We discussed briefly last week that a characteristic of short stories may be that they leave you with more questions at the end than you had at the start. I’d say that’s about accurate. All of these stories made me feel as though the authors have secret knowledge that they’re not letting us in on, lest it change our perspective of this brief glimpse. Some stories of course leave you with immediate burning questions that you itch to have an answer to, and others are more subtle, and become more prominent the more you think and reflect.
The Cooked Cat was definitely the former. I couldn’t believe the narrator seemed to so calmly report back to us this example of how cruel the aunt is. Similar to The Metamorphosis, I was passionately wondering why the narrator wasn’t freaking out as much as I was. The ending felt disturbingly abrupt and I wanted sit that woman down and yell her. We know her motive for killing the cat, and we’ve been told from the beginning that this family is obscenely cruel and cold, but it still felt as though those final few lines came rushing unstoppably at me. From the moment I read the title I had my suspicions that something exactly like that would happen, but I hoped up until the very end that I would be proved wrong.
The Daisy Dolls felt like it eased me into the story a little more, and even eased me out, despite the disturbing, eerie nature of the ending. I felt a little creeped out throughout the entire thing, with this whole things about the dolls… But that could just be because of all the phobias to have, I’m scared of mannequins with faces. Not severely, but crazy as it sounds I don’t like turning my back to them. They freak me out. So right from the get-go this was bound to be a story with something I didn’t quite like about it. It was very well written and extremely laden with significant details and symbols, but I just was not much of a fan of it. I can appreciate it, but not love it. Blame the dolls.
There were quite a lot of Borges stories, and while I didn’t love all of them, I did enjoy most of them. Emma Kunz was one of my favourites, and I think Borges is quite good at intriguing beginnings. With many of the texts we’ve read I’ve had to push my way through the first few pages, but I was generally interested right from the beginning with his stories.
I’m quite curious about how the lecture will weave together so many different stories. Despite having similar themes, they’re all unique in their own way. Looking forward to it.