The story is enough.

The story is enough.

Monday, May 4, 2015

"My Life is a Joke" by Sheila Heti

This story can be found in the May 11, 2015 issue of The New Yorker.

First Line: "When I died, there was no one around to see it."

Last Line: "How beautiful to be seen."

Oh, boy.  I did not like this one...  Wish I did, though.  I almost feel like it would prove my intelligence to find depth and life's true meaning in this tale. 

"My Life is a Joke" felt like sitting in a quiet bar, when a comedienne bumbles onto the stage.  Rather sudden.  Boisterous and awkward.  Ratcheting noise and poor humor into your nightcap.  That almost seemed to be the story's scene: a dead woman walks into a bar - stop me of you've heard this one - and tells you the joke, the irony, of her life. 

I have been reading short stories, trying to see what really makes a shorter piece into a "story".  Here - it was the last line for me.  The rest was a meandering vignette, with a lot of self-pity, throat-clearing, and mike-tapping.

So maybe I am bringing my intelligence up for discussion, but I did not find this piece to be fantastic.

I do not want to sell Sheila Heti short.  I looked at her site.  She is eclectic, artistic, creative, and a true artist.  She is prolific and inventive, celebrating the art that represents life.  

But this short story did not click for me.  Maybe it did for you.  

What do you think?

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