(from Samuel Johnson is Indignant)
“It’s extraordinary,” says one woman.
“It is extraordinary,” says the other.
That’s it, that’s the whole thing. When I see stories this short I think about whether they are stories at all and whether they are smug little stunts. This is a story, story enough for me. This is no gimmick, or it’s not one that bothers me. Lydia Davis writes these kinds of things, impossibly short shorts. This book has, I think, 56 stories in 2001 pages. I like this story, even if I, the reader, have to fill in the details, assuming I want them. I can picture these women. The long title gives feels like the sort of thing that pops up on screen before a wiggly-line animated scene, five seconds in a strange place before the screen goes white. Long titles, I say, make a lot of sense for really short works. While the story plays coy with the who-what-where, the title slips us the why up front.