‘The Artichoke’ by Marilyn Krysl

The Artichoke by Marilyn Krysl, 1976

The magic trick:

Highlighting the simple guilt of existence

We’re on a train today for this little slice of surrealism.

It’s a very short story, and I don’t have a ton to say.

But I like a story with a healthy dose of implied guilt. Not like “The Tell-Tale Heart.” This isn’t guilt about something like a murder.

It’s the guilt of existence.

And that’s quite a trick on Krysl’s part.

The selection:

It will happen on a train to Banff, both of us thinking we’re on a vacation. We’ll be in the dining car, smoking and discussing Baudelaire or discussing Gulf Oil or discussing inflation, while we wait for the waiter. While we wait for the waiter, in no hurry, and not really very hungry. And in this discussion we’ll use the expressions GNP and market value and idea of evil. And it will be you and I talking, not somebody else somewhere else, and not some fake couple got up for fiction.

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s