Lydia Davis is a masterful short short story writer. Born in 1947 in Massachusetts, she has become famous for her intense, free, thought-provoking narrative, capable of elevating the banal into profound philosophical questions…at times in only a few lines. I won’t say much more. She says it all. Enjoy. Here’s just a few examples.
A story of stolen salamis
My son’s Italian landlord in Brooklyn kept a shed out back in which he cured and smoked salamis. One night, in the midst of a wave of petty vandalism and theft, the shed was broken into and the salamis were taken. My son talked to his landlord about it the next day, commiserating over the vanished sausages. The landlord was resigned and philosophical, but corrected him: ‘They were not sausages. They were salamis.’ Then the incident was written up in one of the city’s more prominent magazines as an amusing and colourful urban incident. In the article, the reporter called the stolen goods ‘sausages’. My son showed the article to his landlord, who hadn’t seen it. The landlord was interested and pleased that the magazine had seen fit to report the incident, but he added: ‘They weren’t sausages. They were salamis.’
All these years I thought I had a Ph.D.
But I do not have a Ph. D.
Notes During long phone conversation with mother
for summer – she needs
pretty dress – cotton