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Tag Archives: short stories

Despising Other Hours

Like most introverts, he was very dependent upon small, minute-to-minute comforts, no matter whence they came. Fern’s gaze upon life was very decisively inwards. He read much. He reflected much. One of his purest pleasures was an entire day in bed; all by himself, in excellent health. He lived in a quite pleasant surburban flat, […]

Look At This Perfect Character

The Delicate is pale, limbs pipe-cleaner thin, with a head as shiny hard as beetle-back. Violent, in utero skull tectonics have led to a precipice of brow, a compression of matter past the point of truth. His eyes are crow eyes, and his ear holes winding tunnels to nowhere. He comes in the latter days […]

Nested Men of Genius

“Is it true, as Valéry said, that every man of genius contains within himself a false man of genius? —Donald Barthelme, “The Genius”

A Turtle or Iguana of Noble Bearing

The humidifier made its low, endless sound. My crying, too, moved in a smooth, gentle flow, the low mutter of a car exhaust or a crazy person, with a feeling like little quick wet creatures moving below my thoughts on cold feet, darting between dark, damp places. In her bed Georgia shifted and turned. She […]

The Horse, the Child, the Fruits of Your Labor

Slumped there in your favorite chair, with your nine drinks lined up on the side table in soldierly array, and your hand never far from them, and your other hand holding on to the plump belly of the overfed child, and perhaps rocking a bit, if the chair is a rocking chair as mine was […]

Eventually the Mountains Rang With It

He could not make up his mind what he thought about it, and wished he had some friend who would tell him what to think. Actually it seemed to him wholly unsatisfactory, and yet very lovely, the only really beautiful picture in the world. What he would have liked at that moment would have been […]

The Emerald Foliot

Miles stopped beneath the overhang at the entrance to the tube station. He leaned against the wall, out of the wind, and a short distance from the throngs hurrying home from work. “Nobody knows because nobody knows, Robbie. You know, and I know, and the person who told me knows. And I guess if he—or […]

We are of two different kinds…

“I am one of those who like to stay late at the café,” the older waiter said. “With all those who do not want to go to bed. With all those who need a light for the night.” — Ernest Hemingway, A Clean, Well-Lighted Place

If Lions Could Speak and Other Stories

This volume collects an assortment of Paul Park’s early short stories, written between 1983 and 2002. Park is primarily a novelist, and an excellent one, and his short fiction affects me as well as his work in longer forms. The Tourist is the first Park story I read. I found it online before I went […]

Frost and Fire

In my resolve to read more mainstream canon, I had forgotten how great a writer Roger Zelazny is. This must never happen again. He writes a beautiful blend of science and fantasy, and sometimes plays them off each other, which appeals to me very much since I’m fascinated by that balance between measurable knowledge and […]