Saturday, July 30, 2016
What's your level of interest in Ferris story in current New Yorker?
Your tolerance for Joshua Ferriss's story in current NYer, The Abandonment, will depend on your levle of interest in millennials behaving like narcissistic and irresponsible brats. Story in brief tells of a 30-something TV star (in some kind of mid-level sitcom it seems) who panics that his wife has abandoned him after she goes out of bagels after a minor spat and doesn't return for several hours. Tearfully, he leaves their (beautiful) Manhattan apartment, desultorily looks for her, then in tears starts heading "south" eventually crossing into Brooklyn and buzzing the intercom of a nice young would-be artist he'd met - 4 days back! - at some kind of fundraiser. She lets him in, they have a meandering conversation, each complaining about his/her life - she wishes she had more time to paint but is consumed with child care, he romanticizing her cluttered apartment as "real life," unlike the sterile, clean life he lives at home. He declares that he loves her, they begin some passionate kissing on the couch - but, ouch, the baby wakes up, her husband - believe it or not - is soon to return, any minute, with kids and dog - so he breaks it off, heads back home, where his wife awaits, snidely asks whom he's fallen for this time, and they resume their married life. Ferris writes really well at times, as evidenced esp by his first novel (less so by his next, which was great at times but didn't hold together well for me), but this story is truly off-putting and not really credible: really? she would fall for him so easily jut because he's on TV? What this material says about Ferris, who knows? Whether he knows people like this or in some way envies the sexual prowess of TV stars (as compared with writers, semi-amateur artists?), who knows. He can do better, and he has done better.