‘How I Finally Lost My Heart’ by Doris Lessing

How I Finally Lost My Heart by Doris Lessing, 1963

The magic trick:

Using quote interludes throughout the text, without any explanation as to their meaning until the very end

This one asks the reader to go out on a limb a little bit. It’s all voice and attitude, with very little clarity, for most of its word count.

Even more confusing is a series of interludes – quotes dropped into the middle of the text every once in awhile, with no apparent explanation.

Stick with it, though. It becomes clear at the end, and the result is a nice little payoff. And that’s quite a trick on Lessing’s part.

The selection:

I have digressed from an earlier point: that I regarded this man I had lunch with (we call him A) as my first love; and still do, despite the Freudians, who insist on seeing my father as A and possibly my brother as B, making my (real) first love C. And despite, also, those who might ask: What about your two husbands and all those affairs?

What about them? I did not really love them, the way I loved A.

As always, join the conversation in the comments section below, on SSMT Facebook or on Twitter @ShortStoryMT.

Subscribe to the Short Story Magic Tricks Monthly Newsletter to get the latest short story news, contests and fun.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s