Wednesday, June 27, 2012

"Seeing is Believing," by Doris Betts

What I like most about short stories is the ability more so than in novel, to lift the story beyond reality, to go beyond the grounded details of life and find a surprise, a mystery, within.  Doris Betts is one of those writers.  Here’s a story that really makes me believe in the character’s ability to recall faces in detail based only on hearing their voices.  It’s plausible, at least in this story.  The title is perfect and the ending illuminates the raison d’etre for the story, echoing a Latin phrase mentioned in the story, ‘to be rather than be seen’.  Read it here in Carolina Quarterly.

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