100 short stories:: story 96

story:ย Spring in Fialtaย 

author: Vladimir Nabokov

year: 1936 (English 1947)

where: Dubai,ย ย Alย Habtoor Poloย Resort

note: sometimes on an ordinary day, you need to read a masterpiece

aย line:ย โ€œAnd regardless of what happened to me or to her, in between, we never discussed anything, as we never thought of each other during the intervals in our destiny, so that when we met the pace of life altered at once, all its atoms were recombined, and we lived in another, lighter time-medium, which was measured not by the lengthy separations but by those few meetings of which a short, supposedly frivolous life was thus artificially formed. โ€

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100 short stories:: story 94

story:ย A Woman on a Roof

author: Doris Lessing

year: 1963

where: home, with the new kitten on the table in front of me

note: the cruelty of a woman’s indifference to men…particularly the kind who bark at her. 1960s or…and…today!

aย line:ย โ€œHis sun-heated face was screwed into a rage as he whistled again and again, trying to make her look up.โ€

100 short stories:: story 92

story:ย Daisy Miller

author: Henry James

year: 1878

where: in bed, over the covers

note:ย technicallyย aย novella…butย Iย haveย readย longer “shortย stories”ย too

aย line:ย โ€œ’Heย accountsย forย itย byย hisย handsomeย face,ย andย thinksย Missย Millerย aย youngย ladyย quiย seย passeย sesย fantaisies!'”

100 short stories:: story 90

story:ย The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas

author: Ursula Le Guin

year: 1975

where: kitchen table UAE, new bird mug

note: social contracts, distant pain we cannot hear, sewn ears

a line: โ€œThe trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain. If you can’t lick ’em, join ’em. If it hurts, repeat it. But to praise despair is to condemn delight, to embrace violence is to lose hold of everything else. We have almost lost hold; we can no longer describe a happy man, nor make any celebration of joy.โ€