9 thoughts on “Tree Spirit and Other Strange Tales — Michael Eisele

  1. MOUSE

    “A museum is a place for things that are completed, no longer changing, growing, or striving to be born.
    Perhaps it is better so.”

    The word museum and mouse seem in assonance. And this story of novelette length seems full of much more than just music and magic. I can safely say, with utter conviction, it is an important work, and will remain important to me for the rest of my life. Glad I managed to squeeze it in, as it were, within the time left. Hauling on the stretchers of the canvas fabric or working the bales at the docks. This is the tale of young Schalken. Adopted from the streets by Derk, a larger than life Dutch painter living soon after the time of the Dutch masters. The act of painting and what creatures reside in the back shadows, to help with the painterly build up of gestalt, as sometimes I will now see myself being helped to draw together my own gestalts of book appreciation. So that I can finally enter the books themselves. These books’ characters taking me with them to some idyllic place. As this truly wonderful weird literature classic of a story did. Nearly did, that is. I am not sure who this author is, but I am already smitten with his work. I shall need to eke it out, savour it, so that my life lasts as long as my reading of it, even while learning accretively how it manages to entice me to work speedier at my reading of it so that it can claim me whole sooner. Not a sudden mousetrap but a slowly slowly dreamcatch the reader.

    “. . . So that after a time one ceased to regard each individual wave, for in the end there was only the sea . . . endless and eternal.”


    “…and alongside they found the two swords, Fragarach and Caladbolg, that were the swords of heroes.”

    A fable of swords, sorcery and monsters, and land-grabbing; we eventually follow a brother and sister with simple weapons to meet the greatest monster giant of them all, so as to grab its land, after two mighty warriors had failed before them, a moral for our times with the raiders’ holy man perhaps tweeting in his hut and an old woman met along the way as perhaps another more oblique version of Mouse… but why was Aedan also spelt Aedin and Aden in the text? A relief, as I had always thought I was the only one suffering from loose vowels. A loose head, too.

  3. LESHI

    “Looking at his ancestral home for the first time with the benefit of his military training he noted how the walls rose from the living stone of the mountain on which it was built so cleverly that it was impossible to tell where nature left off and artifice began.”

    This is a sublimity-accomplished styled, if with many melodramatic legendary longueurs of legend and scenery, fabulous Gothic of novella length about a man returned to his ancestral castle in the Carpathian Mountains, wherefrom he left, as a boy, his father (now dead), his little sister (now a woman), a genius-loci of noble thoughts now subsumed by a poverty that he needs to heal, leading to a negative interchanging synergy of castle and forest-mountains, whereto we reach a symbiotic fable’s to-be-fathomed-out moral of found treasure, following his canter in the surrounding wilds on a gelding, towards a potential golden gestalt…

    “give our troubles to the wind”


    ‘Ah yes, the Tablet.‘

    It seems apt I read this well-written hokum upon a tablet. Wilhelm’s quest from the French city with Nanishe — a suitable sacrificial virgin (supposedly) — whom he picked as key to this Eastern quest for matters concerning djinn and the tablet of Suliman, and mysterious inimical forces. I think the eponymous sacrifice was not necessarily that of Nanishe but the sacrifice was in fact my own for having the one unmissable chance so far to read something like MOUSE.


    A tale based on Tír na nÓg mythology, pioneering lands with a sort of magical SF ark, a rhapsodic blend of Cordwainer Smith and Lord Dunsany, with a Biblical flow of narration. A fable for humanity and our ways, I guess.

    “…marvellous things of which she understood perhaps only a tiny bit, but it did not matter at all.”


    “Some time later he was pondering the term óõëëïãéóìüò and wondering if it was truly equivalent to a simple syllogism…”

    Or whether Bishop Berkeley’s dialogues with Hylas and the Nymphs (Nixies?) were in any way connected with Aristotle’s Analytics.
    This is the most beautifully limpid narrative of the Professor returning to his home in the cattle-lazy dream-summery farmland at the end of a waylaid railway track, after thirty years as a successful academic, until his political faux pas. A double return in fact, like a recurring dream, the second one fatefully if not fatally darker, less tantalising, less sexually beguiling, more subsuming, hauntingly unrequited as one day we all shall be….
    A perfect gem perhaps blending another home return after many years in Leshi and the earlier ministrations of Mouse.


    “Only long experience saved him from hauling on the haft and possibly snapping the brittle stone,…”

    From óõëëïãéóìüò to Onguiaahra: – those loose vowels again. Those vowels with which this gestalt began. This is a vision of a woodcutter and his adze, and the spirits he carves into or out of wood, including the vast storm-riven tree, and avoiding marriage to a nagging woman he marries effectively this his craft as Riverwife, headed towards an applauded nirvana. I particularly love the sense of wood and its tactile substance/texture and gnarled knots. Some other things tactile, too, in this story that permeated the vowels, thus creating the knurled consonants into carved words and honed syntax: both solid and spiritual. No mean feat.

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