So last week (1/10) I wrote about discovering that a story I wrote a lifetime ago was being read in a high school class in Denmark.
Now I’ve heard back from the teacher:
How strange that I should receive an email from you. Yes, I can understand that you must have been surprised to see your story as part of a Danish final year in advanced English curriculum Way back I attended a university course at South Danish University about
short stories. Your text was there among many others. I got hold of The Quarterly where it was printed and I have used it many times in various contexts. Both when the theme was “Man and Nature” and as an example of a postmodern text. It must have touched a special nerve in me, the description of the good dog that gradually turns brutal, wild, and repulsive. Also the beginning with the allusion to the retarded, not-so-charming looking sibling in the smiling family photo, I have always found full of teaching possibilities.
So the fact that I have not grown tired of it is a sign that it is a very good story, indeed. I will keep your letter and read it to my English class. They will enjoy imagining their 60- year-old teacher as a backpacker, picking up a weatherbeaten short story somewhere far away from Odense.
I’m going to work on a story about this. Next week’s topic at The Moth (www.themoth.com) is going to be HOPE. So I’m going to tell a story for everyone out there who’s waiting to hear back about that manuscript, hoping that the boss will say a kind word, waiting for some sign that the lover appreciates you or that your familly “gets” you, or that the work you do every day actually has some meaning. Because all this time I’m thinking I’m obscure, I’m being read in Denmark. How fucking cool is that!