G.-O. Châteaureynaud in Subtropics 22!

December 1st, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

Subtropics 22 cover001

The latest issue of the University of Florida’s literary journal, Subtropics (Fall-Winter 2016), features Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud at the top of his form with “The Fatted and the Fleshless,” a savage and surprisingly contemporary parable of job insecurity and fine dining. Foodies and destitution: call it socialist, with some Christian communion thrown in for good measure, and a timely reminder that the poor are always with us. Subtropics welcomes Châteaureynaud back after his story “Final Residence” in issue 14 (Spring/Summer 2012).

Here’s an excerpt from the story:

I was lucky enough to find a job fairly soon after suffering a sudden layoff. I had to move, but I made up my mind to do so without looking back. It would have been hard to imagine anyone more available than I was. In order to seize the opportunity I’d been offered, I would have relocated to the other side of the planet. As for the job itself, well, I’d worked in fulfillment before. Names to memorize, slips and forms to process: nothing to worry about there.

My belongings all fit inside a minivan. I’d never owned much anyway, besides a few hardwood odds and ends, some worn-out clothes, and some books. Intoxicated with freedom, I left most of these behind, not really wanting to encumber my future apartment in a brand-new building with the bric-a-brac of my former life. I moved in one spring afternoon. By four o’clock I’d settled in, at home among my bare necessities. My studio seemed all the more spacious for being almost empty. I enjoyed the sobriety of the bare walls, the light that bathed them through the still curtainless window. I was to take up my post the next day. I seized upon the remains of the day to scout out the warehouse where I’d be working on the office side of things. Even in this modest position, I counted as white-collar. The actual substance of the merchandise did not concern me. I would not have to know anything about it but reference numbers and destinations. I was satisfied, even delighted, with being but a tiny cog in a vast machine. After the disarray in which my layoff had left me, I’d now rejoined the ranks of the elect.



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