Susan, I found this fascinating and heartbreaking to read, even if it was a little confusing in certain passages. I was not so much confused by the story as put into a state of dreamlike uncertainty. The central thread of the story sometimes gets lost in the lyrical passages and POV changes: not that I'm complaining, I enjoyed it just the way it is.
I'm not sure how many witches/wizards would read Muggle literature and have such a depth of literary knowledge at hand as Sirius and Dorcas in this story, but it seems plausible to me that some wizards would be as well-read.
From a literary standpoint, I very much appreciated the references to Virginia Woolf, both her life and work. I'm not as familiar with the other works you referenced but this passage gave me chills.
The little book falls from his hands. It hits the water without a sound, the leather soaking, the pages clearing, the ink vanishing into the nothing she has become.
Beautiful job Susan, thank you for requesting the review (I'm really glad I read this!)
Author's Response: Thank you very much for this review! It's great to hear that you enjoyed reading this, and I really appreciate your comments. :D
The confusion is something I have to work on, as I got lost in lyricism of certain parts instead of focusing on the characters and plot - when I edit this for OF, I'll definitely try to rework certain passages, yet without losing that "dreamlike uncertainty" that you mentioned. It's a wonderful way of putting it, by the way, as Dorcas is supposed to be a "lost soul" of sorts, having lost so much that she just doesn't care anymore, so her writing becomes increasingly existential and less rooted in reality.
lol, I don't know how much witches and wizards would know of Muggle literature, either, but I always hope for the best. :P Perhaps Shakespeare was really a wizard - that would explain a lot, wouldn't it? I'm glad it's plausible that some magical people would be well-read in that way, as I have trouble imagining the magical world as being entirely cut off from the Muggle world - there would have to be some cross-influences, at least it would seem logical that there would be. But I digress. *hides*
It's fantastic that you liked that line - the image of all her words fading away like that, literally drowning in the way that she kept imagining, is truly chilling. It's like Dorcas became her words, her body fading as the words grew stronger (rather like Ginny in CoS, actually... interesting... but I will stop now before I go off on another tangent :P).
Thank you again for reading and reviewing this! ^_^