Mangum Reads – Episode 3: Unzipping and Pipes – Etgar Keret

September 12, 2018 by Mangum Reads

We take a small departure from fantasy and sci-fi for some interesting fiction by Israeli author Etgar Keret.

Up next: Guards! Guards by Terry Pratchett


  • Breanna says:

    Great episode guys!
    I loved the perspectives on “Unzipping”, particularly as I hadn’t examined it so much in the light of ‘choosing to abandon your old persona’, as Ella is clearly debating at the end of the story. For me, this was a story also about what transformations you might undergo in a relationship. I think the unzipping turning point, where Jurgen is revealed, is similar to many stories of abusive relationships. “She was never like that when we were dating” or “He was always so charming until we moved in together/got married/etc”. Once you reach that crucial unzipping point, and the true person is revealed, there’s no going back. I think the fact that the story starts with the prick from the zipper is indicative of the true person lurking just beneath the surface all the time, and if you are perceptive, you’ll be able to see the red flags while dating (here, Tsiki was ‘hiding something’). It’s also interesting to me that Ella is written as the instigator of the transformation. I wonder if she feels guilt about that? And if that is why she thinks she is the cause for Jurgen’s appearance? In fact, the unzipping might have happened regardless of her actions.
    A last thought: I think it’s curious that the story begins and ends with pain – a lip prick and a tattoo – as well as classic romantic ideas – a kiss and a rose.
    If you do more short stories, I’d like to offer a suggestion of George Saunders’ “The Semplica-Girl Diaries”. I think it’s a great commentary on some pertinent societal issues.

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