Saturday, May 19, 2007

Hanwell Senior

I read a great short story by Zadie Smith in the May 14th New Yorker called Hanwell Senior. It's available online if you don't get the magazine (it might not be available long). She references Middlemarch, which I'm currently obsessed with, so I was pretty excited about that. She also uses this really interesting narrative devise where she breaks out of the 3rd person and refers to herself, and to the process of writing.
Here's a section to illustrate:
In the novel “Middlemarch,” we find the old adage of a man’s charity growing in direct proportion to its distance from his own door. This is reminiscent of all the dutiful grandchildren and great-grandchildren lingering over deathbeds with digital recorders, or else manically pursuing their ancestors through the online genealogy sites at three in the morning, so very eager to reconstitute the lives and thoughts of dead and soon-to-be-dead men, though they may regularly screen the phone calls of their own mothers. I am of that generation. I will do anything for my family except see them.

I thought the story was so moving - hope you have a chance to read it! (Let me know if you do.)

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