Short story: “The Ghost’s Preface”

by look i have opinions

“The Ghost’s Preface,” by Kamel Daoud, translated by John Cullen

Appeared in Ploughshares Volume 42, Number 2, Summer 2016; available on Project MUSE

Roughly 12 pages?

I wonder if this is really a story about failure—to coin a tag, a failure of human connection. The cruelty of the narrator never gets answered or punished in any definite way, but he is haunted by an unhappiness that tastes a lot like guilt. He can neither control nor overwrite the “book” he despises so much.