David Bezmozgis, "A New Gravestone for an Old Grave"

Victor’s dad sends him to Latvia to make sure his grandpa gets a better headstone.

(from Zoetrope All-Story, Vol. 9, #2)

There’s a moral to this slow, thoughtful story but I can’t wrap my head around it. I would discuss it at length if I didn’t have a strict-ish no-spoilers policy. But suffice it to say, this story has something resembling a surprise ending with surprise thoughts and depths hardly hinted at before then. But what does it all mean? It much mean something. You can tell it means something, but the meaning is not neat, not over-clever, not typical. This is mostly a sharp story full of mood-setting details and tangents that build gradually toward its themes. And its end, its heavy, blurry end.

One thought on “David Bezmozgis, "A New Gravestone for an Old Grave"

  1. too lazy to bike but interested

    The story stayed with me all week. It bothers me. Sort of says to me, you can’t really go back and fix things. An essay contest featuring the questions, “What was your initial response to the story? In what ways has reading Bezmozgis’s story inspired you?” is in order. At the very least, it should be included in an International Business course, such as the one offered by Columbia College, Columbia MO.


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