Thursday, May 3, 2012

Day One Hundred Twenty-Four: "Hand" by Stephen Dixon


A college professor, angry that he didn't win an award he'd hoped to win, punches his fist through the window in his office and cuts his hand badly. The mental struggle he goes through as he deals with how to then explain what happened to his hand also what happened to his window is an interesting look into the male psyche. I rather enjoyed the back and forth, the "I'm just joking" mentality that keeps the man from truly owning what it is that he did. Even when he tells his wife about his hand, he doesn't tell her everything, the extent to which he let his anger and frustration push him into a corner that resulted in this act of violence, violence against himself.

There is a point when he reassures himself that it's all for the best, that he didn't expect to win the award in the first place but that is the only time during the story where it is clear to the reader that the narrator is fooling himself. Overall, I thought this was a good story, not great, but good enough to make me read more of this writer in the future.

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