Paris Stories

PDF EBook by Mavis Gallant

EBook Description

Magnificent. Paris Stories PDF EBook I read this collection of short stories over the course of several months in the manner suggested by the author herself: "Stories are not chapters of novels. They should not be read one after the another, as if they were meant to follow along. Read one. Shut the book. Read something else. Come back later. Stories can wait."

It turned out to be advice worth taking. Rather than blast through the book at once, in a week or so, I was able to absorb each short story on its own. I frequently found myself thinking of a last story after I'd moved on to a completely different book. These stories stay with you.

Mavis Gallant's language is somehow at once sumptuous and spare. Gallant, a Canadian- PDFborn writer who has lived the bulk of her life in Paris, is successful in all the elements that make for good narrative, but it is the richness of her sentences that stand out. Consider a few gems — with a caveat that some of the power is lost to lack of context — but which reveal sadness and hilarity, simultaneously.

From "The Moslem Wife": "She was the only person Netta had heard who could make Mozart sound like an Irish jig. Presently Iris began to say that it was time Jack gave a concert. Before this could turn into a crisis Iris changed her her mind and said what he wanted was a holiday. Netta thought he needed something: He seemed to be exhausted by love, friendship, by being a husband, someone's son, by trying to make a world out of reading and sense out of life. A visit to England to meet some stimulating people, said Iris. To help Iris with her tiresome father during the journey. To visit art galleries and bookshops and go to concerts. To meet people. To talk. [...] She suddenly knew to a certainty that if Jack were to die she would search the crowd of mourners for a man she could live with. She would not return from the funeral alone. Grief and memory, yes, she said to herself, but what about three o'clock in the morning?"

Or from "August": "These perceptions, which came only when he was alone, when creaking or mournful or ghostly sounds emerged from the stairs and the elevator shaft and formed a single substance with the walls, curtains, and gray light from the courtyard, he knew were only the lingering vapors of adolescent nostalgia—that fruitless, formless yearning for God knows what. It was not an ambiance of mind he pursued."

From "Speck's Idea": "Walter in search of the Eternal was like one of those solitary skippers who set out to cross an ocean only to capsize when barely out of port."

Oh, were I able to write half as well as Mavis Gallant. Like this book? Read online this: The Visit and Other Short Stories, Paris.

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