The Readers Review: Literature from 1714 to 1910 discussion

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The Short Story Salon > What is "The Short Story Salon" All About?

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message 1: by Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.), Founder (last edited Sep 04, 2010 09:37AM) (new)

Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
salon n [F] (1699) a fashionable assemblage of notables (as literary figures, artists, or statesman) held by custom at the home of a prominent person.

I have created this folder for us to use to share and discuss short story fiction that we come across that others in the group may be interested in. This would include, for example, short story collections, notable individual short stories, and short story criticism. If there is interest, I would like to also start a quasi-regular feature of selecting and posting a short story for review and discussion; and I would love to have each of you contribute your favorites for the rest of us to enjoy. Let me know what you think.

I have to admit that for many, many years I ignored this form of fiction. It was not until perhaps ten years ago that I began to seriously explore the short story collections by some of my favorite authors. I am hooked now, and always keep an eye peeled for worthy collections of shorts to add to my shelves. I'd love to hear about some of your favorite collections and stories. Cheers! Chris


message 2: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments I regret to say that I am not a fan of short stories - I like really long meaty books. But I look forward to folks' recommendations in the hope that I might be converted - David recommended a Welsh collection I think?


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

I love short stories and would be very interested in reading and discussing them here :) There are so many authors/stories to choose from in our given time reference...Poe, Trollope, Hardy, Lewis Carroll, Charlotte Bronte, Anton Chekhov, just to name a few...

I also support Madge's suggestion of the Welsh collection recommended by David.


message 4: by Kester (new)

Kester Andrews | 36 comments I, like you, am not a very big fan of short stories, but I recently began reading a collection by Anton Chekhov and I cannot get enough of his work. Gutenberg has most of his work in the e-book format for those who own a Kindle or other e-book reader.


message 5: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments The Penguin book of Welsh Short Stories recommended by David is apparently not available in the US but the Oxford book of Classic Welsh Short Stories is so perhaps we could plump for that?


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

I love short stories. There must be a Chekov virus going around because I just pulled a volume of his short stories off my bookshelf last night and thought about reading a few of them. It's now balanced precariously on top of everything else on my bed side table.


message 7: by Kester (new)

Kester Andrews | 36 comments There are worst viruses going around out there so I hope you have lots of fun. I will recommend Ariadne and The Lady with the Dog.

P


message 8: by Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.), Founder (last edited Sep 02, 2010 09:53PM) (new)

Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
MadgeUK wrote: "The Penguin book of Welsh Short Stories recommended by David is apparently not available in the US but the Oxford book of Classic Welsh Short Stories is so perhaps we could plump for that?"

But I'll bet I could send you the money for the book and postage, and you could mail it to me. I would love to read some Welsh short stories with all of you!

My father's side of the family is from Ottery St. Mary, Devonshire. Kind of close, I think, to the Welsh border. I have actually been to the old church and seen the Harris gravestones, and facsimiles of the handwritten births and deaths in the parish registers from nearly the 1300s on. Is that cool, or what? My father's side of the family emigrated to the colonies in the late 1600s, and settled in Massachusetts.


message 9: by MadgeUK (last edited Sep 02, 2010 10:22PM) (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments I could indeed but I think the Oxford book will contain most of the same stories. Let's see what David says.

Devon is a couple of counties away from Wales Chris:). This map shows you the South West counties of England and the pale green bit above, with 'S' on it, is South Wales.

http://www.near2us.co.uk/amain/south_...

Here is where Ottery St Mary is in Devon. Barry, across the Bristol Channel is the nearest point in Wales. :-

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2008/1...

Remind me when I go down to Sidmouth next August, to pop up to Ottery St Mary to take some photos for you! So your ancestors come from the Jurassic Coast area - maybe that is where you got your geologist's gene from. Maybe your ancestors are related to Jan's and therefore (maybe) to Hardy - can I have your autograph too! All my ancestors are from Bronte country - would you like my autograph? :D:D


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
MadgeUK wrote: "I could indeed but I think the Oxford book will contain most of the same stories. Let's see what David says.

Devon is a couple of counties away from Wales Chris:). This map shows you the Sout..."


Yes, I would like your autograph! But only when I am sitting across the table from you at your eightieth birthday. I'll even supply the pen and paper, my dear!


message 11: by Jan (new)

Jan (auntyjan) | 483 comments My husband's ancestors come from Devon. Tried in Exeter for petty larceny at the age of thirteen, it was William Stone's third offence, so he was sentenced to ten years plus transportation. He arrived in Western Australia with other convicts on a ship called the Sultana in 1860. By then he was 20 years old.

So my husband is the descendant of a convict who arrived on a sultana!


message 12: by MadgeUK (last edited Sep 02, 2010 11:50PM) (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments Christopher wrote: "MadgeUK wrote: "I could indeed but I think the Oxford book will contain most of the same stories. Let's see what David says.

Devon is a couple of counties away from Wales Chris:). This map sh..."


We can meet in a high gale at Granny's Teeth on the Lyme Regis Cobb, wearing flowing cloaks!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/32882411...

(I think I ought to autograph a Jurassic rock though.)


message 13: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments Jan wrote: "My husband's ancestors come from Devon. Tried in Exeter for petty larceny at the age of thirteen, it was William Stone's third offence, so he was sentenced to ten years plus transportation. He arri..."

Oh my! (Note to Chris: We are associating with the criminal classes here!:O)


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

Re the Penguin Collection of Welsh Short Stories - I'm not at home at the moment so I can't check my copy of the stories and whether or not they are the same as the Oxford collection. I'll be able to do so at the beginning of next week.

I also have read some of Chekov's stories and like them very much. I also have a collection of Katherine Mansfield's stories which I have yet to look at.


message 15: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments Thanks David. I am fond of Chekhov too.


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
MadgeUK wrote: "I could indeed but I think the Oxford book will contain most of the same stories. Let's see what David says.

Devon is a couple of counties away from Wales Chris:). This map shows you the Sout..."


Well, ain't I just the perfect idiot, Madge! I probably did know this, but for some reason, I just had it in my head that (waves arm ineffectually toward the west) 'southwest' England was all Wales. I actually do know better too, because of my recent studies of Hardy's Wessex, I know that Cornwall isn't Wales! Yes, I see from the map that there is a rather large 'moat' that separates Devon from Wales to the north! Yikes, it is kind of like saying New Mexico is part of Arizona! I will enroll in a remedial UK geography course immediately! ;-)


message 17: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments LOL. There are probably plenty of English people who would make the same mistake Chris.


message 18: by Jan (new)

Jan (auntyjan) | 483 comments The Penguin Book of Welsh Short Stories is available through bookdepositry.co.uk ...delivery is free and prices generally less than you'll pay elsewhere. They have a 1976 and a 1994 version, both compiled by Alun Richards. Presumably a reprint, since the title is unchanged, but no guarantees. What do you think, David?


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

Yes, that's the one. Gosh did I buy it as long ago as 1976? Doesn't time fly when you're enjoying yourself?


message 20: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments Yes, I realise that the UK has them in stock but they don't appear to have the Penguin in the US, which is why I was recommending the Oxford, which is available in both countries.


message 21: by Jan (new)

Jan (auntyjan) | 483 comments Anybody in the world can order through bookdepositry and get it delivered free.


message 22: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments Oh sorry - I was assuming the postage would be high from the UK to the US.


message 23: by Jan (new)

Jan (auntyjan) | 483 comments No, I'm in Australia, and we can even buy Australian books through that site at about two thirds the cost of buying them direct from the Australia-based publisher!


message 24: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments It makes you wonder if book shops will start going out of business. I buy most of my books from the Amazon UK 'used' section even though there is a very good bookshop in my small town. Soon I hope to be downloading to a Kindle!


message 25: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Kate wrote: "I love short stories. There must be a Chekov virus going around because I just pulled a volume of his short stories off my bookshelf last night and thought about reading a few of them. "

Is that the Everyman Short Stories collection? It's on my TBR shelf, which is really my "Browsing in" shelf which holds books I dip into and out of as the mood strikes me -- I've probably read between a quarter and a third of the stories over the past fewe years.

I also have the Everyman edition of his Complete Short Novels, though haven't started dipping into it yet.


message 26: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Jan wrote: "So my husband is the descendant of a convict..."

Which explains why it is so easy for you to steal our hearts!


message 27: by [deleted user] (new)

Everyman wrote: "Kate wrote: "I love short stories. There must be a Chekov virus going around because I just pulled a volume of his short stories off my bookshelf last night and thought about reading a few of them..."

No. Actually it is an ancient paperback Signet Classic (published in 1960, provenance unknown :D) of selected stories translated by Ann Dunnigan. I've read about half of them, judging where the bookmark is. I think it came to me via my grandmother, but I'm not sure. :)


message 28: by Historybuff93 (new)

Historybuff93 | 287 comments This is a very good idea! I, personally, love short stories just as much as novels.

I'm currently reading a collection of John Cheever stories. I'm not sure what to think of him. I thought Goodbye, My Brother was all right. I liked The Enormous Radio better. He's not a favorite writer, but he's not bad either. Although, I prefer Raymond Carver!


message 29: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments We are reading stories here from 1800-1910 Hbuff so Cheever wouldn't come in to that category:).


message 30: by Historybuff93 (new)

Historybuff93 | 287 comments Dankeschoen :).

For some reason I never tire of reading Poe's short stories. Whenever I go on vacation, I always take my copy with and keep reading Poe. Am I crazy? haha


message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

Okay, Chekov is back on the bookshelf for awhile. I find I enjoy him in small doses, but if I read too many of his short stories at one time he makes me feel too bleak. But that's true of all the Russian authors. I have to do them one at a time with long breaks in between. LOL.


message 32: by Jan (new)

Jan (auntyjan) | 483 comments I had the impression we could discuss any short stories here, regardless of date. (Clarification please Chris)
My favourite is one that I first read when I was 17,but have never forgotten...'Flowers for Algernon'


message 33: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments I have been working my way through the Teaching Company course on the Art of Reading, and the lecturer considers Checkov one of the finest, if not the finest, short story writers. I have only read one or two of Checkov's stories, but as soon as I get the time (ha!) I'll dip into them some more.


message 34: by [deleted user] (new)

Everyman wrote: "I have been working my way through the Teaching Company course on the Art of Reading, and the lecturer considers Checkov one of the finest, if not the finest, short story writers. I have only read..."

Very spare, little ironic twists, anti-heroic and generally leaving one with a little feeling that the story was interrupted or wasn't neatly tied up. They're very good. But I can only eat so many of them at one time. :)


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
Jan wrote: "I had the impression we could discuss any short stories here, regardless of date. (Clarification please Chris)
My favourite is one that I first read when I was 17,but have never forgotten...'Flower..."


Oh no, Jan, I am most sorry for the misunderstanding, but the short stories do need to at least 'make an effort' to fit into our period. I am always encouraging some flexibility on one end or the other; particularly if we are following an author either into the period, or out of the period. I hope this is how the rest of you see this too?


message 36: by Jan (new)

Jan (auntyjan) | 483 comments I'm happy with that,I'm sure my knowledge of the era will be enhanced.


message 37: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments Yes, I think it would get a bit unwieldy if we discussed anything and everything. We need a hook to hang our hats on:D. Also, a short story from the same period is more likely to trigger off thoughts about history, art etc relevant to the novels and poems we are reading here and so enhance our reading experience all round. IMO:D.


message 38: by Historybuff93 (new)

Historybuff93 | 287 comments Perhaps it's time to get some new posts on this thread.

Has anyone here read Melville's Bartleby the Scrivener?


message 39: by Linda2 (last edited Nov 26, 2010 10:50PM) (new)

Linda2 | 3742 comments Yes, a long time back, but I remember most of it. I don't think I've read short stories from our period since college, except for classic ghost stories.

We haven't had an "assigned" story since Halloween, wink, wink, nudge, nudge, but please, not Bartleby.


message 40: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments Saki (Hector Munro) wrote short, satirical stories about the Edwardian period. How about one of these:-

http://haytom.us/sitemap.php


message 41: by Malcolm (new)

Malcolm Esquire (MalcolmEsq) | 289 comments Hi all, I'm new to goodreads. Been here for less of a week so far.

I love short stories, I think that they are a good introduction to authors new to one before deciding perhaps to invest in a more substantial work of theirs.

I noticed that someone above mentioned Hardy, so with xmas rapidly approaching, perhaps people might care to consider his 'The Grave by the Handpost' :o)


message 42: by Linda2 (last edited Nov 27, 2010 01:18PM) (new)

Linda2 | 3742 comments We read Far from the Madding Crowd recently, so we chose one of his short stories for Halloween. I like the idea of something Christmas-themed, Malcolm. Is The Grave another of his ghost stories?

Chris usually runs the vote, but he's been busy with work and BK. Let's just keep the nominations going. Do we have anyone here with mod status who can run a poll?


message 43: by Malcolm (new)

Malcolm Esquire (MalcolmEsq) | 289 comments Hi Rochelle, surprisingly no it isn't as far as I can recall. I read it several years ago. It's not particularly xmassy neither until towards the end. But it is quite a moving story or perhapa I'm just a sentimental romantic :o)


message 44: by Malcolm (new)

Malcolm Esquire (MalcolmEsq) | 289 comments Which of his ghost stories did you select to read? Years back I came across his 'The Withered Arm' in a selection of twelve Victorian ghost stories by various authors. As good as the story was I was very disappointed as it was not particularly ghostly in the conventional manner.


message 45: by Linda2 (new)

Linda2 | 3742 comments We read Arm and also Afterward by Edith Wharton. The latter was far better, I thought. You can find the comments right here in this section.


message 46: by Malcolm (new)

Malcolm Esquire (MalcolmEsq) | 289 comments Cool, I'll check that out. I may have misread it. Your comments may help me to see it through new eyes.

But The Grave by the Handpost is truly a moving experience.

If you have five minutes to spare you may find Anna Laetitia Barbauld's extremely short fable 'Knowledge and her Daughter' a charming and fascinating read.

Although it was originally written in 1773, I believe that it wasn't published until 1825, so I hope Christopher and the rest of you will excuse my audacity lol :o)


message 47: by Linda2 (last edited Nov 27, 2010 01:49PM) (new)

Linda2 | 3742 comments The only requirement for a short story is that it must be available online, which isn't a problem with our period.

There is a stack of lesser-known Dickens stories, but unlike A Christmas Carol, they're true short stories. Does anyone know if any are worthwhile?
http://www.suite101.com/content/charl...
scroll down to mid-page.


message 48: by Malcolm (new)

Malcolm Esquire (MalcolmEsq) | 289 comments Personally, my view of them are if you're a Dickens fan you ought to like them but I find Dickens' short stories hard to take as much as I enjoy his full length romps.

I've got his Christmas stories and Mrs Lirruper's lodgings. I really can't bring myself to read beyond A Christmas Carol.

Mrs Lirripper, however is a combined effort. Dickens wrote the first part then gave it over to his regular contributers to complete the remaining chapters - something he often did for his special Christmas editions, so at least with that one you get a variety of styles and genres (if I remember correctly one chapter took the form of a narrative poem).


message 49: by Linda2 (new)

Linda2 | 3742 comments I'm starting a nomination thread, hoping Chris can do the poll for us.


message 50: by Malcolm (new)

Malcolm Esquire (MalcolmEsq) | 289 comments Rochelle, might not you be better off asking about those ghost stories in a dedicated Dickens chatroon/discussion forum? They may be better at discerning the chaff from the wheat, as it were :o)


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