Terminalcoffee discussion

note: This topic has been closed to new comments.
52 views

Comments Showing 1-50 of 65 (65 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by Brittomart (new)

Brittomart First of all, I just want to say that I'm making this thread 'cause I just read "The Dead" by James Joyce, and I really want to make dirty, nasty, oh-my-god-there-is-a-special-place-in-hell-for-us love to it. I LOVE IT SO MUCH, YOU GUYS. I WANT TO REREAD IT SO I CAN FIGURE OUT WHAT THE SNOW IS DOING AT CERTAIN POINTS OF THE STORY SO I CAN WRITE A PAPER ABOUT HOW SNOWFALL PARALLELS WITH GABRIEL'S AND OUR LIVESSSSSSSSS.

Enough of that. Now:

What are some of your favourites?


message 2: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Mark Twain's Mysterious Stranger.


message 3: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Refined reticence is our Britt.


message 4: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Sublimely.


message 5: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) sub limey.


message 6: by janine (new)

janine | 7715 comments what is below a lime, a lemon?


message 7: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) if it has fallen off the tree, yes.


message 8: by Jaimie (new)

Jaimie (jez476) | 664 comments janine wrote: "what is below a lime, a lemon?"

or a British person?


message 9: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments I like a lot of Murakami's short stories. Raymond Carver, too.


message 10: by Brittomart (new)

Brittomart "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" by Ambrose Pierce is one of my faves too. Ooh and "A Telephone Call" by Dorothy Parker


message 11: by Jammies (new)

Jammies "Auto da Fe" and "Unicorn Variations" by Roger Zelazny are two of my all-time favorites.


message 12: by Suefly (new)

Suefly | 620 comments Anything by Kate Chopin


message 13: by [deleted user] (new)


message 15: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Lopez | 4728 comments "Bartelby the Scrivener" by Herman Melville
"Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius" Jorge Luis Borges
"A Day in Coney Island" by Isaac Bashevis Singer


message 16: by Gus (new)

Gus Sanchez (gussanchez) Britt, The Dead was also made into a terrific film, the last film John Huston directed, and it's very faithful to the short story. If you get the chance, check it out.


message 17: by Jan (new)

Jan | 241 comments >>Ray Bradbury's "All Summer in a Day"<<

Extraordinary. Have you seen the movie?


message 18: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments I love reading short stories. I'll think of some to add to the list later.


message 19: by Janice (new)

Janice (jamasc) For some reason, I don't read a lot of short stories. I have read Stephen King's Different Seasons which contain 4 novellas. From those four stories, three were made into movies: Shawshank Redemption (Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption), Stand By Me (The Body), and The Usual Suspects (Apt Pupil).

I'm on a Stephen King kick lately.


message 20: by Jan (new)

Jan | 241 comments I'm impatiently waiting for King's newest, "Full Dark, No Stars". It's due out tomorrow.


message 21: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments I probably read more short fiction than long. I like the monthly mags like Tin House & Fantasy & SF & Glimmer Train and themed anthologies and single-author collections.
Excellent short story authors:
Flannery O'Connor
Connie Willis
Neil Gaiman
Jeffrey Ford
Alice Munro
Grace Paley
Deborah Eisenberg
Chimamanda Adichie
John McManus
Jhumpa Lahiri
Uwem Akpam
Kelly Link
Kurt Vonnegut
Karen Joy Fowler
Dorothy Allison

If any of the living writers on that list have a new story out, I buy it by any means necessary. I can give you specific stories if you want too.


message 22: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24360 comments Mod
I pretty much hate short stories.


message 23: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Lobstergirl wrote: "I pretty much hate short stories."

Well, there you have it.


message 24: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11694 comments Yeah, me too. I was just afraid of being the first to say so.

I don't like the way they wrap things up so quickly. The stories I love are the ones that take time to explore the characters and let me into their psyche. Can't do that very well in a short.


message 25: by Brittomart (new)

Brittomart Yes you can!!!!!!! You just haven't been reading the right ones!!!!!!!!!!

I will come back with examples!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


message 26: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24360 comments Mod
Okay !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


message 27: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24360 comments Mod
I will say, however, that the Metamorphosis affected me powerfully when I read it as a youth. Also The Lottery. But I still don't like short stories.


message 28: by Brittomart (new)

Brittomart Well, my comment specifically was directed at Phil's statement that you can't explore characters and enter "their psyches" with short stories. But you can! And that's what makes the short story so good, is that it's more than just a retelling of events. There's so much characterization to do in so many pages.


message 29: by Brittomart (new)

Brittomart First, Phil, can you clarify what you mean by entering a character's psyche?


message 30: by Jan (new)

Jan | 241 comments It always seemed to me that many short stories were depressing. I never could figure out the reason for this. Maybe they have to pack a punch in a short period of time? Also, I don't like the start and stop of them. I love to get into an especially good long book and have it there waiting for me when I'm ready to get back to it. That's one reason why I'm considering getting Skippy Dies.


message 31: by Jaimie (last edited Nov 16, 2010 08:56PM) (new)

Jaimie (jez476) | 664 comments I'm not a big fan of short stories either. I like to live in a story for a while. I will say that Stephen King's "The Mist" is still one of the scariest stories I've ever read.


message 32: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11694 comments Britt-Britt wrote: "First, Phil, can you clarify what you mean by entering a character's psyche?"

Take some time to help me understand how their mind works. The shorts I've read have all been very plot-centric rather than character based. Not my cup of tea. Not sure why that upsets some people.


message 33: by Brittomart (last edited Nov 16, 2010 09:17PM) (new)

Brittomart Well, the story that I mentioned, "The Dead." Plot-wise...not much happens. Two old women are throwing a party, there is some singing and dancing, some beautiful performances, the nephew gives a speech. Then the nephew and his wife go back to the hotel room, have an exchange, and go to bed.

But so much about Gabriel is...implied in his actions. There's a part where he offends, or thinks he offends, a servant girl, and instead of carrying on conversation like he was before, he starts buffing his shoes, and then he thrusts a coin in her hand and tries to pass it off as a christmas gift. Now, Joyce doesn't tell us this explicitly, but from this bit of action we know that Gabriel is insecure, and he's embarrassed, and he feels the need to make up for that.

And THEN. So this guy is singing this song, and Gabriel's wife Gretta is standing at the top of the stairs, and she's enchanted by this song, and Gabriel looks up at the top of the stairs, and he doesn't recognize her. But then he realizes that it's his wife, and she's never looked so beautiful to him as she does in that moment. And then we get this bit about how if he was a painter, how he would paint his wife, and he thinks of their secret relationship, and how he can't wait to be alone with her.

Then LATER when they are back at the hotel room, when Gabriel tries to put it on her, Gretta starts to cry. She tells Gabriel that when she was listening to that song, she was thinking of a boy that she loved when she was younger. He used to sing that song to her. Gabriel is all "Well, did you love him?" and she's like, "Well, he loved me." and he's all, "Is that why you wanted to go back to that place?" and she's like, "well, he's dead." and so you know he's thinking, "Well, damn, I can't even be mad at this guy 'cause he died when he was 17." and then he asks, "well, how did he die?" and Gretta says, "I think he died for me."

And that's when shit gets real. Gretta tells him how this already dying boy fought through the rain to come see her before she was sent off to this convent, and Gabriel is like, "OMG I can't believe I've been trying to live up to this love for our entire marriage, and I didn't even know it. There's NO WAY I can top that shit. I am so devastated, I had this epiphany about her when she was thinking about him. She loves him much more than she can ever love me 'cause he fucking gave her his life. Fuck that dude."

And then there's this shit about the snow and how the snow represents our lives and yeah...hmmm where was I going with that?


message 34: by Carol (new)

Carol | 1679 comments I do prefer character-based stories. Maybe I read short stories for a change of pace? I sometimes pick them up to get a sample of the author's style.


message 35: by Brittomart (last edited Nov 16, 2010 09:18PM) (new)

Brittomart OH! And "A Telephone Call" by Dorothy Parker. Literally, that story is just a girl waiting by the phone for a dude to call her, and the entire thing takes place inside of her head. But it's so typical Dottie and it's so great.


message 36: by janine (new)

janine | 7715 comments a good short story demands to be read on its own. they're a bit like poems, because there's so much to say on such few words. you read them a different way than you would read a novel.

i'm reading an anthology with 100 short stories from dutch and flemish authors, and i'm reading them one at a time, whenever i feel like reading a short story. it will probably take me over a year to read all of the stories, but i don't mind. i've discovered some pretty good short stories and authors because of it.

my biggest problem with short stories are short stories that are really novellas, the ones that are too long to be read in one go. if it's a novella, it should say so on the book, or i will expect a short story and be annoyed by the length.

most of my favorite short stories end with someone dying. a lot of short stories end in death.


message 37: by Michele (new)

Michele bookloverforever (lovebooks14) | 1970 comments my favorite short story is "the gift of the magi" by o'henry..my 2nd favorite is "the ransom of red chief" talk about lol...o'henry is my favorite short story teller. the problem w/short stories is that they are like chinese food: you always want more.


message 38: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments Michele wrote: "my favorite short story is "the gift of the magi" by o'henry..my 2nd favorite is "the ransom of red chief" talk about lol...o'henry is my favorite short story teller. the problem w/short stories is..."

I used to teach both of those stories. Good stuff.


message 39: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments Carol wrote: "I do prefer character-based stories. Maybe I read short stories for a change of pace? I sometimes pick them up to get a sample of the author's style."

I agree with what Misha said above. And there are lots of stories that get deeply into character study. Masters of the character-story: Grace Paley, Alice Munro, Deborah Eisenberg.
To each his own, but I think it's funny that the thing that people mention as their complaint about short stories in this thread is their desire for character development. The big debate in the lit world is whether the character development in short stories is at the expense of plot. The people listed above all know how to weave both in there.

I think there are ideas that work for novels, and ideas that are not big enough for novels, but still worth exploring.
I love, love, love reading good short stories.


message 40: by Michael (new)

Michael Suefly wrote: "Anything by Kate Chopin"

I loved "A Pair of Silk Stockings".


message 41: by Michael (new)

Michael Anyone here like to write short stories? I'm curious because I wonder about sites that have short story contests and charge an entry (reading) fee and whether or not they're legit.


message 42: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments Michael wrote: "Anyone here like to write short stories? I'm curious because I wonder about sites that have short story contests and charge an entry (reading) fee and whether or not they're legit."

I write, Michael. Some are legit, some are not. A few, like Glimmer Train, use the fees to keep their magazines going; others use the fees to fund prize money. I think both of those are fair enough. Paying an entry fee means you believe in your story and you respect their contest enough to pay for it. If neither of those is true, just submit someplace that doesn't charge.
Duotrope's Digest http://www.duotrope.com/
is a great source of places to submit your story.


message 43: by Brittomart (new)

Brittomart I try to write short stories, but I never finish.


message 44: by Michael (new)

Michael Sarah Pi wrote: "A few, like Glimmer Train"

I entered a story in a Glimmer Train contest at the end of October. Thanks for the Duotrope's Digest link! I don't know if I ever believe in a story I write LOL!



message 45: by Michael (new)

Michael Britt-Britt wrote: "I try to write short stories, but I never finish."

Do you not finish because you get bored with the story or because you don't know where to go with it? You could try writing shorter stories. That sounds flippant and I don't mean it to be, I just thought it might be an option.


message 46: by Brittomart (new)

Brittomart I stop because I don't think it's a good story.


message 47: by Adam (new)

Adam | 2 comments I can't believe no one has mentioned the queen of the short story, Flannery O'Connor. "A Good Man is Hard to Find," "Good Country People," "The Edge of the Forest," "Everything That Rises Must Converge," "A Temple of the Holy Ghost," and "The Life You Save May Be Your Own." Ingenius works of American literature. Darkly funny with keen social observations, and holding enough depth to entertain and study through multiple readings. Are there no Flannery lovers out here?


message 48: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments Hi Adam, and welcome.
I did mention Flannery O'Connor - and we have a whole thread devoted to her somewhere around here.


message 49: by Brittomart (new)

Brittomart HI ADAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!


message 50: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments Michael wrote: "Sarah Pi wrote: "A few, like Glimmer Train"

I entered a story in a Glimmer Train contest at the end of October. Thanks for the Duotrope's Digest link! I don't know if I ever believe in a story ..."


Duotrope is cool because you can log everything you send out there. It helps you keep track of where you've sent what, and helps them track reported acceptance rates.


« previous 1
back to top
This topic has been frozen by the moderator. No new comments can be posted.