was a slight urge to check up on them when the next story began, and that's an art. Telling a story with texture and fullness in a compact space.
The writing was smooth like butter. Sentences flowed in and out of each other, with care, and patience, softly ... like butter.