Step 10: a reading reaction

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Currently reading: The Making of a Story” by Alice LaPlante

Progress in Book: page 94

I just finished reading the short story – “Where are you going, Where have you Been? By Joyce Carol Oates — I was staggered – bewildered – understand that there is a large empty pit inside where that sickening feeling echoes off of lonely walls.  I finished the story, closed the book, and pushed it away from me.  Wanting to distance myself from the force of it, wanting to contain it inside the pages, for fear it might become true. To remind myself that it is and was indeed a story.  I needed to breath.

My initial reactions – This is a pit bull of a story.  One of those stories so well written that it bites into your skin and doesn’t let go, there will be blood and it will not heal quickly.  But nor should it – it is a story that should effect us, should effect me.  We should all be crying out — “NO -NO – NO – NO, DON”T DO IT.”  We should be asking questions about what such a story means, and why it is so important still even after nearly 50 years.  I am still discomforted.

(Also, I think pitbulls can get a bad reputation – they are not evil in and of themselves.  They can be lovely pet and companions.  This story isn’t bad either – it is quite the opposite.  It is just so good it might disturb you to read it.)

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