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Articles tagged "Deception"

The Right Path

Centuries ago, on the vast plains that extend between the coasts of the Black and Caspian seas, was a kingdom founded by General Poltrov. Poltrov was the product of a life of military discipline: tyrannical, cruel, and rational to the extreme. At the pinnacle of his glory, he enjoyed absolute power over his subjects, a few thousand farmers and artisans. There were only two cities on Poltrov’s territory: Lalandia in the east and Falstria in the west. But communications and...

Martin Hansen’s Outing

Walking back to the house one Friday in early August, late in the afternoon, I suddenly felt tired as though I had been carrying something heavy, although all I had been doing was tying up some raspberry stakes. When I reached the stoop, I sat down on the bottom step, thinking: After all there's no one at home anyway. A moment later I heard voices coming from inside the living room, and before I had time to get to my feet, my daughter Mona said: Oh, are you sitting here? I stood up...

A Classical Education

On a flight to Budapest I was sitting next to a very young girl who immediately won me over with her green eyes and blonde pigtails. Her mother was also blonde and green-eyed and sunk in Brigitte, a sort of German cross between Martha Stewart Living and Cosmopolitan. I forgave her because her daughter was such a pretty child, in a serious, obedient way, a miniature mixture of Susan Sontag, Jessica Valenti, and Paris Hilton's chihuahua, Tinkerbell. "What's your name?" I asked her...

The Not-So-Perfect Crime

My brother Borja's name isn't Borja. It's Pep (or Josep). And his surname isn't Masdéu Canals Sáez de Astorga. We're both Martínez on our father's side and Estivill on our mother's. Unlike Borja (I mean, Pep), I've kept the name and surnames my parents christened me with: a humble Eduard (though still a Spanish Eduardo on my ID card) Martínez Estivill. On the other hand, my brother's (or at least the one he prefers to...

Calligraphy Lesson

Translator's Note: Like much of Mikhail Shishkin's writing, "Calligraphy Lesson" is highly allusive and attentive to the formal qualities of a story both inventively told and steeped in Russian atmospherics. The reader will want to be aware of two issues in particular. First, what the English reader may not realize—but the Russian will pick up instantly—is that the various women's names refer to characters from Russian classics: Sofia Pavlovna from...

The Man Who Couldn’t Die

It had been Marina's idea. Keep Alexei Afanasievich from finding out about the changes in the outside world. Keep him in the same sunlit but frozen time when the unexpected stroke had cut him down. "Mama, his heart!" Marina had pleaded, having grasped instantly that, no matter how burdensome this recumbent body might be, it consumed much less than it yielded. At the very first, clear-eyed Marina may have been moved by more than this primitive practicality. There had been a period...

A True Calling

Nothing happens to a story if all you do is listen. Nothing happens if all you do is read, or memorize word for word. What matters is if you make the heart of the story part of your very life. This story is one of those. Once there was a bhand,1 one of that rare breed that devote themselves to impersonations. This particular bhand was so adept at disguising himself that next to him the real thing looked fake. He would keep a disguise on for several days, and no one would ever find him...

from Seven

Time: 2004 Place: In a corner of West Kowloon Characters: Voice - the "inner voice" of various main characters Tze Seun Wong - real estate agent, about 50 yrs old, deals mainly with old run-down Chinese-style buildings Cindy - an extremely intelligent 28 yr-old young lady, with a mature sensuousness Jason - a college student, just turned 19, innocent with a sunny disposition Plus a small ensemble cast of ten which includes the roles of Owner, Prostitute, Colleague, Daughter, Garbage Lady...

Escape from Disney World

After having spent his childhood doing comic strips and his youth doing animated cartoons, Mickey Mouse finally discovered his true vocation as a corporate insignia. In heraldic times, only mythological creatures or rampant beasts could aspire to adorn a coat of arms. In the century of the cartoon, it's only natural that the Magic Kingdom's logo is a rodent with gloved hands. Like the Mercedes star or the McDonald's golden arches, Mickey is a registered trademark. At this...

“God, It’s as Though You’re Sewing a Dress For a Flea”

I gather up my courage and decide to throw a "reception day" in the tradition of most wealthy, middle-class women who are proud of their lineage and upbringing, or, who are, like me, enamored with singing and with going to the movies. These women choose a weekday at the end of each month for such a day, and their friends show up dressed to the Nines, and sit around chatting, drinking coffee, and eating candied almonds and chocolate. My husband, however, did not like visits; he saw them as...

Metamorphosis

1 He later recalled that it had been a strange, sleepless night. Sanogawa Shinsha had fallen asleep in bed with a script propped on his chest when word arrived that his younger brother, Tojaku, had just died in a car accident. Shinsha and his wife, Chisa, slept side by side on low matching beds placed in a bedroom decorated in a mixture of Japanese and foreign styles. Because Shinsha had a habit of reading scripts, memorizing parts, and planning roles late into the night, an antique...
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