a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)
|An engineer is inspired by a passing truck from "Euclid's Dry Cleaning" to apply geometric principles to his own marital problems. He finds that interpreting his family as a triangle has the advantage of making things less confusing and emotional. Or, at least, it makes them seem less confusing and emotional, and he does not seem to care whether there is a difference. Encouraged by this "success", he begins to rely on geometry whenever things become unpleasant or (as they eventually do) tragic.
This story appears in the Pulitzer Prize winning collection "The Stories of John
Cheever" and was published originally in The Saturday Evening Post Jan 1 1966. A scan of the original SEP version is presently available for free at saturdayeveningpost.com.
Update January 2020: Robert Haas has published an analysis of this story in the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics. You can read Haas' article, which focuses on the relationship between this story and Cheever's own life, here.
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(Maintained by Alex Kasman,
College of Charleston)