Dispatches | May 03, 2013

During the month of May, The Missouri Review will highlight a single short story to help celebrate National Short Story Month. We’ve asked a diverse group of readers and writers to participate by sharing a short story that demands to be read. Today’s blog post comes from intern Daniel Miller. 

In today’s literary world a reader of contemporary fiction can find at a moment’s notice apiece of post-modernism meant to confuse.  The idea has been done.  And done.  And done.  Ben Loory’s The TV is an example of how the aforementioned idea can feel new and exciting.  More impressively, Loory does so in fewer than 3,700 words.  The story first appeared in The New Yorker and was shortlisted in Best American Short Stories.

The TV simultaneously feels familiar and constantly forces the reader to question what is and isn’t real within the narrative.  In a New Yorker interview Loory claims that there was no allegory in mind while he wrote the story.  Regardless, it isn’t hard to suggest that a commentary exists beneath the plot.  Whether Loory intended this commentary or simply wanted to melt every brain that would come into contact with The TV, the story is wildly entertaining.

Daniel Miller is an Undergraduate English major at the University of Missouri and an intern at The Missouri Review.