Samuel Johnson is IndignantPosted: 2010/05/11
Davis, Lydia. Samuel Johnson is Indignant: stories. Brooklyn: McSweeney’s Books, 2001.
I always love it when I get a collection of short stories to read. For some reason I like idea of the simplicity of keeping something short when sometimes, nothing could be further than the truth; especially when it comes to a short story. A short story might be short on words or sentences or even paragraphs, but long on meaning and, in the end might turn out to be a little thought provoking or dare I say didactic? In other words, I might learn something!
Lydia Davis is funny. But, more importantly she has an amazing range of subject material. So much so that I found myself asking what subject does Lydia Davis NOT cover in a short story? What’s more, Lydia Davis has a wide range of writing styles. Everything she writes has a common theme: strange and wonderful, but no two stories could be characterized as “the same.” Her stories are eerie and contemplative, funny and sad, wise and irreverent.
Favorite lines, “You can’t tell everyone the truth all the time, and you certainly can’t tell anyone the whole truth, ever, because it would take too long” (p 7).
BookLust Twist: From Book Lust in the chapter called simply, “Short Stories” (p 221). Duh.