Friday, October 10, 2008

On "Junkyard Dog" by Michael J. Cunningham (8818 words) ****

Cunningham's "Junkyard Dog" falls into that genre of stories about diary writing--or stories that are a diary. I think of Evan S. Connell's novel The Diary of a Rapist and of Rick Moody's short story "The Preliminary Notes" (this latter not exactly a diary, but something akin to it). Both are about who in writing about themselves and their relationships discover something unsavory about themselves--as do the readers. Cunningham takes a similar track, but what makes this story an interesting variation on the genre is that our main character to an extent knows that he's a jerk. And his change at the end--indeed, the change wrought in every single character--suggests that perhaps nothing has changed at all. It seems, unfortunately, so much like many a life. Read the story here at the Summerset Review.

No comments: