Saturday 27 April 2024

Reunion by John Cheever

Call me Old Fashioned.

This weekend we will be looking at two highly anthologized short-stories that are often considered classics to determine whether or not they live up to the hype. Spoiler alert: they most certainly do. First up, we have "Reunion" by John Cheever. In terms of compact narrative form and brevity, this is close to perfection as it gets. A salient feature of his style, at least in this story, is an elegant lyricism with a unified rhythm that flows effortlessly. This technique produces swift pacing and a profound dramatic force to compliment the heartbreaking subject matter of a son's final meeting with his alcoholic father at a train station. The narrator's ambivalent emotional detachment and compassion towards the father is beautifully rendered. Elegiac and solemn, this is one of those short-stories that will likely increase in my esteem with repeated readings.

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