Thursday, June 26, 2008

On "The Rules of Urban Living" by Kara Janeczko (2354 words) ****

A woman, a man, a firefighter. Sex sounds. A burned esophagus. Desire. So many stories are about desire--not too many about esophaguses. This one keeps the desire buried deep within it; the esophagus plays only a minor roll, well, the burned one anyway. If we think of the esophagus as an organ from which sounds come, then there's plenty of it. There are plenty of sounds in this piece. A woman obsesses on the sounds her neighbors make, the sounds she makes, the sounds she and her boyfriend used to make. Mark Richard, in a class I took of his, once described stories as obsessions. They deal in a handful of things, maybe fewer, and work them until they are exhausted. And that's what Janeczko does here. It adds up to a nice treat. Read the story at Anderbo.

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