Monday, July 25, 2022

Thinking about "The Mother"

A long time ago, I read Lydia Davis's "The Mother" from Break it Down. Here it is in its entirety: 

The girl wrote a story. “But how much better it would be if you wrote a novel,” said her mother. The girl built a doll-house. “But how much better if it were a real house,” her mother said. The girl made a small pillow for her father. “But wouldn’t a quilt be more practical,” said her mother. The girl dug a small hole in the garden. “But how much better if you dug a large hole,” said her mother. The girl dug a large hole and went to sleep in it. “But how much better if you slept forever,” said her mother.

Although I read it so long ago, it's always in the back of my head as a reminder of how not to "fix things." While that chilling paragraph is about the specific dynamics of mother-daughter relationships, I think it works for parenting/teaching/editing/being a friend or partner too. There are more of Davis's stories here.

4 comments:

StephLove said...

Yikes

Gillian said...

Like a horror piece.

Chiconky said...

Wow.
I've never heard of this piece and now I'm pretty sure it will haunt me. My sister and I spent the weekend re-dissecting The Yellow Wallpaper. I'm going to need a real brain cleaner soon

maya said...

Yup. Sorry this creeped y'all out.

Chiconky--wow that must be fun...The Yellow Wallpaper is SO good.

wild as me

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