Posted in Short Stories

W. E. B. DuBois: On Being Crazy

Deal Me In 2021 – Week 7

W. E. B. DuBois’ short story “On Being Crazy” is very short – about two pages. It’s written somewhat like a fable in that the same situation occurs over and over to the protagonist in varying settings – the same situation occurring to the protagonist with varying characters.

DuBois also reminds me of Mark Twain. An underlying humor exists with the protagonist being a fictional version of the author with varying conversations like this one set at a restaurant:

‘Sir,’ said he, ‘do you wish to force your company on those who do not want you?’

No, said I, I wish to eat.

At the same time, DuBois forces certain social issues that Twain seemed to just touch on.

“On Being Crazy” is included in Black American Short Stories: A Century of the Best edited by John Henrik Clarke. I read it when I selected Four of Diamonds for Week 7 of my Deal Me In 2021 short story project. Check out my Deal Me In list here. Deal Me In is sponsored by Jay at Bibliophilopolis.

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