Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Short Story: Awake by Tobias Wolffe

Awake by Tobias Wolffe is a short story I read in The New Yorker yesterday for Short Story September being conducted by CB James. It seems I like exploring and reading online stories.

In this short story, Richard, a student is thinking about his relationship with Ana, an improvised Russian waitress. She is very fond of reading the classics and he has only pretended to like those. He is lying beside her while she is sleeping and is filled with desire for her. However, he knows not to wake her up. To drive away thoughts about his need for her, he thinks of the various classic literature brought by Ana and kept in his room. He even gets up to read a few lines. However, nothing seems to hold his interest save Ana, who is sleeping peacefully by his side.

What drew me on was the conversations Richard has with himself in his mind. I am reading a lot of books like this lately. He is analysing his relationship with Ana and thinks he met her too soon in his life. He loves her yet he does not. Maybe if he had met her later on in his life, he would have been able to claim her love as his right. I liked this part, somewhat. Can we really speculate on what should have happened? Or what should happen? Is his insecured feelings about Ana keep him awake? Ana is an immigrant, yet she knows what she wants but Richar being in his own country does not. It is not a story which stands out. Yet it interests us in its own way.

Awake by Tobias Wolffe by clicking on it.