A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library
There was nothing to distinguish it from the two hundred other carts that belonged to that enormous supermarket, the biggest and busiest in the neighborhood. Except that the cart I’m referring to was the only one that moved on its own.
A simple plot synopsis of “The Cart” would make it seem pretty silly—and, of course, it is. Replace the car in Stephen King’s Christine with a shopping cart and what you get is pretty silly, right? But César Aira also constructs something really fascinating in these 3 pages. We meet a curious shopping cart, visit a supermarket in the wee shelf-stocking hours, question our narrator’s sanity, and learn a little about his writing process too. Somehow it all builds up to a kind of punchline that is both funny and chilling.
Well worth the few minutes it takes to read. My favorite new story so far this year.
Review by Matthew