by Jhumpa Lahiri published in The New Yorker
Read original on The New Yorker's website
The narrator often bumps into a man in her neighbo...Show description
Posted 741 days ago
I am very neutral about this story. It didn't stand out to me at all, but I also thought it was well written, and nice to read during the pandemic. It's definitely not something that will stick with me over time, though.
I felt it was a literary story, especially the ending. Her buying all the junk from her neighbor and then cleaning out her house is representative of the junk and release of the relationship with her friend's husband. She has this urge to do something random, even if it's harmful to her life and those around her, for the sake of doing so. The painting that she purchases has termites, but she doesn't care, because it's about the act of doing it, not the value of the thing and how it could harm her.
Then she "cleans out" her apartment at the end. This is her realizing that the relationship is not worth it and maybe she needs to reevaluate her life. Maybe I'm interpreting this wrong or something, but I just didn't feel that strongly about any of these anologies. It was kind of funny to hear her talk about her first boyfriend though. I thought many times, oh man I hope I don't do that too much. And then we were kind of surprised to find out he was cheating on her with multiple other women. Her view of him certainly wasn't the reality.
It was well written and an easy read. I was enthused to find out the author translated the story herself from Italian. That's pretty amazing to be completely fluent in two language, to the point of publishing a short story in one of the best magazines out there.