Is that the one that takes place aboard a doomed cruise ship?" "No, it’s a stories-within-stories kind of thing." "I don’t think I’d like it. I’m more straightforward than that." "Well, all right."Matinée" by Robert Coover in New Yorker (must be a subscriber)
I’m finishing up a collection of short stories. They are all linked by the fact that I wrote them. That’s the gimmick, the hook.
Best possible gimmick.
(via mcnallyjackson)Peter W. Knox
When we say that we love a writer’s work, we are always stretching the truth: what we really mean is that we love about half of it. Sometimes rather more than half, sometimes rather less.Don DeLillo’s “The Angel Esmeralda: Nine Stories” : The New Yorker (via Kyle Minor)
Like a lot of ambitious TV, it has been a magnet for a small, oddball cadre of viewers, the ones who analyze comic beats in the manner of Talmudic scholars, wear T-shirts with slogans that only the elect will understand, and criticize tiny flaws in a thread that goes a thousand comments deep. The show succeeded. It found us. There just weren’t a lot of us. (via Culture Desk: “Community” Had Low Ratings. So What? : The New Yorker)
I love Clowes’ NYer covers.
Fantagraphics Books Inc.
I really don’t know if Maya has fallen out of love with her husband or is just afraid that she has, or, maybe, is actually afraid that her husband has stopped loving her. I don’t know that because Maya herself doesn’t. If she knew herself and her feelings so well, I believe she would have chosen a more pragmatic hobby than writing.The Book Bench: This Week in Fiction: Etgar Keret : The New Yorker
But he did sternly forbid us two exercises: we were not to try under any circumstances to discover the true name of the Lord; we were not to think about the problem of infinity. It is unlikely that I would have done much speculation in either of these areas if I had not been so explicitly forbidden."Point of the Needle," S. N. Behrman (The New Yorker, June 5, 1954)
Second person, I’ve always noticed, has the distinction of being both intimate and repellent at the same time. A quick way of drawing the reader close but also hard to sustain for any length of time. Only so much a person likes being addressed as “you” by a complete stranger. I knew I’d lose people with the approach, but I was going to lose people anyway. That’s the nature of fiction: despite all our lofty claims of universality, no piece of art is for everyone
Junot Diaz should practically be required reading for short story month.