The new Brevity is online. The two standouts for me are Jennifer Percy and Paul Lisicky.
I don't think I've read anything by Lisicky that I didn't immediately like. Also, he's a total dreamboat. And I was feeling this essay, getting in the groove of it, when I got to the penultimate paragraph, which includes this:
"Maybe that’s what my father already knew back then. And maybe that’s why he brought it up at the dinner table thirty years later, though I’d forgotten it, as I’d forgotten many things by then. His eyes looked through me, past me. He spoke as if that memory were just one more thing he’d been wearing around his neck..."
Ok, yeah, sure, it's beautifully rendered, just like the rest of the essay. And it's meaningful and poignant and appropriate. But is anyone else tired of (narrative, personal) essays that bring up memory and forgetting? Especially at important or climactic moments? I understand that essays lend themselves to considerations of memory, but when an essay goes in that direction I get turned off, bored. If only because so many essays feel the need to scratch that itch, as though it hasn't been scratched already, probably by that same author, in that same collection/issue, whatever. It's starting to feel like an empty gesture.
Anyone else getting tired of this? Am I just being bitchy? Maybe a better question, are there some recent essays that bring memory to the forefront in a new way?