‘Sapozhkelekh’ is a piece of short fiction written in 2016, which was read and discussed at the Aberdeen-Curtin Symposium in 2017. The story has at its heart Auntie Renka and Aunty Golde’s two diametrically opposed and apparently incompatible haunted subjectivities, and considers whether the absorption of language, the transmission of culture and of ghostly burdens can ever be separated at all. The narrator is a child, whose preoccupations may seem very different from those of the elderly women, even if this turns out not to be the case. ‘Sapozhkelekh—A reflection’ is a meditation on the processes that produced the story as well as ‘matters arising’ from the experience of reading it aloud, and the implications of the child’s voice being ventriloquized by an adult in this situation.
Story and a reflection