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I felt it was of some importance to explore Edith Pearlman’s “Binocular Vision” considering that it is the title piece in the collection.  On a base level this seems particularly apt as the story itself explores the complicated relationships between adults, mirroring much of what Pearlman’s short stories on a whole emulate. Again, as the title piece it seemed prudent to explore the effectiveness of this piece.

While “Binocular Vision” cannot be classified as my favorite story in the collection, I think it does do a wonderful job of conveying a significant amount of emotion in the short amount of time the piece takes place. The use of a present reflection upon the past seemed particularly well timed, as it really emphasized the childish understanding of the narrator regarding the relationship between Al and his mother. Pearlman’s ability to relay the complex dynamics between the two members of this apartment without simply handing it to the reader is especially well done as well. For example, in the moment where the narrator watches Al pull up to his garage, there is an incredible amount of tension and tiredness in how the character performs this simple task.

Mr. Simon, a tall man, would unfold from his automobile. He’d pass a hand over his gray hair, raise the door of the garage, get back into the car, and drive it into the garage. He usually sat there for a while, giving me the chance to inspect his license plate, which had three numbers and two letters.

Again, this is a well-written moment in that through the subtle gesture of passing his hand over his gray hair and lingering in the car, Pearlman is able to demonstrate the actions of a man who is unhappy. These instants are small in relation to the entirety of the story, but loud and bursting with the complicated details of quiet moments.

Circling back to an earlier statement, it was interesting that Pearlman decided to place this in a present voice relaying some childhood fascination. I’m not entirely certain if this was an attempt to further emphasis that the relationship between the two is something that could only be understood by an adult, and not by a child, however it provided a strange and removed voice to a subject that is very personal.

On a whole, I felt this piece was well done and fitting as the tile piece for Pearlman’s collection.

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