The plan had been to finish this yesterday, but best laid plans...Anyway, this collection of short stories ends with more tales focusing on the relationship between individuals and crowds.
A Fasting-Artist Four Stories
In the four stories the general theme is how people react to the environment and other people around them. It starts with a trapeze artist who lives at the top of the high wire and when the circus moves from town to town he sleeps in the luggage rack. It is not only about his loneliness and fear of the future but also about the role of the manager, which is dependent on such an odd character.
Then there is a story, Little Woman, about a woman who seems to disagree with he neighbour and the man starts to fear that eventually that will spill over into a public row and could gave repercussions for him.
The title story about a fasting-artist is again set against a backdrop of a circus and follows a man who makes fasting his act but in the end the crowds ignore him and he fasts for so long that he almost disappears and dies and is buried with his straw bed.
Finally, Josefine the Songstress of The Mouse People is about someone who believes they have a special talent, for music, and as a result are better than everyone else and have the ability and power to shape the collective destiny. She tries to get out of doing work and when that fails she threatens to stop singing, which she eventually does. But life goes on without her and as a result the people forget the music and her power wanes.
Review of the complete stories collection will follow tomorrow…