Short Stories All the Time

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... a few of my thoughts about 900, mostly contemporary, short stories.
Showing posts with label Rudnicki. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rudnicki. Show all posts

22 June, 2012

Janusz Rudnicki, "The Sorrows of Idiot Augustus"

What a bizarre little story. An old Polish man, widower for ten years, goes to Sicily where he and his wife had been for their honeymoon. He becomes obsessed with a young waitress / entertainer and decides to stay. He becomes a clown--he in fact is making a fool of himself and he knows it--in the act. I like all this and I like the Bruno Schulz references but when the bird flu H5N1 is introduced, I think it's not well integrated into the story. Conceptually, I like the imagery of dead birds falling out of the sky that references the death of his wife when her plane crashed and her body was never found but the bird flu felt too out of left field. Rudnicki captured the emotions well of an elderly man infatuated and reaching out for a change in life, even in later stages of life.

"The Sorrows of Idiot Augustus" was included in the anthology, Best European Fiction 2012.

FAVORITE LINE: "Looking at me in such a way that the word 'just' meant fewer and shorter than it ever had before."

LINKS:
Damian Kelleher's blog review
Wikipedia entry about Bruno Schulz
A site devoted to Schulz's artworks and writings
links to a number of New York Times articles about Bruno Schulz
A review of "The Sorrows of Idiot Augustus" by literalab