July 25th, 2011

My Favourite Short Story

When I was 12ish, my favourite short story was For Esmé Esme, with Love and Squalor by J. D. Salinger. Looking back, I figure that’s the way you think when you haven’t read very many stories, and it’s a very small pool to choose from. After a while, you read more and you realize that there are too many ways for a story to be good, too many different vectors of excellence, and having a single favourite makes no sense. This applies to music, too. And art. Also human beings, and a lot of other things.

I tried to do the math, and I’m guessing a very rough estimate would that I’ve read about 2000 professional short stories (not counting workshop, or student work) in books, journals, and magazines in the last 5 years alone. I’ve loved so many of them, for so many vast and varied reasons. But I reread “Esmé,” for probably the 10th time, but perhaps the first in 10 years, last Friday, and I laughed and almost cried on the bus, and thought it was, along a certain gentle realist vector of excellence, sublime.

Like most people, I was mainly an idiot when I was 12, but it’s nice to know I was in the ballpark on a few things.

2 Responses to “My Favourite Short Story”

So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum

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