Donald Antrim: “Ever Since”

Click here to read the abstract of the story on The New Yorker webpage (this week’s story is available only for subscribers).  Donald Antrim’s “Ever Since” was originally published in the March 12, 2012 issue of The New Yorker.

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My inability to read these short stories is getting frustrating — as frustrating as these posts excusing myself!  At any rate, I have enjoyed Donald Antrim’s work in the past and look forward to this one, but I just have to read the Munro story first.  In the meantime, though, please feel free to comment below.

3 thoughts on “Donald Antrim: “Ever Since””

  1. jerry says:

    Noticed on TNY’s web site that Antrim denies this story is a roman a clef in any fashion. I am sure he has been to his share of parties like the one described in the story though.

  2. Aaron says:

    Jerry, whether it’s “roman a clef” or not, the fact that Antrim needs to deny that it is supports my largest issue with it: it’s boring. There’s nothing here that Carver, Ferris, McInerney, etc. haven’t already said, and better. This exact atmosphere has been described so often, as have its characters — well, to be fair, only Jonathan is really “described” — and Antrim doesn’t take things nearly far enough for this to work; it’s neither comedy (although his attempts to find a cigarette border on the absurd) nor drama (melodrama, at best), and the third-person choice makes Jonathan come across as a touch affected.

    I see exactly what Antrim’s doing here — he’s made it impossible for any reader NOT to — and that makes it fairly easy for me to subsequently dismiss it. At least Munro still has me struggling.

  3. Ken says:

    I rather enjoyed this. It seems like he’s trying to do something small-observing a moment of transition in someone’s life and describing the physical surroundings to the decision which leads to the transition-and has succeded. The fact that one doesn’t know if this decision is good or bad, or how exactly the character feels about the person he’s decided to marry could seem a flaw. I found it a pleasant ambiguity.

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