HOT ICE DYBEK PDF

As is typical of much of his work, Dybek mixes realism with fantasy to create a specific sense of place. At the center of the story is an urban legend about a girl who was drowned in a lake in the nearby park decades earlier and then frozen in the local ice house and the miracles that people around the neighborhood attribute to her. Her story affects the lives of three young men: Pancho, who is fanatically religious to the point of mental instability; his brother Manny, the cynic; and Eddie, who feels both the weight of tradition and the struggle to live a good life in a harsh environment. As they move through their days, Dybek renders with precise clarity the details of a city in transition, mixing memories of ice delivery and sharpening carts and streetcars and riding boxcars with the oppressive, looming presence of the county jail and the boarded windows of a neighborhood that is slipping away from memory.

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As is typical of much of his work, Dybek mixes realism with fantasy to create a specific sense of place. At the center of the story is an urban legend about a girl who was drowned in a lake in the nearby park decades earlier and then frozen in the local ice house and the miracles that people around the neighborhood attribute to her.

Her story affects the lives of three young men: Pancho, who is fanatically religious to the point of mental instability; his brother Manny, the cynic; and Eddie, who feels both the weight of tradition and the struggle to live a good life in a harsh environment.

As they move through their days, Dybek renders with precise clarity the details of a city in transition, mixing memories of ice delivery and sharpening carts and streetcars and riding boxcars with the oppressive, looming presence of the county jail and the boarded windows of a neighborhood that is slipping away from memory. The story was published in Antaeus in , and the following year it was chosen for the O.

Henry Award for short fiction. It is one of four Dybek stories that have won O. Author Biography Stuart Dybek was born on April 10, into a Polish family, in a Chicago neighborhood similar to the one in this story.

He attended Catholic grammar and high schools and then enrolled at Loyola University, on the other side of the city where a more urbane culture prevailed. He was the first person in his family to go to college. His original major was pre-medicine, but he switched to English after a year.

Still, he did not think of becoming a writer. He married his wife Caryn in Thomas, Virgin Islands —a lush tropic environment that was about as far from his upbringing as he could get. He then went to Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, where he was still teaching as of In , Dybek published his first book of poetry, Brass Knuckles. His first book of short stories, Childhood and Other Neighborhoods, came out the following year and earned him much critical praise.

The Coast of Chicago, the collection from which this story comes, was published a decade later, in In , he published the story collection I Sailed with Magellan. Plot Summary Saints "Hot Ice" is divided into sections with a topic title for each.

It begins with the story of girl who had been molested then drowned in the park lagoon about thirty years earlier, during World War II. According to the story, her father found her body and traveled with it on a streetcar to an icehouse across the street from the Cook County Jail, at 26th and California, in Chicago.

The nun at the local school believes the girl should be canonized as a saint. Pancho, who has always been deeply religious, believes that she does hold magical powers, though the other two doubt the story, especially the part about her father riding on the streetcar with a dripping corpse from the lagoon. Pancho asserts his belief in modern saints, referring to Roberto Clemente, a baseball player who died in a plane crash while on his way to help earthquake victims in Amnesia The second section begins with Pancho already gone from the neighborhood and in jail.

Eddie and Manny walk through the neighborhood, as they do on most nights, to go to the Cook County Jail, where Pancho is being held for a crime that is not clearly identified in the story.

At his sentencing, the judge offered Pancho the chance to go into the military instead of going to jail, but Pancho, who has been fixated with religion since he was a little boy, laughed and sang to himself and claimed that his one goal in life was to pose for the pictures on holy cards. Manny visited him every week for three weeks, but Pancho eventually asked him to quit coming because he did not want to be reminded of the world outside.

Passing through the neighborhood, Manny and Eddie reflect on the signs of desolation: empty storefronts, wrecking balls, and railroad tracks that have been paved over. Inside, prisoners call back to them, mocking. They ask if anyone knows Pancho Santora but are told that the name is not familiar. Grief At the start of this segment, Dybek reveals that Pancho has disappeared while in jail, with no definitive explanation of where he has gone. There are dozens of theories, ranging from his having committed suicide or been murdered to his having escaped and gone to Mexico or just to the North Side of the city.

Some people claim to have seen him walking the streets or in church. He has become a legendary figure.

When the chapter opens it is Easter Week. In the months since the last chapter, Eddie Kapusta has only seen Manny Santora once, at Christmas time. They ran into each other at a bar, then walked over to the jail, where they threw snowballs at the wall. They go back to the jail, where they once had hollered up at the building when they believed that Pancho was inside. There, they shout again, but instead of joking with the inmates, Manny taunts them, calling them racial and ethnic names and reminding them that they are trapped without freedom.

When Eddie tries to stop him, he shouts louder, with worse insults, until the people inside take up a chant for him to shut up and the guards in the tower turn their searchlights on. Eddie finally persuades him to flee, and as they stand behind the icehouse across the street Manny talks about his anger toward everyone inside the jail, from the prisoners to the guards to the wall itself.

He says he is going back the next night, and Eddie goes along, afraid to let him go alone. The next night Manny again shouts obscenities at the jail until searchlights and sirens drive them away.

Hiding by the railroad tracks, Manny recalls a time when he was young, when he and some friends rode the freight train that ran on those tracks east to the lake shore. Eddie says he is not going to the jail with him again, and Manny agrees to do something else the following night.

Nostalgia On Thursday night, they take drugs and carouse the city, passing a bottle of wine between them. Eddie leads the way to a nightclub with a neon window display that he admires and explains that his hobby has always been looking at window decorations.

When they pass by an open fire hydrant, Manny says that he can smell the water of Lake Michigan coming out of it. It reminds him of when his family used to go to the lakefront at night to fish for smelt, a small silvery fish that is captured in nets by the thousands.

Since Eddie does not know about smelt, they take a bus to the lake. On the way Manny tells a story about one time when he was young and swam out away from the shore, how he wanted to keep swimming away but returned when he heard his frantic uncle calling for him. After taking amphetamines all night, they take quaaludes as the sun comes up.

Manny wants to follow a ritual that Pancho made up—going to services at seven churches on Good Friday. Eddie goes along with him, though he can hardly keep awake. While Manny goes to the front of each church to observe the service, Eddie sits in the back.

At the last one, before falling asleep, he realizes that the emptiness he has always felt is a sense of grief for the living.

Legends The final section of the story starts with the perspective of Big Antek, the neighborhood alcoholic who claims to once have been saved from freezing by the girl in ice. He has recently returned to the neighborhood after having been in the Veterans Administration hospital, and he feels that the neighborhood has changed in the weeks while he was gone. Eddie and Manny approach him, laughing and drinking and in a good mood, and offer to buy him a drink, which Antek refuses.

When they start mocking the story of the frozen girl he becomes angry. Eddie tells him that the icehouse where she is supposedly stored is slated for demolition. Having found her, Eddie and Manny decide that they cannot just leave her there. They ease the block onto an old railroad handcar that is on the track that backs up into the building and start the car in motion.

The tracks, as Manny observed earlier, go to the lakefront, and they decide to take her to the lake and set her in the water, where she will finally be released from the ice. Characters Big Antek Big Antek is a local character known throughout the neighborhood. He is an alcoholic who has worked at numerous butcher shops, cutting off fingers out of clumsiness and drunkenness until he only has a few left.

Young people like Eddie and the Santora brothers go to Antek because they know that he will buy liquor for them. When he returned home to his neighborhood he found his name included on a plaque commemorating those who had died in battle.

Some time later, when he was already solidly within his cycle of being fired for on-the-job drunkenness at butcher shops, he locked himself in the freezer of one on a Friday night and claims that he would have died if it had not been for the legendary girl drowned in the lagoon, whose body, frozen in a block of ice, was in the freezer, radiating energy that magically kept Antek alive until Monday morning.

At the end of the story, Eddie and Manny, who have been out all night, come to Antek to ask him to buy them some more alcohol. Antek convinces them to go there and try to retrieve the body. Eduardo Eddie Kapusta Eddie is one of the main characters in this story. It is through his perspective that readers are first told the story of the girl frozen in ice, with the details that Eddie remembers hearing ever since his childhood.

He is a young man of Polish descent in a neighborhood that is increasingly becoming Mexican. He is close friends with Pancho and Manny Santora. Eddie, whose last name is the Polish word for "cabbage," is characterized as an observer. While Pancho is a religious fanatic and Manny is a realist, Eddie does not have any such clear-cut perspective. Instead, he is noted for his devotion to his friends. When Manny turns angry about losing Pancho and goes to the county jail to shout obscenities at those inside, Eddie would like to stay away, but he feels obliged to go along rather than letting Manny get into trouble alone.

While they are out on the street drinking, Eddie takes Manny to see one of his favorite window displays, the neon palm tree at the Coconut Club. He explains that his hobby ever since he was young has been looking at the decorations in windows, indicating that he is more of an observer in life than a participant. While Manny attends Good Friday mass, Eddie sits in the back of the church.

It is there that he realizes that his life has been full of mourning for the living, which would account for his affection for the way the neighborhood once was but will not be any more. In the end, though, Eddie shakes off his moroseness and becomes an active participant, presumably helping Manny steal the frozen girl from the icehouse and take her to the lake, where she is set loose from the suspended animation that has held her for decades.

He is one only by contrast to his older brother Pancho, who spends his childhood fantasizing about being a religious figure. In grammar school, Manny found it difficult to deal with the nuns who considered him a disappointment after his pious brother, and so he transferred from the Catholic school to the public school , which he seldom bothered to attend.

After Pancho disappears, Manny becomes angry and abusive when he goes to the wall of the jail, shouting offensive comments that make the prisoners inside angry enough to chant in unison against him. He continues to go back, taking a chance that the guards will arrest him, until Eddie refuses to go with him, at which point he loses his anger almost immediately and gamely offers to do something else, as if he had not been full of rage just moments before.

While Eddie finds it difficult to keep up, Manny follows the ceremonies with the interest Pancho would have shown. He recalls being at the lakefront once in the middle of the night while his family was fishing for smelt.

He swam away from shore, relishing his freedom and the touch of the water, only coming back because he thinks of his uncle on the pier, desperately calling for him. His dream of escape is mirrored in the end when they leave to release the girl in ice at about the same place in the lake, giving the freedom that Manny once desired.

Pancho Santora Pancho is the oldest of the three friends who prowl around together at the beginning of this story, the older brother of Manny. He is devoutly religious and always has been, though his fascination with religion manifests itself in unique ways. As a child, he pretended to be a priest when he was playing in the back yard with the other children, which led to his nickname, Padrecito, or Little Priest.

He served as an altar boy and spent money on different colored shoes so that they would match the different colored vestments that priests wore on various feast days.

He believes in the miraculous powers of the girl in ice because he believes in miracles in general.

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‘Hot Ice’ by Stuart Dybek

As is typical of much of his work, Dybek mixes realism with fantasy to create a specific sense of place. At the center of the story is an urban legend about a girl who was drowned in a lake in the nearby park decades earlier and then frozen in the local ice house and the miracles that people around the neighborhood attribute to her. Her story affects the lives of three young men: Pancho, who is fanatically religious to the point of mental instability; his brother Manny, the cynic; and Eddie, who feels both the weight of tradition and the struggle to live a good life in a harsh environment. As they move through their days, Dybek renders with precise clarity the details of a city in transition, mixing memories of ice delivery and sharpening carts and streetcars and riding boxcars with the oppressive, looming presence of the county jail and the boarded windows of a neighborhood that is slipping away from memory. The story was published in Antaeus in , and the following year it was chosen for the O. Henry Award for short fiction.

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Everything is here — nostalgia, mystery, community, isolation, tragedy, comedy, and a bounty of beautiful symbolism. If I could figure out how Dybek did this — what magic tricks he employed to create such a masterpiece — I would be a much smarter version of myself. What I can figure out is that Dybek is about the best I know at mixing realism with symbolism. There is no denying the gritty portrait of ethnic Chicago he paints. The characters and their conversations ring true with every word.

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HOT ICE STUART DYBEK PDF

Goltilkis Mass was changed from the traditional Latin to the language of parishioners. Typically, Dybek contrasts the immigrant generation with its third generation descendants with an eye toward showing cultural transformation, or he describes the simultaneous act of acquiring and rejecting a cultural past. He is arrested on a charge that Dybek does not explain in the story, and at his trial laughs at the judge who tries offering him the option of going into the military instead of going to jail. The reader feels transported to the Chicago streets through this story. It shows you how drugs, first-world poverty and crime have affected three young men, Manny, Pancho and Eduardo while also trying to discover the truth about an old urban legend. Priests and bishops became more accessible to the people they serve, instead of being insulated in the church bureaucracy.

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