Thursday, March 08, 2007

Lunchtime read: The Best Short Stories

What you start to appreciate after reading a few of these stories is that Kipling is as capable as Kafka and Pushkin of using a few pages to create a quite disturbing story.

The Record of Badalia Herodsfoot
The record in question is a diary of how the money handed out by the Church to be spent for the poor is administered by Badalia. She is a woman who lives mong the poor and knows the abuses they suffer and endeavours to make sure that the right people get the support they need. She has been abandoned by her husband who treats women as puch bags and sources of money. He returns after two years and asks for the church money and when she refuses to hand it over kicks her into a state nearing death. She lies on her bed and gives instructions until the end but dies and as the funeral mtakes place those who hope to abuse the system come out of the cracks like slime.

This reminds you of a Russian story because of the tragedy that even after all of her hard work she is reduced to just a book and some memories. Kipling still insists onb trying to use local dialect and although it is obvious I'm not totally convinced it improves an already good story.

More tomorrow...

No comments: