‘Pale Horse, Pale Rider’ by Katherine Anne Porter
I’ve never agreed with the idea that it’s tedious to hear about other people’s dreams. What could be more interesting than a view into someone’s unconscious? Much of this story, from Porter’s three-part meditation on mortality, comes from the fever dreams of Miranda, a theater critic for a newspaper who nearly dies of Spanish influenza. There’s nothing dull about the way Porter takes us deep into Miranda’s psyche as it brushes up against oblivion. And it’s no wonder Miranda is tempted to remain there, motionless and truly at peace, when the world outside churns with the chaos and grief of dual crises: a world war and a plague.
From Pale Horse, Pale Rider, Harcourt Brace, 1939