Style and Technique

(Comprehensive Guide to Short Stories, Critical Edition)

“Ind Aff” is a first-person narrative that tells what happens and what is said during the last hour or so of a love affair. The narrator, who tells about her experience some time after it occurred, guides the reader through the essentials of the situation and of her own gradual understanding of it. Her manner is straightforward and barely ironic, but the reader soon knows that the story is not going to be so much about the end of love as about the beginning of self-awareness. In fact, especially near the beginning of the story, the narrator lets the reader anticipate what she herself does not yet seem to have grasped.

The description of the rainy scene near the Princip Bridge underscores the lovers’ disappointment with the bad weather that has spoiled their plans. Although the narrator is not explicit on this point, the reader can attribute Peter’s bad mood not so much to the missed idyll in the country as to the effect of the bad weather on Peter’s own physique and psyche (he is, after all, in his forties). The reader might even think of the persistent rain as the cause of the end of the affair, which, as it turns out, is an arrangement that cannot be sustained in stormy circumstances.

As they wait for their dinner, the narrator attempts to give some content to their conversational exchanges by talking about the site near the Princip Bridge they had visited earlier and what had occurred there. There is a noticeable gap between the momentous historical events she wants to talk about and Peter’s banal preoccupation with...

(The entire section is 636 words.)