Monday, January 22, 2007

A Very Short Story

This is "Happiest Moment" by Lydia Davis, which Jonathan Franzen read at the New York Festival of International Literature last year. I found it when it was reproduced in a journal published by PEN America, which held the event:
If you ask her what is a favorite story she has written, she will hesitate for a long time and then say it may be this story that she read in a book once: An English-language teacher in China asked his Chinese student to say what was the happiest moment in his life. The student hesitated for a long time. At last he smiled with embarrassment and said his wife had gone to Beijing and had eaten duck there, and she often told him about it, and he would have to say the happiest moment of his life was her trip, and the eating of the duck.

3 Comments:

Blogger ko said...

i had cassoulet for the first time last night and it made me very happy.

i love you for sharing a story that so succinctly conveys happiness...

be satiated and content, fed and loved, listened to and respected, able to share and appreciated for sharing-

sounds simple, but! hard, indeed to get-

you are so special
i thank you

ko

3:31 AM  
Anonymous pf said...

I like this duck story is a lot more than the last one.

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Hip E. said...

Ah, the involute. It's like Nabokov in a nutshell.

4:54 PM  

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