300 short stories:: story 172

story: “The Adventure of a Traveler”

author: Italo Calvino

year: 1958

where: Philadelphia Fox Chase train

note: From Gli Amori Difficili 

a line: “The apartment was again in darkness. The train devoured its invisible road. Could Frederico ask more of life? From such bliss to sleep, the transition is brief.”

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300 short stories:: story 169

story: “The Adventure of a Soldier”

author: Italo Calvino

year: 1984 (English translation)

where: Philadelphia train

note: Such great description of how time stretches in the moments of nearness to someone we desire.

a line: “This meeting of calves was precious, but it came at a price, a loss: in fact, the body’s weight was shifted and the reciprocal support of the hips no longer occurred with the same docile abandon.”

300 short stories:: story 170

story: “Time for the Eyes to Adjust”

author: Linn Ullmann

year: 2018

where: New York City 

note: some of this story reminds me of Picasso’s personal life (though I hear there are clues in this story that the story leans more autobiographical towards the writer’s parents)

a line: “The father used to say that for his seventieth birthday he would invite all the wives, too, and the mothers and the women who were neither wives nor mothers, but who had nevertheless played a part one way or another. What do you call them?”

300 short stories:: story 167

story: “The Entire Northern Side Was Covered with Fire”

author: Rivka Galchen

year: 2014

where: casa e lavoro

note: this story is more an experience than a memory-maker

a line: “The novel was a love story, between a bird and a whale. Why was I already low on money? Partially because money just flies, as they say, or I guess it’s time they say about that, the flying, but money, too. Very winged.”

300 short stories:: story 166

story: “The Lost Order”

author: Rivka Galchen

year: 2014

where: casa dolce casa

note: I can’t recall the stimulus for purchasing Galchen’s book, American Innovations, and this makes me sad. I hate forgetting. This story has a ring like Carver’s “A Small, Good Thing”…a ringing call. The main character also feels like a more morose and confused Lorrie Moore character.

a line: “I have not always–had not even long–been a daylight ghost, a layabout, a mal pensant, a vacancy, a housewife, a person foiled by the challenge of getting dressed and someone who considered eating less a valid primary goal.”