Even a consistently strong collection can turn up stories that stick less successfully in the mind than others. I imagine this is even more true when there's a repeated theme, so that some story can give the impression of being a minor variation of the other similarly themed stories. I would have to say that about about "Bolso de viajes cortos" which returns to the theme of solitude and coming to terms with the past. I read it a few days ago, and when I went to write about it today, I could not remember a thing. Scanning it over, it mostly came back to me. It's a story about a man who chooses a solitary wandering life as a reaction to memories he can't let go off. I don't remember it being a bad story, but it did get a little lost among similar stories.
"La vieja inocencia" did leave a stronger impression. It's a letter being written by an octogenarian to the woman he lost his virginity to, and has a strong sense of wistful reminiscence, capturing the sense of innocence of that first encounter. (The title translates as "The old innocence.")
Donald Hall (1928-2018)
3 weeks ago