Feb 4, 2022 • 4M

Outside

This Week: Alphabet Audio Soup seasoned with a little COVID

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Etgar Keret
Listen to the author read his stories in a strange foreign accent
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I wrote the story “Outside” after the first Covid lockdown. While I was quarantined, I couldn’t stop fantasizing about my emotional return to the warm embrace of human society. But my actual reunion with humankind was a lot more overwhelming, clammy and disorienting than I’d pictured it. “Outside” was first published in New York Times Magazine’s “Decameron Project,” and later made into a dance video I created with my friend, the brilliant choreographer Inbal Pinto. The video was shot in between lockdowns and broadcast all over the world, in public spaces that had become semi-deserted overnight, like Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo and Times Square in New York City. Because the story was written in the Covid era, with its absence of live literary events, I’ve hardly ever had a chance to read it to an audience.

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Photo by Lior Susana
Translated by Jessica Cohen

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