Short Stories All the Time

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

17 July, 2012

Rui Zink, "Tourist Destination"

The short story "Tourist Destination" tells of Greg a.k.a. Mr. Guereg a.k.a. the passenger who claims to be Swiss and his arriving in some war torn country to die. The war has wound down somewhat and he has specifically selected this place for where he wants to die. I like the premise of the story but I'm not sure of the need for the diversion of the dinosaur tracks. Maybe Greg is the dinosaur. He dreams of a tyrannosaurus crocheting with bones of victims. We do learn that he is about middle aged and not very healthy. But we also learn that he still speaks to his wife. Ironically when he goes for a walk he cannot escape security that the hotel has assigned to him for his safety. He doesn't die in the story; we are left with wondering what happened to him, if anything. I think he lived and eventually had to return home. He had only planned on staying three days.

I like the negative reference to "weapons of mass destruction" and their non-existence in Iraq. One of my favorite aspects of the story is the seamless way the man's real name is never given yet some incorrect names and descriptors are assigned to him. It felt to me like he was already disappearing.

Rui Zink is a Portuguese author and the story was translated by Margaret Jull Costa and included in the anthology, Best European Fiction 2012. I just now "Googled" Zink and found that he has a novel called "Tourist Destination." Now I believe that this short story is actually a novel excerpt. I had thought "Tourist Destination" was intentionally a short story and I've been thinking about the ending but the ending is probably not really its ending When I read something that is portrayed as one thing certain parameters are set in mind and then to find out differently is aggravating. However, that being said, it was intentionally divided and separated and included in the anthology so I have to take that piece as a whole. The many questions are probably dealt with in the novel but I do like imagining them for myself.

LINKS:
And Other Stories blog
Damian Kelleher review website