The Swimmer


"The Swimmer", a short story by American author John Cheever, was originally published in The New Yorker on July 18, 1964,[1] and then in the 1964 short story collection, The Brigadier and the Golf Widow. Originally conceived as a novel and pared down from over 150 pages of notes, it is probably Cheever's most famous and frequently anthologized story. At one point Cheever wanted to parallel the tale of Narcissus, a character in Greek mythology who died while staring at his own reflection in a pool of water, which Cheever dismissed as too restrictive. As published, the story is highly praised for its blend of realism and surrealism, the thematic exploration of suburban America, especially the relationship between wealth and happiness, as well as his use of myth and symbolism.

In 1968, "The Swimmer" was adapted into a film with the same name, starring Burt Lancaster.

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