Notes - Jealous Husband

1365 WordsDec 22, 20116 Pages
FALL, 2004 Anne Lowenkopf Notes on “The Jealous Husband Returns in Form of Parrot” By Anne Lowenkopf Where does Butler find he ideas for such stories as this? I don’t know, and I’m not certain it can be learned. But I do believe the short story is the best medium in which to try. Seven pages is not much to invest. And, assuming you find yourself rewriting your attempt again and again, tenfold times, seventy pages is still less than a novel. Short stories beg for experimentation; they consume so much less of your time and effort. You could fit fifty short stories comfortably into the pages of a novel. But I think the inventiveness that conceived of this story isn’t to be gained from rewrite–that’s for polishing the story’s design and…show more content…
Then I go to this thing that feels so familiar and I bite and bite and it’s very good. And through the parrot’s narration we begin to suspect that much of the behavior causing the husband’s jealousy is in his mind not his wife’s actual behavior, and that of course is funny and absurd, leaving us feeling pleasantly superior. More descriptions, focused on the husband’s jealousy still alive and kicking in the bird, and revealing the narrator is becoming more parrotlike in its thinking, as Butler lets his imagination fly to combine bird and man: When we held each other, I had no past at all, no present but her body, no future but to lie there and not le her go. I was an egg hatched beneath her crouching body, I entered as a chick into her wet sky of a body, and all that I wished was to sit on her shoulder and fluff my feathers and lay my head against her cheek, my neck exposed to her hand. And so the glances that I could see in her troubled me deeply, the movement o her eyes in public places to other men, the laughs sent across a room, the tracking of her mind behind her blank eyes, pursuing images of others, her distraction even in our bed, the ghosts that were there of men who’d touched her, perhaps even that very day. I was not part of all those other men who were part of her. I didn’t want to connect to all that. It was only
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