Fire and Ice
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
With the dog days of summer upon us, a searing drought killing crops in the Midwest, fires devouring acres of forest, glacial shelves detaching and melting into seas, malaria-carrying mosquitoes encroaching ever farther north, etc, etc, it is odd to make the mind-switch and picture Anna Kavan's ice plowing across the globe with its killing cold.
This was an intense fever dream of the end of the world, with a thin and somewhat mysterious plot. A man pursues a frail, fair girl through different countries and climates, often in rivalry with another powerful figure, possibly her husband. No one has names; everyone is doomed. It was well written and vividly imagined, but it didn't blow my mind.
Despite its brevity, I sometimes thought it was monotonous, although overall I enjoyed the idea and images. I will likely try some of Anna Kavan's short fiction.