Honoring Short Story Month With a Little Yellow Book

 

In honor of short story month, I am sharing an excerpt from one of my very favorite short stories of all time.

I wish I could get well faster.

But I must not think about that. This paper looks to me as if it knew what a vicious influence it had!

There is a recurrent spot where the pattern lolls like a broken neck and two bulbous eyes stare at you upside down.

I get positively angry at the impertinence of it and the everlastingness. Up and down and sideways they crawl, and those absurd, unblinking eyes are everywhere. There is one place where two breaths didn’t match, and the eyes go all up and down the line, one a little higher than the other.

Brilliant, right? The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a masterpiece. I first read this story in college. Many years later, in a small used book shop, I stumbled upon a small copy from a small press which was printed the year I was born, proving my crazy connection to this story was real.

Now, my little yellow book is a cherished possession, like a worn stuffed teddy bear from childhood.

It completes me.

 

The Yellow Wallpaper

First published in 1892, the story is available here and, if you have not read it, you really must. I insist.

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

 

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23 thoughts on “Honoring Short Story Month With a Little Yellow Book

  1. Oh, I loved The Yellow Wallpaper! I read it college, probably my first semester as an English major, and it was kind of my inaugural moment of reading and dissecting literature as a young adult. So great you found a copy (re)printed the year of your birth!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was probably mine, too. (Although I recall The Awakening…) Regardless, loved this then and love it now. I think, if possible, the story had grabbed hold of me more over the years. And, yes, it was like my own special little magic that I found that reprint. 🙂

      Like

    • Hmm. I will have to think more about that.
      I will say that, while I find the writing brilliant, I also learned a lot from this piece: feminism in the 1800s, “treatments” in the 1800s, what was considered “mental illness”, how doctors handled “female problems”, and the personal struggle of the author — this is semi-autobiographical. I could relate to it a little, too, like Emily Dickinson’s writing. The whole thing just fascinates me.

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    • Yes, well it undermined (if not attacked) their “treatments”, attitudes toward women, and diagnoses of “female issues”. I’m so happy to hear this is still being taught. I imagined it would be but didn’t know anyone who was reading it for school. Excellent. 🙂

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