Tuesday, October 06, 2009
My Mistress's Sparrow is Dead
Jeffrey Eugenides has chosen twenty-six short stories by twenty-six different writers that have been grouped around a common theme. Just as NPR's radio show This American Life chooses three stories each week that fit one given theme, so likewise does Eugenides for this collection; these aren't just any love stories. The Pulitzer Prize-winning writer describes, in his introduction, his love for a poem by the ancient writer Catullus, which describes his affair with a certain young woman who has a pet sparrow. At first, Catullus is annoyed by how much attention his sweetheart gives to this sparrow, resenting any attention that does not go to himself. However, things are worse when this sparrow dies, for then his girlfriend is broken-hearted and not in the mood for love. And, on top of this, all her crying has ruined her looks!
In each of these stories, either there is a sparrow, or the sparrow is dead. I must admit that in a couple cases, I wasn't sure how a story fit this mold, exactly, but even the pondering was enjoyable. The stories I found to be especially engaging were, Natasha (David Bezmozgis), Some Other, Better Otto (Deborah Eisenberg), The Hitchhiking Game (Milan Kundera), How to Be an Other Woman (Lorrie Moore), The Bad Thing (David Gates), and Jon (George Saunders). They were all good, interesting stories.
So. I've already whined about how it's suddenly darker all the time, and I'm going to do so again, because it's already close to my bedtime, and I just haven't had enough time today. This is partly because it's colder and darker in the mornings, so I'm not peeling myself out of bed early enough to fit both my exercise and my other, frivolous, stuff into my life. Which is my fault, but.
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
I need a rocket-booster alarm clock, I know...