Stories that Haunt Joel Clay
I love stories, and I’m constantly reading them. Many stories I read, many good ones, begin to fade the moment I remove my eyes from the last line, and they continue to weaken until eventually disintegrating into my subconscious.
Other stories, very few, remain in the forefront of my mind long after I read them. They have triggered an emotional response; they have strummed that human-complexity string and it won’t stop vibrating; they are extra-interesting to me. Why? I never know the answer right off, but I am always curious. The Stories That Haunt essays are my attempts to discover and understand the constructions of stories that were so effective I can’t get them out of my head.
Spoiler alert: while I hope these essays inspire you to read the stories they discuss, I must warn you that they are blatantly insensitive to spoilers.
"Less Than Zero"
- Easton Ellis
The opening lines of this 1980s MTV generation novel: “People are afraid to merge on freeways in Los Angeles. This is the first thing I hear when I come back to the city.” Clay, the narrator, hears it from his high school sweetheart, sort of current girlfriend, Blair as she drives him back from the airport.Stories That Haunt
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Were I to wish for anything I would not wish for wealth and power, but the passion of the possible, that eye which everywhere, ever young, ever burning, sees possibility. Pleasure disappoints, not possibility.
- Soren Kierkegaard