|Said to be “one of the forgotten geniuses of the form”, this story is very good at balancing the reader on the tightrope that is most people’s conception of what a short story should be: a kind of game that leads you, gently, to the big reveal. You’re surprised, but not too surprised. Of course, you say. How clever, you marvel. There is though, more to this sotry, and perhaps to Taylor that this. But not, I’d argue, a lot more.
According to Taylor “The while point is that writing has a patt4ern and life hasn’t. Life is so untidy. Art is so short and life is long. It is not possible to have perfection in life but it is possible to have perfection in a novel.” This seems a rather shabby view of both life and art; its reductive-ness is telling.
However, this is a very well-crafted story. But not “perfectly” crafted, a story in which the vaguely clichéd and slightly tortured can coexist: “She was at sea herself now, but felt perilously near a barbarous, unknown shore and was afraid to make any movement towards it.”