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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Excerpt: Cornell Woolrich

Short stories should not be skimmed or read in a hurry or in succession. That's why I'm still reading Best American Noir of the Century (good thing there are still a couple months before the October release). But tonight I hit a story with some eerie musing that can only be Cornell Woolrich, and is:

Every life is a mystery. And every story of every life is a mystery. But it is not what happens that is the mystery. It is whether it has to happen no matter what, whether it is ordered and ordained, fixed and fated, or whether it can be missed, avoided, circumvented, passed by; that is the mystery.
From his last published story in 1968, For the Rest of Her Life. In these days of prologue-happy crime fiction, can't think of one that does a better job than the start of this story.

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