In The Distortions, Christopher Linforth explores the mundanities of life that continue to exist after war, where generational grief continues to linger. In the removed shadow of the Yugoslavian Civil War, we meet humanity living in a world that is trying to rebuild on a broken foundation. One that is gaining strength but still curing from repair.
These perspectives sift through remnants of a war that is subsequently remembered for many years; the ripple effects reaching the smallest corners of life. We concede that memories and hurt they can bring do, indeed, lessen but are impossible to let slip from the memory completely. Eerie and at times unsettling, Linforth presents us with a contemporary post-war lens on relations that intertwine throughout esoteric recounting, with the hope of leveling for a sense of empathy and solidarity. How we all approach the healing of psychical wounds and how to endure them.
The review of this text comes at a time when many of the stories are unfortunately shared experiences even today, as violent tensions rage on in Ukraine. Sprinkles of struggle infect and seep into these narratives, challenging the weight they hold in a dystopian aftermath; reconfiguring the meaning of any and every thing that happens after both large and small scale loss. Though, and thankfully, not all persons may relate to the effects of war from first-hand account, there exists a commonality in bereavement that we have all felt, be it that large or small scale loss. We assert our autonomy by cultivating the people [that] anchor [us] to the world.. to make [us] care about things. When such heavy aspects of life are lost, how can we attempt to mend?
The Distortions tackles displacement, suffering, repression and learning how to carry on; Linforth’s collection educates us on the trials and horrors of war and its effects on the continuation of living. How we choose to remember and how we choose not to.