Photo Credit: Scott Foley
Wonderful Town, a collection of essays from The New Yorker magazine, assembled by the current editor David Remnick, was nothing short of wonderful. In Joe McGeary’s class, we traversed our way through various essays included in the collection. One of my favorites was called The Catbird Seat by James Thurber, which detailed a quiet guy named Martin who never drinks or smokes, and is simply a class act. Pushed to his limits, he plots the murder of his insufferable colleague.
Here is one of my favorite quotes from the story: “The faults of the woman as a woman kept chattering on in his mind like an unruly witness. She had, for almost two years now, baited him. In the halls, in the elevator, even in his own office, into which she romped now and then like a circus horse, she was constantly shouting these silly questions at him. ‘Are you lifting the oxcart out of the ditch? Are you tearing up the pea patch? Are you hollering down the rain barrel? Are you scraping around the bottom of the pickle barrel? Are you sitting in the catbird seat?’”
You can tell the writer was having fun when crafting the story because of the good feeling seeping through the murderous plot.
One of my favorite things about short stories is that they are, well, short. There isn’t enough space for anything but the most essential details and descriptions, making them fun, poignant, and memorable; perfect for a J-Term class.