Craig Raine, "Love Affair With Secondaries"

Piotr, married to Basia, gets caught having an affair with Agnieszka.

(from The New Yorker, June 1, 2009)

One day he expected to read a poem about his eyebrows. Or a poem with his phone number or his address in the title: “Ul. Sienkiewicza 35 m.5.” Especially since his apartment was often the easiest place for the lovers to meet—as they were going to meet on this rainy day in June.

Quirky little midlife crisis sex story. I enjoyed the over-the-top soap operaticness of it, like some “ribald” indie film where you know how things are going to go and then they go there and you smile because hey, we’re all having a good time. As serious as it should be to get caught committing adultery, here the crime felt more like a move in a big, dramatic, silly game. That stakes were low. Fine by me.
I read a Craig Raine story once before. I liked this one better. Read “Love Affair With Secondaries” here. That photo is by far the smuttiest moment in the history of this web site, but if it’s classy enough for the New Yorker, I suppose it meets my decency standards.

2 thoughts on “Craig Raine, "Love Affair With Secondaries"

  1. Marianne

    I just finished reading this story in The New Yorker (I have a subscription but don’t get to the issues until weeks, even months) later.

    The most gut-wrenching thing about this story was the ending — the really diffident way the narrator reveals (spoiler alert!) xxx, with no apparent compunction.


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