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A daily record of what I'm thinking about what I'm reading

To read about movies and TV shows I'm watching, visit my other blog: Elliot's Watching

Saturday, June 25, 2016

A demanding story and one of welty's best

I takes some work to get into this story - Eudora Welty meets you only half way and you have to really concentrate while reading to not only catch the nuances but even to figure out exactly what's happening in the narrative - but if you're willing to do that - I have read the story now 3 times - her 1948 story The Whole World Knows (included in the 100 years of best american stories collection ) is truly a masterpiece of wit, scope, sense of place. Narrated by a 20-something man, Ran, who works in a teller's cage at the bank in the small Mississippi town of Sabina (i.e. Welty country) he's recently split from his wife, Jinny! Who left him for another guy at the bank. Ran begins spending time w a rather flighty 18-year-old in town but he still yearns for Jinny - and the story is laced w his fantasies about Jinny - the one not there - and his violent revenge fantasies (part of the challenge is sorting fact from fantasy throughout tho they do converge at the conclusion). Many of the Welty-trademarked busybodies in town encourage him to forgive Jinny and take her back. Others, not so sure: the whole world knows what she did to you, his mother says , and that's part of the humor- seeing this tiny town as if it were the whole world which for some it is. The ending - a trip to Vicksburg w the young girl - is powerful, violent, and a little mysterious at the end - and we get a terrific and disturbing picture of a young mind in crisis and headed for destruction, and of the complex and insular life in a small but perhaps microcosmic community.

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