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2010/11 Group Reads - Archives > Nominations for December/Christmas 2010

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message 1: by Linda2 (new)

Linda2 | 3744 comments If we don't find anything worthwhile that's Christmas-y, we'll just do something else.


message 2: by Malcolm (new)

Malcolm Esquire (MalcolmEsq) | 289 comments The Grave by the Handpost by Thomas Hardy. It was first published in St James's Budget in November 1897. It's not a Christmas story per se but gets rather festive towards the end. It's very touching and moving and perhaps those who have loved ones or friends serving on the frontline might like it for certain sentimental reasons :o)


message 3: by Linda2 (last edited Nov 27, 2010 03:39PM) (new)

Linda2 | 3744 comments I just found reference to 5 Christmas stories by Washington Irving in his Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent,which were later published as Old Christmas, a separate volume.
http://www.archive.org/details/oldchr...

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/91...

They're not really short stories, but his own recollections under a pseudonym. These pieces influenced Dickens Christmas Carol.

Irving's home, BTW, has been turned into a museum not far from me in Sleepy Hollow, NY, and every Christmas it's beautifully decorated in 19th Century manner. I've taken the tour several times. I've also visited his church for the Irving readings done every Christmas.


message 4: by Malcolm (new)

Malcolm Esquire (MalcolmEsq) | 289 comments Christmas Storms and Sunshine by Elizabeth Gaskell one of her earliest short stories. It's an hilarious social satire which ends as a truly heart-warming feelgood tearjerker (in the same way that the film It's A Wonderful Life tear-jerks but isn't really a weepy - it's nothing like It's A Wonderful Life btw).


message 5: by Linda2 (last edited Nov 27, 2010 04:04PM) (new)

Linda2 | 3744 comments I think it's time we injected some American lit into this group. Here's the text for my nomination. The 5 stories about 2/3 down, starting with "Christmas."

http://www.literatureproject.com/sket...

You already have a nomination, Malcolm. Also, make sure the stories you pick are online.


message 6: by Malcolm (new)

Malcolm Esquire (MalcolmEsq) | 289 comments They're definately online. I didn't realize it was one nomination per member soz.

Unfortunately it seems my mobile device is not allowing me to leave links. Hopefully I'll get a new phone over xmas or in the New Year


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Multiple nominations are fine. Let's try limiting it to three per person. That gives people a little leeway and shouldn't result in a really huge number to choose from.

Malcolm, if you type in the URL starting with www... then GoodReads will automatically turn it into a link for you.


message 8: by Malcolm (new)

Malcolm Esquire (MalcolmEsq) | 289 comments Thank you Kate, I'll give that a try later :o)

Rochelle, does this mean I can now make another nomination?


message 9: by Malcolm (new)

Malcolm Esquire (MalcolmEsq) | 289 comments Just seeing if this works:-

www.shortstoryarchive.com/h/grave_by_...


message 10: by Linda2 (new)

Linda2 | 3744 comments Malcolm wrote: "Rochelle, does this mean I can now make another nomination?"

Sorry. Yes.


message 11: by Linda2 (last edited Nov 27, 2010 04:48PM) (new)

Linda2 | 3744 comments Malcolm wrote: "Just seeing if this works:-

www.shortstoryarchive.com/h/grave_by_..."


Dead. Try this:

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Gra...


message 12: by Malcolm (new)

Malcolm Esquire (MalcolmEsq) | 289 comments Thanks Rochelle :o)


message 13: by MadgeUK (last edited Dec 01, 2010 09:16AM) (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments Rochelle wrote: "I think it's time we injected some American lit into this group. Here's the text for my nomination. The 5 stories about 2/3 down, starting with "Christmas."

I agree Rochelle but as I do not know any American short stories to recommend, I will leave that to you locals and I will just tag along:D.


message 14: by Linda2 (new)

Linda2 | 3744 comments That was just my slant. You can nominate British ones.

I haven't been able to PM all the members, the way Chris does. How long do you think I should give for nominations?


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Rochelle wrote: "That was just my slant. You can nominate British ones.

I haven't been able to PM all the members, the way Chris does. How long do you think I should give for nominations?"


I'll PM them for you Rochelle. Then give them a week or so to get around to it.


message 16: by Malcolm (new)

Malcolm Esquire (MalcolmEsq) | 289 comments Malcolm wrote: "The Grave by the Handpost by Thomas Hardy. It was first published in St James's Budget in November 1897. It's not a Christmas story per se but gets rather festive towards the end. It's very touc..."

My memory played tricks on me. It was so long ago when I first read this story. I remember being touched by the moving ending correctly, however, people with loved ones and friends on the front line may not be as touched and moved as I thought by the denouement, tho' overall, the tale is not without a certain charm.


message 17: by John (new)

John David (nicholasofautrecourt) You mean no one wants to do a psychoanalytical or feminist deconstruction of "A Christmas Carol"?


message 18: by Linda2 (last edited Dec 01, 2010 01:48AM) (new)

Linda2 | 3744 comments John wrote: "You mean no one wants to do a psychoanalytical or feminist deconstruction of "A Christmas Carol"?"

Would you like to moderate that? :D

Anyway, it's not a short story, but a novella. But Dickens did write several short stories about Christmas:

http://www.dickens-literature.com/A_C...

http://www.dickens-literature.com/Wha...

http://www.dickens-literature.com/The...

Would anyone like to nominate any of these?


message 19: by Linda2 (new)

Linda2 | 3744 comments BTW, John, I just read your profile. You might also be interested in the group, "Classics and the Western Canon," where Important Books are read.


message 20: by Historybuff93 (new)

Historybuff93 | 287 comments Are the nominations supposed to be have festive, Christmas themes?


message 21: by John (last edited Dec 01, 2010 11:29AM) (new)

John David (nicholasofautrecourt) Rochelle wrote: "John wrote: "You mean no one wants to do a psychoanalytical or feminist deconstruction of "A Christmas Carol"?"

Would you like to moderate that? :D

Anyway, it's not a short story, but a novella. ..."


Actually, I'd be glad to moderate, loving literary theory as I do. But I can appreciate that not everyone is the sadist that I am.

How, technically, are you drawing the distinction between "short story" and "novella"? Which, for example, would "The Turn of the Screw" count as?

I don't know about any of those stories. They look good on their own merits, but it just seems like Dickens is always the go-to author for this time of year. It might be nice to look elsewhere, but this will admittedly take some thought on my part. I'm going to see what I can come up with and put in another post this evening.


message 22: by Linda2 (new)

Linda2 | 3744 comments Historybuff93 wrote: "Are the nominations supposed to be have festive, Christmas themes?"

They can be about Christmas or not.


message 23: by Linda2 (new)

Linda2 | 3744 comments John wrote: "How, technically, are you drawing the distinction between "short story" and "novella"? Which, for example, would "The Turn of the Screw" count as?"

Usually a short story focuses on one incident, has a single plot, a single setting, a small number of characters, and covers a short period of time. Often it's limited to 20,000 words. But of course there are overlaps with novellas, and I don't want to get into that debate, which is almost as bad as "What is a classic?"


message 24: by Linda2 (last edited Dec 01, 2010 01:24PM) (new)

Linda2 | 3744 comments Of Dickens 5 Christmas stories, I'm nominating "The Holly Tree," but as the story is cut off in my previous URL, I offer this copy:

www.pagebypagebooks.com/Charles_Dicke...


message 25: by Historybuff93 (new)

Historybuff93 | 287 comments Another question, would a Joyce story from Dubliners be all right? First of all, because it was published in 1914--a bit after our time period. Second of all, Joyce did write in a very modernist, stream of consciousness style that was very different from other authors from our time period.

I'm not certain if I'm going to nominate a Joyce work, if it's allowed, but I thought it would be good to check.


message 26: by Linda2 (last edited Dec 01, 2010 08:42PM) (new)

Linda2 | 3744 comments I think we shouldn't stretch the dates, and especially a modernist work. I'll bet you were thinking of "The Dead," but that was written in 1907.

I can help out those who are stymied by stating that almost every novelist of the 19th Century also wrote short stories.


message 27: by Historybuff93 (new)

Historybuff93 | 287 comments Rochelle wrote: "I think we shouldn't stretch the dates, and especially a modernist work. I'll bet you were thinking of "The Dead," but that was written in 1907.

I can help out those who are stymied by stating tha..."


That's what I thought.

I love "The Dead", but it's quite long (almost 50,000 words I think). I actually had "Araby" or "The Sisters" in mind.

We could always read a Poe story--though I'm not sure if everybody else are as big fans of Edgar as me.

I recently read a great Joseph Conrad story called "Youth". That's another option.

Here's a thought, we could read some stories that are not very long and read a few within the reading period. Saki and Maupassant wrote some stories that were quite short--just to name a few.

There are so many great stories to pick from! I'll nominate one soon.


message 28: by Linda2 (new)

Linda2 | 3744 comments Only 15,672 words. I mentioned "The Dead" because it takes place around New Year's, and I was blown away by the film version.


message 29: by John (new)

John David (nicholasofautrecourt) What about "Lady with the Dog"? It doesn't explicitly deal with holiday themes, but I think the sophisticated reader would recognize themes that we should always try to think about at Christmas.


message 30: by Linda2 (new)

Linda2 | 3744 comments OK.

A week should be enough. Let's close nominations on Sat, Dec 4.

HB, are you nominating "Youth," or still searching? And you can nom more than one.


message 31: by Linda2 (last edited Dec 02, 2010 12:38AM) (new)

Linda2 | 3744 comments John, getting back to your joke about A Christmas Carol-- Dickens stereotyped almost everyone, not just women. But the quality of his writing and his social commentary overcome any faults. If you would like to write an essay on Mrs. Cratchit, please submit it to our member who's a teacher, as soon as I can remember who it is. :D Actually there are far more stereotyped female characters in David Copperfield.


message 32: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments Are there any short stories of the period relating to Xmas in the US?- It would make a nice change from Christmas Carol type stuff, much as I like Dickens.


message 33: by Linda2 (last edited Dec 02, 2010 12:37AM) (new)

Linda2 | 3744 comments I know only of Irving's Sketches, which are not really stories, but you would have to search the web for others. And I think some of the other members are more versed in short stories than I am.


message 34: by Linda2 (last edited Dec 02, 2010 12:42AM) (new)

Linda2 | 3744 comments OMG, I just found this collection, but despite the name, it's international. It could keep us busy for centuries.
http://www.americanliterature.com/sst...


message 35: by MadgeUK (last edited Dec 02, 2010 04:55AM) (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments OK, as we have recently discussed Willa Cather and Chris's visit to Nebraska, how about 'A Burglar's Christmas'?

http://www.americanliterature.com/Cat...


message 36: by John (last edited Dec 02, 2010 04:31AM) (new)

John David (nicholasofautrecourt) Rochelle, I AM one of your members who is a teacher.

And look at the site - "Lady with the Dog" is listed as a favorite by the readers, even though no one has commented on my suggestion yet. :)


message 37: by Historybuff93 (new)

Historybuff93 | 287 comments Rochelle wrote: "OK.

A week should be enough. Let's close nominations on Sat, Dec 4.

HB, are you nominating "Youth," or still searching? And you can nom more than one."


I nominate Joseph Conrad's "Youth". I'll nominate another one later today.

Here's the link to "Youth": http://www.americanliterature.com/Con...


message 38: by MadgeUK (last edited Dec 02, 2010 11:29AM) (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments That's an interesting choice HB - a story about youth requested by a youth:). A bildungsroman. I'll second that one.

It also reminded me of a very English poem about cargo boats I learned in my youth, which I will post for you on the Poem of Today thread.


message 39: by Historybuff93 (new)

Historybuff93 | 287 comments I never thought of that, Madge. I'll check out that poem.

I'm not sure about another nominaiton. Perhaps a Kafka work. Maybe I've just got him on my mind--as I'm trying to tackle the original German versions of a few of his stories. Then again, maybe something by Poe. "The Cask of Amontillado" perhaps?


message 40: by Linda2 (last edited Dec 02, 2010 10:20PM) (new)

Linda2 | 3744 comments OK, it's in the mix. We have 7 noms so far, a good number.

I hope we get a mod for this because Chris isn't around. Otherwise it's probably OK to be modless.


message 41: by Linda2 (new)

Linda2 | 3744 comments Kate, Jan, anything from you?


message 42: by [deleted user] (new)

Sorry Rochelle, no time to think about this one much. Too busy.


message 43: by Jan (new)

Jan (auntyjan) | 485 comments No ideas. But you seem to have plenty. And John offered to be moderator, so why not give him a turn?


message 44: by Linda2 (new)

Linda2 | 3744 comments He wanted to do a psychoanalytical or feminist deconstruction of "A Christmas Carol." If he wants to moderate something else, that's fine. I'm only running the poll.


message 45: by John (new)

John David (nicholasofautrecourt) Rochelle, it was sarcasm. I fully realize that no one would be interested in reading something like that - which is why I proposed it in the first place.


message 46: by Linda2 (last edited Dec 03, 2010 12:19AM) (new)

Linda2 | 3744 comments I know, and I knew you were joking. :D However, the offer to moderate any story we pick is still up for grabs. And your face is suitably red for the holiday. Where do we fit into your schedule of 2000 books on your TBR shelf? :D


message 47: by John (last edited Dec 03, 2010 12:22AM) (new)

John David (nicholasofautrecourt) Can one only moderate the discussion if your story is the one that's chosen? If so, my tastes are sufficiently odd enough that I think I'll probably never moderate anything.


message 48: by Linda2 (new)

Linda2 | 3744 comments No, you can moderate whichever one the group votes on. Kate will send out a notice to the entire membership. Chris is our illustrious leader, and busy with work; we haven't heard from him, and most of the group is busy reading BK anyway.

I've fixed your photo in PaintShopPro. If you want to PM your email address to me, I can email it.


message 49: by John (new)

John David (nicholasofautrecourt) Oh, okay, I was sort of under the impression you could only lead the discussion if your selection was chosen. I'm reading BK too, but haven't been participating too much.

Go wild in PaintShop, just promise not to add a cheesy mustache or anything. Better yet, do!


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
I would second "The Grave by the Handpost." A great story.


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