Robert Coover - February 4, 1932
Here we have another author that seems to have been rightly included in the BASS 1981. I say author rather than story because – well, I’ll get to that in a moment.
Robert Coover and his writing have been widely praised over the years. I fully agree with all the praise that I read online. The short contained within BASS 1981 was in my opinion a fine piece of work. There was just one problem that hovered over my head as I invested more of my time in it.
When will it end?
Isn’t this supposed to be a short story?
It was only after reflection did I realize that the length and repetition which exists serves to convey the feelings of an unending struggle and frustrating repetitious life that the two characters dwell in.
The spankings, the discoveries of “items” under the covers at the foot of the bed, the male member in its normal morning state (upright), (sidenote: I am writing this in hopes of keeping certain members of the internet community away from here – but at he same time conveying a meaning) - the raised welts on the backside- etc. – I was able to digest well enough the first couple of times I read them. It started to become a bit annoying after the forth, fifth even sixth or more times (I lost count) that I read about them.
This technique was effective though.
You see the perfection that the two characters were striving for and the difficulty that they had in finding that perfection is something that I think many of us can relate to.
The discipline that is employed in this story is probably unusual to a majority of us but at times in the pursuit of certain perfection it may see familiar or even lack in severity.
I find that there are many times in my life that I subject myself to mental floggings for my lack of perfection or slips in self discipline. I’ve found recently that most of these focus on my lack of reading and writing. Being too lazy or tired at the end of a day to come home and read a story or write in my journal.
M often has to pull me back from engaging in behavior that is a bit too rigid or structured. I have a hard time in some cases, in some situations, to fall away from my training and I can hear myself shouting orders and demanding results.
Sometimes, I feel that I may sacrifice a level of quality in my projects in order to make a time requirement.
I really do much better over long drawn out endeavors.
I wonder if there truly are people who are able to be fully content in their life – and with the level they have attained and completely at peace with their actions.
This story is a nice reminder that there are days - days that sometimes seem as if they will never end, or are a repetition of a day we just lived – that we just can’t gain control over – no matter how hard we tried.
And that the discipline we inflict on ourselves is harder and much worse than anything anyone would inflict on us.