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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Out With The Old

Building Seven, the TB building, had grown aloof from the rest of Mulloy Veterans’ Hospital in the five years since the war. It lay less than fifty yards from Building Six, the paraplegic building – they faced the same flagpole of the same windswept Long Island plain – but there had been no neighbourliness between them since the summer of 1948, when the paraplegics got up a petition demanding that the TB’s be made to stay on their own lawn. This had caused a good deal of resentment at the time (“Those paraplegic bastards think they own the goddam place”), but it had long since ceased to matter very much; nor did it matter that nobody from Building Seven was allowed in the hospital canteen unless he hid his face in a sterile paper mask.

Extract, the first paragraph from a story, Out With The Old by Richard Yates, from his collection, Eleven Kinds of Loneliness.

6 Responses to “Out With The Old”

  1. Lily says:

    wonderful opening paragraph! And what a terrific title to a story collection. Thank you for this excerpt, John.

    jb says: I’m just passing things on, Lily. Don’t want to be a horder.

  2. Chicago Matresses says:

    nice post, yates is something special, i think more people should check him out.

  3. dewitt henry says:

    This is vintage Yates irony: the halt condescending to the lame.

    jb says: Yes, much of why we’re drawn back to him time and time again is conained in this little passage.

  4. Rachel says:

    Hullo, found you via Jim – wanted to leave a comment but then the ludicrous phrase ‘legs eleven’ popped into my head. Will amble off until my brain is in a more suitably reflective mood.

  5. Roland says:

    People notice often that Yates wrote many stories settlet in the same location (the TB ward), but I don’t think so. “No Pain Whatsoever” and “Out with the Old” both take place in the TB, but they are very different stories.

  6. Bredbånd says:

    Seemed to me like a real serious and quite a long gap between building seven and building six. I hope things will patch up between the two.