Saturday, August 28, 2010

"The Calling Cards." Ivan Bunin.

A one-nighter, or should I say a “one-morninger.” He is a famous writer. He is traveling on a ship. She is the daughter of a dispossessed, once wealthy family, now impoverished and married to a minor official. She is infatuated with his reputation. He is playing the game that all men play. They have breakfast and then go to his room. There, what you would expect to happen happens. Afterward, she is ready to leave the ship. He squeezes her hand and she leaves the ship without looking back.

Probably the story of every brief fling. The title is from a dream she has that she tells him. She dreams that her wealth is restored, and she wishes she had calling cards. Contrast between the wealth and fame of the writer and the impoverished female.

Fifty Great European Short Stories.” Ed. Edward and Elizabeth Huberman. New York: Bantam Books. 1971.

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