Short Story lovers discussion

Story Discussion?

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message 1: by Andy (new)

Andy | 10 comments Is anybody interested in doing a discussion of a story? Something published by an established or semi-established author, preferably available on-line, maybe like once per quarter? Once per month?

Just food for thought. There seems to be people in this group who would make for good discussion. I do a similar thing in the Constant Reader group, the discussions are usually fun and thought provoking. I would love to be involved with something similar among a different collection of people.

What do you think?

message 2: by Mosca (new)

Mosca | 9 comments A Short Story discussion sounds good!

Available on line, of course, includes all public domain works that would be available at Project Gutenberg and other such sites.

Excellent idea.

message 3: by Scott (new)

Scott E I like that idea as well.

There are many different sources online. The New Yorker puts their weekly story online each week (including quite a list of past stories) well as a number of other magazines/journals known for short stories (including Ploughshares....maybe not all of them, but certainly some).

message 4: by Mosca (new)

Mosca | 9 comments Just noticed you are asking another question also-- "..once per quarter? Once per month?"

Since this is a short story, why not once a month?

message 5: by bmcd (new)

bmcd | 3 comments I'm new here (like ten seconds new) but I'm interested (unless I'm too new to be)

message 6: by Chris (new)

Chris Antenen | 139 comments Yes, and since you suggested it and have experience with the process, Andy, why don't you start by choosing the story and the online source and see what happens. By the way, would much prefer this as being fun rather than a literary review.

message 7: by Andy (last edited Feb 15, 2009 02:51PM) (new)

Andy | 10 comments Well (clears throat, adjusts tie) I'm not actually much of an organizer, but I think I can throw out a title from the New Yorker or Ploughshares with a link and a projected start date.

I don't think this will happen today, but I will do it soon. Maybe today.

I'm not sure how one might handle this comment about being fun rather than literary. I guess we'll just pick something and see what happens?

I'll start a new thread, look for it this week. Or maybe later today.

Anybody have any suggestions for stories from NY or Ploughshares?

message 8: by bmcd (new)

bmcd | 3 comments The first short I thought of is "The Invasion From Outer Space" by Steven Millhauser from a Feb9th's NY so it's recent and also so short that it's almost a flash and further also its content might make for some good discussion.

message 9: by Scott (new)

Scott E I don't think you'll go wrong with picking from either one of those. And then we can discuss just based on what we get from it...some may comment from a more literary stance, while others may get something more personal...or anywhere in between. I think this will be pretty cool.

message 10: by Mosca (last edited Feb 15, 2009 04:23PM) (new)

Mosca | 9 comments A few observations for group discussion:

I'll bet that we would all like a variety of story writers, styles, topics, etc.

To encourage this we could rotate short story suggestions (suggestors?) with an agreed limit such as whoever suggests this term's group read sit out the next term (or some other variety inducing pattern). This works if we discover that we have only a limited or very small number of folks willing to make suggestions.

Other, larger reading groups, read a monthly novel or novels suggested by a larger number of folks, each with their preferred novel(s) placed for group voting about two weeks in advance of the reading start date. Frequently there are as many as ten to twenty novels up for consideration for the next month's group read prior to voting.

However, Short Story lovers is a group with a small population. And short stories, theoretically, take less time to read than full novels or books. We may find group voting cumbersome in the short term.

Another related-but-different issue involves the question: how would we encourage the most interesting, enjoyable, quality short stories?

I, personally, have no preferred process. I don't even have any short stories to suggest at this time.

But if we all thought about the process (and adjust it) as we go along, we could develop a system that encourages the best selections, the widest selections, as well as other qualities we would all hope for.

I really like the idea for group reading a short story.

message 11: by Andy (new)

Andy | 10 comments Okay. To get started let's do "Invasion from Outer Space" by Steven Millhauser. Thanks Brennan. Looks good.

We can continue to discuss procedure here. I'm more of an ideas man myself (ahem) and not given to administering things like votes and schedules. To tell the truth, I'm one of those people who never votes for the book and never suggests books, so...

If somebody else wants to do some kind of organizational scheme, that's cool with me. If not it can just be a loose discussion every month or so.

message 12: by Matthew (new)

Matthew (haplito) | 2 comments Great suggestion. "Invasion from Outer Space" is a good pick. I love Millhauser.

message 13: by Scott (new)

Scott E Thanks for setting this up Andy.

I like Mosca's suggestion of a dedicated (rotating) selector for each story...vs...a bunch of selections and a voting process.

message 14: by Chris (last edited Feb 16, 2009 08:23AM) (new)

Chris Antenen | 139 comments I was the one who suggested 'fun' rather than literary. Didn't mean to demean literary, rather to make these discussions more about content and interpretation rather than some comparison to a long lost greek poet. You all know what I mean if you've read reviews in the New Yorker or Journals like Ploughshares, Tri-quarterly, etc. I'm ready to fall asleep about half way through. On the other hand, I read grammar books for fun, so what do I know. It was just a suggestion. I think we go where the story takes us. And let's not forget John Updike. Every time he had a story in the New Yorker I'd think 'Him again?' Then I'd read the story and know why 'him again.'

message 15: by Andy (new)

Andy | 10 comments Cool, man. I was thinking you were suggesting something like comedic monologues as opposed to interpretation. Which WOULD be fun, if somewhat difficult.

message 16: by Andy (new)

Andy | 10 comments The discussion is under way:

message 17: by Scott (new)

Scott E Do we want to choose a new story for March?

message 18: by Chris (new)

Chris Antenen | 139 comments How about one from the past? Shirley Jackson's 'The Lottery' It's a classic and could be used as an example of some poor writing not hindering a good story.

message 19: by Andy (last edited Mar 03, 2009 09:09AM) (new)

Andy | 10 comments Works for me.

Here's a link to the story:

Let's take a few days to read and start the discussion later this week, or this weekend, or early next week.

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