The story is enough.

The story is enough.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

"Silk Brocade" by Tessa Hadley

This story can be found in the July 27, 2015 issue of The New Yorker magazine.

First Line: "Ann Gallagher was listening to the wireless, cutting out a boxy short jacket with three-quarter-length sleeves, in a pale-lilac wool flecked with navy."

Last Line:  "A jacket hardly mattered, in the scheme of things."

I write literary reviews.  And yet, I loved this short story so much I do not want to write a literary review of it.  

"Analysis destroys wholes.  Some things, magic things, are meant to stay whole.  If you look at their pieces, they go away." (Please ignore the fact that I just quoted Bridges of Madison County.  I know it is not a "literary" delight, but I read it in high school and this became my senior quote.  It has become imbedded deep in my cerebral tissue - not to be denied because of snobbery.)

I do not want anything to be moved, shifted, or reworked in my brain about "Silk Brocade".

There is a feeling that came over me when reading this story - a sense of magic - as when I read Dodie Smith's I Capture the Castle.  Maybe it is similar timing and setting.  Maybe similar themes - but I don't want to know.  I just want to continue to love it. 

 A brief synopsis?  Very brief.  A young woman is a designer and seamstress, moving her way up in the world, especially when an acquaintance is to marry a rich man with old and lovely materials in his home.  He is willing to share.  With these, Ann can make beautiful, and unique clothing.  There is a drunken picnic, an upcoming wedding, a death, a child, and a silk brocade.

The first and last lines cradle the content of this tale, letting the story naturally sway - move - from moment to moment.

Please read this story without ay intent to dissect or judge or critique. Just experience the fact that this story is enough.

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