300 short stories:: story 160

story: Flaubert Again 

author: Anne Carson

year: 2018

where:  Ville de Paris

note: what a tour de force…is this a future of the short short story or something else?

a line: “While they were there, she’d renounced writing. Instead, she made sketches in a sketchbook and titled it “The Glass of Water,” as if that were what everyone was looking for, a glass of water in Greece, not a different kind of novel or some not-stupid sentences.”

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300 short stories:: story 159

story: Benito Cereno

author: Herman Melville

year: 1856

where:  work after reading Michel-Rolph Trouillot’s Silencing the Past

note: People often cannot conceive of reality’s happenings, because the truth is unthinkable to them.

a line: “That moment, across the long-benighted mind of Captain Delano, a flash of revelation swept, illuminating, in unanticipated clearness, his host’s whole mysterious demeanor, with every enigmatic event of the day, as well as the entire past voyage of the San Dominick. He smote Babo’s hand down, but his own heart smote him harder.”

300 short stories:: story 158

story: What Terrible Thing It Was

author: Esmé Weijun Wan

year: 2017 (but read in 2018’s Best American Short Stories)

where:  home with Bowie

note: I remember the morning I found out Trump won too. I was plant-sitting at a magical apartment in Al Ain Towers with my then-boyfriend, who woke me up to break the news. We drank coffee on the biggest sofa and then, the parking lot at work was silent

a line: “In terms of depression, however, sadness is not so much my problem, in which case it might make most sense to choose I DO NOT FEEL SAD. Yet it is my belief that this could never be the right answer as long as I am alive.”

300 short stories:: story 157

story: The Coast of Leitrim

author: Kevin Barry

year: 2018

where:  work, early morning

note: technology are modern-day courting, and technology while alone

a line: “In an empty bar in what appeared to be the center of the city, he drank a glass of red wine and tapped into his phone the Wi-Fi code. He went to the first place he always went—her Instagram account.”

300 short stories:: story 154

story: Poor Girl 

author: Ludmilla Petrushevskaya

year: 2018

where:  desk, work work

note: surprises at every turn! (translated)

a line: “Not only did she keep the house and work, she also looked after her mother-in-law, a former language-arts teacher, who was crazy about the theatre and literary readings, enjoyed the courtship of elderly military officers, and regularly came home “under guard.” Laughter, late-night dinners—the father would bathe the girl and read her a bedtime story before coming to the table.”