Begin Again / by vanessa

I'm a short fiction reader, mostly.  When I read fiction, it's mostly short.  There are the long ones -- like say, DFW's "Infinite Jest" that I'm still dicing my way through -- and still, I mostly read short fiction.

So I was especially delighted when my New Yorker arrived yesterday, given that it's the "20 Under 40 Fiction" issue.  After reading the last page and making up my own cartoon taglines, then finishing Denby's review of "Get Him to the Greek," I happened upon Jonathan Safran Foer's "Here We Aren't, So Quickly."

At first I was skeptical.  I have tried previously to get through "Everything Is Illuminated."  Twice.  And since then I've kind of ignored his work.  But tonight I was flipping through the magazine pages as if they were channels and something made me stop on his story.  I suppose something made me forget my own prejudices.

I'm glad I did.  "Quickly" is one of those stories that I felt passing me by as I read -- like the sentences were written in vanishing ink.   Its cadence is a graceful web, revealing just enough for the outline to appear.  It is the first time I have seen quantum physics so deftly bottled.

I couldn't wait to finish and I didn't want it to end.  And its words still hang in the ether, so that even writing this feels premature.   Fortunately, it's a story with miles.