All The Good Stories Suck

Ernest Hemingway Fishing Michigan Trout Image

I was catching up on MPR Midmorning podcasts recently and they were talking literature…can’t remember precisely what literature but that’s beside the point.

Some guy called in to complain that his high school lit teachers were always pushing books that were so depressing. If they’d assigned more uplifting stories, he argued, English classes might’ve been more interesting.

It sorta gave him the feeling that his teachers were trying to push some kind of agenda.

Yeah, that’s right, high school English teachers are secretly plotting to force depression on our children.

What the guy clearly never grasped was the fact that the vast majority of the really, really good stories are downers.

Think of all the literature you’ve read and list on one hand the uplifting stories and on the other the depressing stories. I’ve done this exercise many times (because I”ve made this argument many times) and the only uplifting example I can ever think of is E.M. Forster‘s A Room with a View, and that’s not even nearly his best work.

Ernest Hemingway–one of my favorite authors–was plagued by depression (and committed suicide himself), so perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that his work reflects that tone. Yet though such masterpieces as The Sun Also Rises and Old Man And The Sea are decidedly not uplifting, I’ll take the insight they provide into the proverbial human condition any day of the week.

If you pay close attention to most Hollywood movies, you’ll notice that most of them have a happy ending tacked onto the end.

The hero comes back from seeming death.

The guy gets the girl.

Love is requited.

But those endings don’t feel right because they are not the natural ending of the story. All the good stories suck because they’re real, because they reflect life; and in real life, the hero often dies, the guy often doesn’t get the girl, and love remains unrequited.

Crave At The Galleria In Edina

Crave Menu

I finally got around to trying out Crave. I know I’m late to the game but now I can see what I was missing.

I visited the Crave at The Galleria in Edina on Friday night about 6 p.m., so I got in just before the dinner rush began. We were seated quickly and courteously and escorted to the back dining area, a well-lit room due to the floor-to-ceiling windows. There was a fire crackling in the fireplace at one end of the room. The fire, the lighting, and the uncluttered solid wood tables contributed to an ambiance of comfort and elegance.

We had yam and beet chips for an appetizer and I was surprised to learn that they are delicious…just something about the word “yam” that has always struck me as inedible-sounding.

I had a gin and tonic for a cocktail because most places don’t know how to make a good gin and tonic. The waitress asked what kind of gin I wanted. Sapphire. The trick to a good gin and tonic is 1) using good gin, 2) going easy but not too easy on the gin, and 3) a tall glass. Crave got everything right but the tall glass. It was wonderful.

For my entree I chose the Roasted Chicken & Penne, made with roasted red pepper, kalamata olives, Donnay Farms goat cheese, and organic basil. I wasn’t too hungry so I chose the small size. The meal arrived served in a tilted bowl and proved delicious, as they mixed the aforementioned ingredients with shaved garlic and topped it off with a sprinkle of pine nuts.

I was full by the end of the meal; the small portion proved more than enough. The prices are a little on the steep side but the food is well worth the extra dinero. The chocolate-covered raspberries from nearby Bissinger’s were the perfect desert.

I’ll  be back.

Crave at The Galleria
3520 W. 70th Street, Edina, MN 55435
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