Short Story #69: Week-End at Cwm Tatws by Robert Graves

Title:  Week-End at Cwm Tatws

Author:  Robert Graves


Robert Graves - The Shout and Other Stories
The narrator starts by explaining that this whole story is just an explanation to the real story, the beautiful woman he met.  He was visiting Cwm Tatws for a fishing expedition and after a day of fishing, decided to get his tooth looked at that was significantly hurting him.  He went to the local dentist who happened to be open but the dentist couldn't really do much since his arm was broken and it was the arm that he used.  The dentist refers to to Mr. Van der Pant, the elderly man whom the dentist had bought the practice from many years ago.  The narrator finds the elderly man who agrees to help him out.  He puts the narrator in the chair and examines the narrator.  He agrees that the tooth needs work but since he doesn't have the up-to-date tools, the work is going to be quite challenging.  So he wires open the narrator's mouth and also restrains him to the chair.  Then he begins to work on the narrator when the old man dies and collapses on the narrator.  Several days later, the great grand-niece of the dentist checks in and finds the narrator with the stiff corpse on him.  This is the woman whom he really wants to talk about but the story ends.


I liked this story because it was very much a story about telling stories.  The narrator had many sentences that were incomplete but did not necessarily need completion; you essentially knew what would likely follow.  Graves' captures the nowhere town by using double names for the characters (Griffith Griffiths, Owen Owens etc) and speaking to little details.  But most amusing are the ways his character seems to gallivant through the story.  And, it was only after I wrote about this story that I finally got the title.  The town title is such something that might sound like someone whose mouth is wired open like the narrator's.  

Short Story #69 out of 365
Rating: 4 (out of 5 stars)
Date Read:  3/8/2014
Source:  The Shout and Other Stories by Robert Graves.

For a full listing of all the short stories in this series, check out the category 365 Short Stories a year.

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