Mar. 31st, 2011

Maybe it's just me who's not totally crazy about these well-crafted short fictions. It did make me recall that well-reviewed movie, "Magnolia", but that somehow wasn't a plus. Maybe I'm being unreasonable in holding it against the characters for not aging well, since that's sort of the whole point.
  • Many years ago, he had taken the passion he felt for Susan and folded it in half
  • experiencing a physical quickening in the presence of so much marble that verged on the erotic
  • Each time, the sensation awaited him: a fibrillating excitement such as he hadn’t felt for years in response to a work of art, compounded by further excitement that such excitement was still possible.
  • These unsettled Ted: such universal, defining symbols made meaningless by nothing more than time.
  • Her face was fragile and mischievous, pale enough to absorb hues from the world around her—purple, green, pink—like a face painted by Lucian Freud.
  • an officer with oiled hair and an attitude of pristine indifference;
  • the jolt of surprise and delight he’d felt when the sun finally dropped into the center of her window and was captured inside her circle of wire. {Where would those New Yorker fictions be without these grace notes?}
  • Fifteen years of war had ended with a baby boom, and these babies had not only revived a dead industry but become the arbiters of musical success. Bands had no choice but to reinvent themselves for the preverbal.
  • Using his handset, he began devising a system for selecting potential parrots from among his 15,896 friends.
  • What he needed was to find fifty more people like him, who had stopped being themselves without realizing it.
  • Reach isn’t describable in terms of cause and effect anymore: it’s simultaneous. It’s faster than the speed of light.
  • See, those metaphors—‘up front’ and ‘out in the open’—are part of a system we call atavistic purism.
  • Her confidence seemed more drastic than the outcome of a happy childhood; it was cellular confidence
  • threatened to reify her disguise into an identity: a fragile, harried academic
  • The phenomenon of word casings, a term she’d invented for words that no longer had meaning outside quotation marks. English was full of these empty words—“friend” and “real” and “story” and “change”.
  • triumph marbled with scorn at the yeses, disappointment with an updraft of admiration at the nos.
  • a swell of approval palpable as rain



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