"Fjord of Killary" by Kevin Barry Originally published in the February 1, 2010 issue of The New Yorker. Click here to read the story in its entirety on The New Yorker webpage.
I read this story a few days ago, but until now I haven’t had time to do any kind of write-up of it. Besides lack of time, however, I have also suffered from a lack of anything to say about it. Time to ruminate, in this case, failed to produce anything of substance, but I blame the story.
The story opens with the beginnings of a foreboding storm off the western coast of Ireland. We get an immediate sense the our narrator, who runs a lodging, is not from the area and the folks apparently don’t really take to him. He is an outsider, as we suspected, and has purchased this hotel on the fjord as some kind of romantic dream. He’s a wordless poet, and he hopes the work will keep him busy enough not to worry about that; and maybe in the evenings words will come dropping slowly.
The storm builds and the flood waters threaten, as the narrator and his workers begin to usher in the night with drinks.
Unfortunately, it’s not much more interesting than that. Many times when I finish a story and think, “Hmmm, I didn’t get anything from that,” I blame myself because I at least captured a glimmer of promise. This time, I don’t even care if it was my fault; it meant that little to me.