“In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson Is Buried” originally appeared in TriQuarterly magazine in It was reprinted in Editors’ Choice: New American Stories. Annotations of “In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson is Buried”. NC. Nicholas Cato. Updated 27 March Transcript. And fear Mirror Theory: Mirrors allow us to . “In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson Is Buried” is a short fiction story by author Amy Hempel. It was first published in TriQuarterly magazine in , reprinted in.

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In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson Is Buried |

The friends confront imminent death and loss in the tone that has characterized their relationship since college cemwtery, which seem not to be very far behind them. The patient may then become angry, resenting others who enjoy good health and blaming doctors and relatives for their inability to help. The only fear that she admits to having is a fear of flying. Originally published in TriQuarterly. However, her fear of death permeates her actions and thoughts while with her friend.

Do not care about things or people or jooson or lies, because it is all going to disappear someday and the caring will make it painful.

In the Cemetery where Al Jolson is Buried by Amy Hempel | Short Story Recommendation

There are no truths, there is no meaning to life, there is only death at the end, so what could possibly matter? Even though the tale does not pertain directly to her dying friend, it symbolizes how obsessed with death the narrator is. As cemeetry the useless things that she once told her friend, she makes no distinction between what is true and what is whsre, because in a postmodern philosophy one might say that postmodernism is actually a lack of any philosophy there is no difference and it does not matter.


Print this article Print all entries for this topic Cite this article. This is a work to which young adults can readily relate. Al Jolson is buried in the cemetery where the dying girl will be buried; his blackface mask may symbolize the “show” that everyone, including the doctors, is putting on.

In the former story, we suffer along with a woman visiting her best friend, who is dying of cancer, in a California hospital room. The two drift off to sleep, but the narrator joleon her friend has decorated her house in festive streamers. Alternately, the narrator uses humor as a form of denial, like when she reads an item from the newspaper about a man who robs a bank with a chicken.

The narrator remembers how she and her jolosn played a budied to ward off earthquakes.

All stories by decade. They can take your breath away, so in tune are their resolutions with everything that has gone before. Eleanor Wachtel, a noted Canadian burued, perceives. This pathetic weakness has kept her from comforting a person who is dying, a person who is supposedly her closest friend. Judy Sobeloff is a writer and educator who has won several awards for her fiction.

Why has it taken her so long to make this visit? The narrator and her friend assume the role of actors, yet their situation is real.


I told her no one in America owned a tape recorder before Bing Crosby did. Despairing postmodernism rears up in this story and answers: Sometimes a vignette is just a vignette, a sketch a sketch.

“In the Cemetery where Al Jolson is Buried”

Minimalism has its uses, and can achieve surprisingly varied effects: The truth of this trivia is not important because truth is merely an irrelevant abstraction in the face of death. Knopf Canada,pp. Limbo seems like the only honest place to be in these stories. Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

However, since many critics view the minimalist style as outdated, this has put an unfavorable spin on her work.

New story recommendations from this week. But how does this attitude ni human relationships? At its worst, minimalism is a kind of fraudulent tic that serves to hide a vacuum or defend against feeling. This, in fact, becomes all she can do, the only way she can think. A difference in this collection, though, is the occasional presence of an authorial intrusion, an attribute generally not associated with minimalism.

Most of the stories in Reasons to Live open after a crisis to find the narrator standing, shell-shocked, amidst the rubble of her life. Or, at least, it must not be so hard to face. He looked at his injured arm, slashed to the bone, and died of fright.