Short Stories All the Time

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

27 September, 2009

John Cheever, "The Swimmer," Kurt Schwitters, Merz Fairy Tale

Started off my reading day by re-reading John Cheever's fantastic short story, "The Swimmer." Neddy, at a pool party, decides that he is going to swim home. While sitting poolside with a gin, he realizes that pools create a "stream" from the Westerhazy's pool to his house. He decides to name this new discovery after his wife, Lucinda. Off he goes, swimming one pool after another, while the reader witnesses his mental decline. We are never completely sure just how delusional he is or perhaps, more likely that he has mentally blocked the many recent setbacks in his finances and family.

I've made a few more minor changes to "His Parents, My Parents, and Needle-Nosed Pliers." I'm going to leave it alone now and see what the critique group says on Tuesday.

Just read the introduction by Jack Zipes, "Kurt Schwitters, Politics, and the Merz Fairy Tale" from the new book, Kurt Schwitters Lucky Hans and Other Merz Fairy Tales. The introduction gives an overview of Schwitters and the Weimar Republic and the ascendancy of Hitler as well as a biography of Schwitters. Zipes also gives several explanations of Merz and examples. This book is the first time Schwitters' fairy tales have been collected and translated into English. I highly recommend it, so far, just for the introduction, and am anxious to read the fairy tales.