Short story: “Xingu”

by look i have opinions

“Xingu,” by Edith Wharton

Collected in Xingu and Other Stories; read online here or at Google Books or at Globusz, or listen here or here

8,774 words

A delicious story. It’s oddly slow-moving, the revelation being delayed until 1,865 words into the third and final section, but I suppose it would be a shame to cut anything. Every line is a good line and a lot of the delight comes from the amount of time spent discussing Xingu before anyone asks the obvious. The pointlessness and intellectual pretensions of the Lunch Club remind me, not too painfully, of this blog and others like it.

As a side note, I love the names. Mrs. Leveret is as timid as a baby hare. Mrs. Plinth is insufferably proud of her art collection. I’m not even sure what kind of name “Osric Dane” is—it makes me think of Ayn Rand, haughty, artificial-sounding, and somewhat androgynous.