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the weekend read

Woody Allen Addresses the Perils of Lusty Time Travel

Every Friday Vulture finds a great story that's a little too long to read on the computer screen. Fiction, long-form narrative journalism, epic blog sagas — any of these could be your Weekend Read. Print it out on the office printer, smuggle it home, and curl up with it after brunch.

Mere Anarchy, Woody Allen's first collection of short stories in 25 years, hits stores this week, but you can be forgiven if you're hesitant to part ways with your hard-earned cash just yet. In honor of the nebbishy wordsmith's latest effort, we present Allen's short story "The Kugelmass Episode," which won the coveted O. Henry Award in 1978. The light-fantastical tale chronicles the mishaps of a man named Kugelmass who kicks off a real-time love affair with Madame Bovary with the aid of a time-traveling box created by a magician named Persky the Great.

"You're sure this is safe?" Kugelmass asks, with trepidation. "Safe. Is anything safe in this crazy world?" responds Persky, a question that will resonate with readers today just as it did, somewhat famously, back then. And to those still utterly convinced that they're not Woody Allen fans, we can only say: If you've only seen his movies, you only know half the story.

"The Kugelmass Episode" [Woody Allen Fan Site]

Related: You Were Expecting Maybe Tragedy? [NYT]