Sarah McGill’s story “A Yellow Landscape” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 5 April 2019.
I wrote “A Yellow Landscape” after reading Gaston Bachelard’s The Poetics of Space, which is a series of gorgeous essays on physical space in poetry. I was caught by his descriptions of a house as a very physical and yet deeply symbolic shell around the self. The protagonist of “A Yellow Landscape” moves around a house that is not her house, in search of a place inside it. It’s her home, so she should have grown into its shape, but it isn’t and she hasn’t.
From that restlessness it was inevitable for her to explore other types of houses – shells, tents, mountains. Is a tent a house? I think so, but not everyone would agree. A tent has a built-in instability, a formlessness, and while hierarchy and designated spaces certainly exist, there aren’t as many thresholds and barriers such as stairs or cabinets to be breached. So intimacy comes more quickly. Yet a tent isn’t shapeless. That dynamic and difference was something I wanted to explore.
The word ‘vast,’ a dream-like, endless word, also caught my imagination and created my protagonist’s dream landscape. The artwork of Akiya Kageichi had a hand in her dreams as well, especially the color and size of them. They are colorful, yet muted, and shift frequently between rigidity and fluidity. I hope you go searching for his work yourself. It’s gorgeous and intricate and vast.
Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.