Wednesday, July 16, 2014

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MARK SHORT STORY REVIEW

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MARK SHORT STORY REVIEW - This is an extremely short story, at barely two pages in length. I find a relationship in that the further an author pushes into experimental form, the shorter a story needs to be, to keep readers engaged in the story arc. Similar to “Father’s Great Escape”, “The Gospel According to Mark” (by Jorge Luis Borges) succeeds as such. Because the author gets in and gets out, quickly. This avoids any possibility of allowing readers spotting the upcoming twist ending (which I won’t give away here). Thus, when an aimless medical student goes to stay at a ranch, he becomes trapped indoors by a flood. Alongside an illiterate farm family, that works the land as ranch hands. They are in awe of the young man because he reads passages to them from an old notated family Bible. In the final sequence, the father asks him if Christ let Himself be killed to save all men. The young man says, “Yes, to save everyone from Hell.” They mock him, spit on him and shove him, into the back part of the house. The girl weeps (he has had sex with the ranch hand’s daughter but vows to deny it) because she knows what’s waiting for him, on the other side of the door. The story touches on themes of crucifixion (with several deliberate references to Christ, it’s no coincidence), salvation and earthly pleasures. I feel that the author is also sending a clear message about class. Specifically (I imagine), the treatment of common laborers in relation to the upper echelon, in Latin America, if not as a comment on the world at large. 

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