Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Last Night

If you want to hear an amazing short story, please check out this New Yorker podcast.

You can either get it through iTunes or the New Yorker site. Truly, it is incredible. Maybe I was just in an unusually receptive mood, but honestly, I can't remember a short story that has such memorable impact since the first time I read Raymond Carver.

Great rhythm, great twists and turns.

So go to iTunes, do a search for New Yorker Fiction and then scroll down the list. What you are looking for is
author: James Salter, story "Last Night" read by Thomas McGuane
release date, 1/9/2009
length is 33 minutes for the story and conversation

If you do listen, let me know what you think.....

1 comment:

Janine said...

This is not the style of short story I find clever. The "twist" at the end is more macabre and less startling than if say, his doting wife simply sets him up with a dummy syringe, knowing what an asshole he is...and walks out the backdoor to life she has waiting for her with another lover...perhas even SUSANA!
We are all diminished if we believe that Merit thinks Walter is a stand-up guy.

Walter himself is too despicable to engender any compassion and there is no excuse except his own selfishness to explain how he can manage to assist in anyone's suicide, let alone his wife's.

Interesting that WALTER is a TRANSLATOR. This story seems to me to be translated from a European language and set in a European culture. It is distinctly not North American in its voice.
It loses feelings in that translation and feels like a melodrama or soap opera, the characters are superficial and we dont understand why this dying woman who is so in touch with her own death and passing, entrusts her assisted suicide to a man who is using his next lover as a prop in the final act.
It seems as though the whole story was written around one great line ... "He had known her when she was in her 20's, long-legged and, he had slipped her, as in a burial at sea, beneath the flow of time."
He did not seem like her husband of many years. He was a cad, who merely classified women, according to age and what kind of shape (fuckable or not) they were in.