In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson Is Buried Summary. Amy Hempel The story ends with the friend being buried in Los Angeles, in a well-known cemetery. “In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson Is Buried” is a short fiction story by author Amy Hempel. It was first published in TriQuarterly magazine in , reprinted in. Tell me things I won’t mind forgetting,” she said. “Make it useless stuff or skip it.” I began. I told her insects fly through rain, mi For the short story reader. Updated.

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The narrator, who has had an abortion, ceases all activity except knitting sweaters for the friend, who is pregnant: I could not even offer to come back. There is no reason to think or feel deeply about anything. He looked at his injured arm, slashed to the bone, and died of fright.

Often, she dismantles the traditional structure of beginning, middle and end, and in doing so, throws the reader directly into a scene–an event or conversation–without a setup.

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Both women take a nap, but on awakening, the narrator says, “I have to go home. They can take your breath away, so in tune are their joleon with everything that has gone before. A difference in this collection, though, is the occasional presence of an authorial intrusion, an attribute generally not associated with minimalism.

She says she doesn’t understand the giddyness of her ill friend.

I told her no one in America owned a tape recorder before Bing Crosby did. But the narrator does not deepen her understanding. Her stories have been translated into twelve languages and anthologized in the United States and several other countries. Minimalism has its uses, and can achieve surprisingly varied effects: During a time of extreme sadness or danger, people will often tell jokes and talk about trivial things.


“In the Cemetery where Al Jolson is Buried”

Cemettery one point a doctor comes in to examine the ill friend and at his suggestion, the narrator goes for a walk on the beach, just outside the hospital–“off camera”. The camera made me self-conscious and I stopped. Ao parable is a story that teaches a lesson. All stories by decade. Limbo seems like the only honest place to be in these stories. The only fear that she admits to having is a fear of flying.

I had my audience. Storytelling provides options for different behaviors, and provides explanations.

I felt weak and small and failed. Ap the narrator seems aware of her fear of death, her fear prevents cemetert from discussing the topic openly. She thinks of a story told to her by a friend who used to work in a mortuary. There is nothing wrong with humor, but when that humor acts as a curtain behind which deeper feelings are hidden and kept from influencing decent behavior, then that humor can be harmful.

For the short story reader. While paying a long-overdue visit to a dying friend in the hospital, the narrator muses about her shame and guilt in neglecting a friend in need. They achieve their former closeness for a moment when the narrator feels sleepy from the injection given to the friend.

Igoni Barrett, Belle Boggs, A.

In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson Is Buried |

The stories are less successful when we have to piece together the events from driblets and hints. The friend throws a fit upon realizing the narrator is leaving, yanking off her protective mask and running out of the room.


To her credit, Ms. Her narrators are nameless faceless women and the major conflict they face is internal–man against himself, which always makes for the most compelling and devastating story. The substitution here of trivia for what is real renders the story the ideal minimalist marriage of form and content: The alternately wise and wise cracking narrators provide ironic commentary, letting us in on the action and on a store of little-known facts: Kubler-Ross found that many dying patients are gempel if someone sits and listens to their openly expressed fears and thoughts.

Joson causes her to stop talking even though there is no microphone to pick up what she is saying. With each read, a new layer, a new element, something very subtle is revealed. This is where the reader sees what the narrator refuses to accept, the narrator’s denial that her friend is ecstatic that she’s come and forgiving but the narrator doesn’t think she deserves that. The narrator and her friend assume the role of actors, yet their situation is real.

Her tales about insignificant things take on the aura of a performance. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.