David Leavitt, "Dinners at Six"

Just another dinner with dad.

(from The American Scholar, Summer 2006)

And interesting scene, described interestingly. It’s not a terrifically satisfying story because nothing changes. The guy always meets with his dad for dinner every week and now here they are meeting again for dinner. Noteworthy things do not happen. But the mundane exercise acted out by the two men is new to me, and so is new.
This is The American Scholar‘s first foray into fiction publishing (this and an Alice Munro story in the same issue). The editor’s letter says, essentially: “why not?” It also cites the Atlantic‘s decision to relegate its short stories to a pretty, annual fiction issue last year. Like the good people at the Scholar, I felt a reactionary resistance to the Atlantic move, defensive of the medium as I am. However, I’ve enjoyed those fiction issues on their own terms. Or in these terms: It feels like Zoetrope All-Story puts out five issues a year instead of four. And now I feel an instanteous camaraderie with the scholarly Americans at The American Scholars. Because “why not?” is the genesis of many worthwhile endeavors, this site among them.

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