Stories in an Almost Classical Mode

Stories in an Almost Classical Mode

Harold Brodkey

Language: English

Pages: 608

ISBN: 0679724311

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

These 17 short stories represent the best of Brodkey's work over three decades.

A Rift in Time: Travels with My Ottoman Uncle

Daddy: A Memoir

A Life of Privilege, Mostly

The Interesting Narrative and Other Writings: Revised Edition (Penguin Classics)












he had been unable to speak—that she was the sun and wind and clouds and a rosebush. Sukie brightened and said, “Oh, that’s lovely.” He continued with increasing sincerity, and compared her to the craziness of dreams, to a beach, to warm sand and the sun making you dizzy, and sand fleas making your legs twitch. She said, “I don’t think I like that. No, it’s nasty.” She looked uneasy. He said he hadn’t meant anything, a beach was a force of nature—he’d only meant to compare her to a force of

safety for a woman, a locked door, is ideal in a way it isn’t for a man, at least so far in history, in which it is simply a kind of madness or breakdown in the man, a step or degree in a hopeless defense and part of a history of defeats and victories, with now one being ahead and now the other. I mean, he shares with me the contingent or time-riddled or on-consignment nature of our being together and our emotions—and our varied beauties and our varied vanities—and nightmares and hopes. He

says, “Walk,” I rouse myself, but if I look—I am giving an example: I don’t mean to: I should have said, I take my eyes from Da’s pants leg and I look up and I see a many-leaved wet trembling thing, a great mass of gleam and shadow inexplicably without light and suspended over my head, porch roofs and sunroom roofs and indoor and outdoor stairs steps broken and in an avalanche. I clutch Daddy—S.L., I mean—which reminds S.L. that I am frail; and then Dad changes his mind about the stilled water of

Lillyburg—so she couldn’t have been too grasping. “Who knows, who knows anything? Who knows what it was really like for someone like her? I’ll tell you something: I hope she was lucky; she was a good woman and she deserved to have a good time, but I don’t think someone like that knows how. She didn’t know much, and a lot of what she knew was me. I bet she dressed like me.… “Oh, I don’t want to sound cynical; you want a happy ending, I’ll give you one: the last time I saw her was six months

lit garages or thin-windowed basements, in the most distant and the weediest parts of fields, in the corners or on the hidden side of roofs of half-built houses, or in the hidden tunnels in clumps of shrubbery, among the prickle-edge leaves and nagging spines of evergreens, or on tree branches leafed in, or in windowless shanty-clubhouses, by candlelight at noon, anywhere out of sight—perhaps I speak only of myself. I wanted to be unobserved. Boys and girls already adolescent mysteriously shamed

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