Saturday, February 07, 2015

Short Story Saturday: "The Breeze" - what the hell was that?

My "Short Story Saturday" post is just not going to work out well this week.  It's not that I didn't pick out a story and read it, though; it's because the story I read led directly to one of those "what the hell" moments for me.  I have no idea what I just read...or why, for that matter.  (Actually, I think I get it...but even if I'm right about that, I'm still underwhelmed by the literary device used in the story.)

The story I chose was a long one by Joshua Ferris called "The Breeze," in which a woman seems to be having some kind of emotional crisis brought on by the first faint breezes of Spring in New York City.  I got that part...but I'm still not sure what happened when her husband got home from the office.  Embarrassingly, that's not because this is not a "good" short story - it was published in The New Yorker, after all, and I found it in my copy of The Best American Short Stories 2014.  So it has to be good...right?

To make this even worse, I like Joshua Ferris's writing and pretty much enjoyed all three of his rather quirky novels: Then We Came to the End (2007), The Unnamed (2010), and last year's To Rise Again at a Decent Hour.  This, though, is my first experience with one of the author's short stories, and it left me bewildered in more ways than one.

2 comments:

  1. I've read this story as well and agree that it is a real head-scratcher. By the end of the story I thought I KIND OF understood what Ferris was trying to do, but I had to read it twice to get to that point.

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    1. Thanks, Randall, that makes me feel a little better. The funny thing is that right up until the halfway point of the story, I was sure that I understood it perfectly. Only gradually, did I begin to realize that the linear/chronological flow was a thing of the past. By then it was too late to figure things out...the story was over.

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