Another long short story.
Elkin really needs to work at changing my opinion of him. (And I’m sure this tops his list of things to do in the afterlife).
I am seeing a clear pattern emerging and I am starting to feel that his selection is more about him than the stories themselves. I feel that I am learning more about him and his problems than being exposed to a varied cross section of American Short Stories. If the pattern proves, then I think there was clearly an abuse of his editorship and he committed a disservice to readers spoiling a great anthology only a few years after the death of Martha Foley.
I touched on Mavis Gallant in my last post so I feel no need to think about her in this post.
Concerning the “Speck’s Idea”.
When you sit back, and look at say...the last 15 years of your life, as I did after reading this story, you really begin to question the existence of external forces shaping your future days.
I consider myself as someone who generally likes to have a firm set of controls over what happens in my life. I am beyond the days of tripping through my life and taking things as they come. I left all of that behind back in 1998. I believe I became the “grown up” person – the adult that I am today early in that year. I realized that I had finished sowing my oats and it was time to start taking control.
I look back at the years before 1998 and I see some interesting events that lead me to the actions I took in 1998.
I saw that my life needed to be conducted in a way that received a more “hands on” approach from me.
So, as I applied pressure in certain situations, I felt that there were forces that exerted pressure back, and at times, there were forces outside of my control that dictated directions that I would take. It was an interesting dance I learned from these forces, and the lessons continue through to this day. Again, as touched on earlier I feel that the importance of conducting a critical assessment of one’s life, and questioning everything about it on a regular basis is vitally important.
I have learned, and this story reinforces my beliefs that it is important to play an active role in shaping your future but when a situation arises, you need to learn how to bend without breaking. To let the water slide off your back without getting too wet.
But...there must be - flexibility with a rigid core.
Score 7 out of 10.