Monthly Archives: August 2009

Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, "The Fountain House"

Following a deadly bus crash, a father goes to the hospital to get his daughter out of the morgue.

(from The New Yorker, Aug. 31, 2009)

There once lived a girl who was killed, then brought back to life. That is, her parents were told that she was dead, but they weren’t allowed to keep her body.

Short and perfect. It just captures so well that vivid but not 100% lucid it-was-my-house-but-it-wasn’t dream feeling. What’s real, and what’s a trick of the subconscious? It’s deliciously vague and spooky. I don’t believe I’ve ever used deliciously before, like that, and I don’t approve. But I recommend the story, which you can read here.

Jess Wells, "The Rookery"

The junior sexed up falconer considers taking a wife.

(from Bitten)

This is a collection of Dark Erotic Stories with a nice shiny snake on the cover. But, yeah, I don’t have high hopes for it. This dark erotic story concerns father and son falconer whose birds are, like, their sexual mood rings. And, it’s bawdy and ridiculous. It’s well-written, but.

J.C Hallman, "The Hospital for Bad Poets"

A bad poet gets treated by the bad poetry EMS.

(from The Hospital for Bad Poets)

This is the title track from Hallman’s upcoming collection. It’s a story, I guess. But I think it would work better as some kind of really out-there late-in-the-show SNL sketch. Which is not to say it’s, like, really funny (or not funny — oh 12:45 SNL). It’s just all premise, and it sticks around a few pages past its welcome.
Man, I haven’t read a story in a while. I’m still embroiled in the increasingly infinite-seeming Infinite Jest.