The Speed of Stopping was chosen as Longform’s Fiction Pick of the Week.
I wrote in my journal, after this bit of recognition:
How does it feel to have readers like to read it?
It’s a feeling I think I’ll milk for awhile. (And enjoy later, over a glass of wine. I know it’s going to be something Rhône, something Red and something I share with my darling husband.)
3 thoughts on “Longform Fiction Pick of the Week”
Ms. Barth, Enjoyed your Longform linked short story, “The Speed of Stopping”, quite a bit. Just curious as to why you picked Croatia as the location for all the main character’s ruminating. Being born in Zagreb, I would understand the choice; overrun with cafes and 2-3 hour coffee sittings, rumination is a natural byproduct. But, you? How did you choose? Thanks.
Thanks for reading!
I picked Croatia for the same reason I chose to write about a physicist — because I was interested. I’ve never been to Croatia (and I’ve not studied physics), but I’ve always wanted to learn more (and hopefully see the place someday). Writing to learn, I suppose… getting to know the details and think like a person that is in the experience is such a joy. Did I get it right, is a Croatian lake a good place to think?
Thanks for your comment!
Croatia is an odd country. It is associated with water, lots of it. But the majority of the water is by the Adriatic Sea. Lake-wise, the majority are artificially created by dams or flow-throughs. Fishing of the pensive kind is mainly done in the Adriatic or on the rivers. Ownership wise, there are no private lakes (as you’d referred to in the story) as the laws limit ownership of bodies of water only to small ponds.
To your question, for the sake of the story, a Croatian lake, like most calm bodies of water elsewhere, is a fine place to think. For the sake of accuracy, a Croatian lake is probably not a place for a pensive moment or two.
I do hope that you get a chance to go to Croatia. For a dinky sized place, it has an amazing amount of eye candy to take in. Summer season of May 30 through Sept 15 is not recommended as the tourist floods roil the quiet waters of personal reflection. Mid Sept to mid Oct is great. Adriatic is still relatively warm. Major highways are not jammed up. The natives return to their natural state of fjaka (http://pertinentverge.blogspot.com/2006/08/fjaka.html) and tend to be more relaxed and hospitable with non-natives.
Anyway, lake or river or sea, the strength of the story comes through.