Andalusian Dogging by Erik Verhaar, translated by Jonathan Ellis / The Reception Game / 2013 / 17 pages
In Erik Verhaar’s short story, inspired by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali’s 1929 film An Andalusian Dog (Un Chien Andalou), the film itself becomes a character.
An Andalusian Dog bumps into this story’s narrator on the street:
“I felt his fingers tap my shoulder. I turned my head and saw his hand and arm hovering above my shoulder; and on that arm and hand the flickering light of old black and white images. I looked at the man standing next to me: exactly the same images were projected on his body as when I saw him first. Next to me stood An Andalusian Dog.”
Looking across a table at An Andalusian Dog in a dark, dilapidated bar, the protagonist reconsiders him – and his own perceptions. The ways they play off each other. And – what separates them. An Andalusian Dog challenges, plays sly games. He has expectations, a certain sadness, impatience, & all the time in the world. As the protagonist steps deeply, once again, into to An Andalusian Dog’s world, forgotten images, buried realizations emerge. Lines blur & come into focus.
The story is dreamlike, almost happens outside of time. With each look, something else comes to light, fades, is remembered or lost. Like shot silk, its reality shifts and changes depending on the angle from which it’s experienced.
Erik Verhaar’s story is worthy of, and the perfect companion to, its inspiration. Andalusian Dogging is a surrealist gem.