300 short stories:: story 184

story: “Commerce and Residue”

author: Tim Fitts

year: 2017 (in Go Home and Cry for Yourselves)

where: mio ufficio

note: a great story for our age of cultural appropriation politics

a line: “Marcus slightly envied the fact that Pham had an automatic angle borne into her. She was part of the diaspora. Her father had spent time in re-education camps.”

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300 short stories:: story 181

story: “The Blue Tree”

author: Rick Bass

year: 2014-ish

where: sofa and sleepy

note: This story encapsulates the impermanence of things, things like youth, places, and moments, but also–the pleasure of reading a short story. I’m reading and rereading Rick Bass this week while pondering the destruction of Joshua Tree National Park and other parks throughout the US, caused by human hubris and malice.

a line: “He savors it, knowing it won’t always be this way. But it is now. More so than he could ever have imagined.”

300 short stories:: story 161

story: The Black Cat

author: Edgar Allen Poe

year: 1843

where: mio ufficio

note: Someone left this fine story at the printer! Snatched! Also, this story was first printed in Philadelphia, my home city. A good story for a Halloween mood.

a line: “My original soul seemed, at once, to take its flight from my body; and a more than fiendish malevolence, gin-nurtured, thrilled every fibre of my frame.”

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.”