Monday, October 04, 2004

Short stories

I can't believe that none of you lame-os had a thing to say about the debate.

Though it matters less, I think the vice presidential debate tomorrow should be very interesting, and much closer than the first presidential debate last week. I expect that both Edwards and Cheney will play the age card in different ways.

On to other things:

I've finally moved to reading Oblivion, the recent David Foster Wallace collection of short stories that I bought when it first came out. I'm only a story and a half in. So far I'm enjoying the second story more than the first, but my overall impression of both is that he's done it better elsewhere, where "it" is the same ol' same ol' story technique.

I've been thinking lately about writing and genres, and in particular about short stories and who's written them better than most anyone else. I keep coming back to William Trevor. If you haven't read his short stories you really ought to. For twentieth century stories I put him up there with Flannery O'Connor and James Joyce. And Joyce possibly aside, it's remarkable how much better they are writing short stories than they are with longer forms. O'Connor and Trevor have both written solid novels, but their short stories are transcendant.

If the debates failed to elicit a response from you, dear reader(s), I can only imagine how a post on writing and genre is going to do.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had plenty to say about the debate (best line: K, "I acknowledge his daughters", second-best line: B, "What's he say to Alexander Kwasniewski of Poland?"), but I'm still lurking in the corner. I don't wish to give up my air of mysterious mystery.

3:07 PM  

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