During Paris in July 2015 I read my first work by Marcel Aymé, his very famous short story, "The Man Who Could Walk Through Walls". Earlier this year I read, but did not post upon, another wonderful short story from the same collection, "Sabine Wives". His stories are not easy to classify, there are elements of Surralism and Science Fiction but over all I think most would see them as in the tradition of Magic Realism.
"The Problem of Summer Time" is set in Paris in 1943, the city is occupied by the Germans. Whatever his politics were, the narrator like everyone else in Paris keeps wishing time will speed forward and let these bad times be over. One day the narrator wakes up and the Germans are gone. It is 1959, his wife is 16 years older and he has also aged, he lives in a place he does not recognize and strangest of all he has a ten year old son and eight year old daughter he does not know anything about. No one but him seems to notice anything odd or sense the missing years. Soon he begins to seemingly travel back and forth between times. He is not sure if this is real, it certainly is depicted as so, or a wish fulfillment based delusion.
This is a very well done story. Anyone who has ever wished for something to be over can relate to the elegant narration.
My posts so far for Paris in July, 2016
1. The Dogs and the Wolves by Iréne Nemirovsky
2. Mavis Gallant - Two Set in Paris works, a short story and a note book entry
3. Five Nights in Paris by John Baxter.
4. The Little Paris Book Store by Nina George
5. "The Problem of Summer Time" by Marcel Ayme
There are a number of other stories in the Pushkin collection, I hope to once again post on Ayme during Paris in July 2017.