Tag Archives: Stories

All Out of Proportion: Alice Munro’s “Leaving Maverley”

Charles May’s recent blog post (Part One) comparing Margaret Atwood’s “Stone Mattress” and Alice Munro’s “Leaving Maverley” had me trying once again to find something I like about an Alice Munro short story.  I enjoyed “Stone Mattress.”  I have yet … Continue reading

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Femme Fatale on a Cold, Hard Bed: Margaret Atwood’s “Stone Mattress”

I was introduced to Margaret Atwood’s writing a few years ago in a class called “Novel Form, Style and Structure.” Novel survey classes never give one the time to think very deeply about a text; and I’d been completely entranced … Continue reading

Posted in New Yorker Stories, Reading, Stories | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Robert Coover’s “Matinée”: Projection, Distortion, and Just Maybe, Infection

This morning (with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony spilling out of my desktop MP3 player, because the Wagner was interesting but when it’s playing I can’t think), I’m sipping at a cooling cup of coffee and trying to decide whether or not I liked … Continue reading

Posted in Leo Tolstoy, Literary Criticism, Reading, Stories | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Torment and Ecstasy, Pleasure and Punishment: Reading Pushkin’s “Prisoner of the Caucasus”

Last week I read several fables and tales from a large number that Tolstoy compiled to use in teaching his serfs to read.  Although they’re not exactly “short stories” in a modern  sense, they were a delightful way to ease … Continue reading

Posted in Aleksandr Pushkin, Leo Tolstoy, Quest, Reading, Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Information vs. Storytelling: What We Know, and What We Want

I love bumblebees.   But last weekend, on the first day of Cub Scout camp, one crawled into a fold of the beach towel I’d tossed on the poolside grass before I took the mandatory swim test.  After a refreshing swim, unaware of my … Continue reading

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The Danger of the Campfire Story

Today, The Reading Ape posted a provocative question about the potential dangers of storytelling.  At what point does a story become harmful?  Why do we read memoirs like Jayce Lee Dugard’s A Stolen Life:  A Memoir?  Are there stories that shouldn’t … Continue reading

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Complicity and Shame: Ann Pancake’s “Arsonists”

Ann Pancake’s “Arsonists” was a story that made me work for it.  I had to read it four times, copy chunks of the text into my dual-entry journal, then go back over my journal entries with two colors of highlighter … Continue reading

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