Having published one hundred and sixteen stories in The New Yorker, Mavis Gallant’s regular readers would have had to wait from April 15 until July 8 in 1985, to learn how life has been for the Carette sisters.
The story opens like this: “The family’s experience of Raymond was like a long railway journey with a constantly shifting point of view.”
Directly, readers are reminded of how differently Raymond’s mother and aunt view a journey, how differently time moves for them, being of another generation.
Indirectly, readers are reminded of how differently one views a single character’s experience from not only a different vantage of time in relationship to other characters, but from the shifting points of view between those characters’ author and that author’s readers.
The next paragraph begins like this: “To make a short story shorter….” But that’s not how readers will experience this story, not that shorter short story, simply a short story. And, so, we readers are reminded that this is only one version of the Carette family’s story.