Awesome Anthologies

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Awesome Anthologies

Dette emne er markeret som "i hvile"—det seneste indlæg er mere end 90 dage gammel. Du kan vække emnet til live ved at poste et indlæg.

Redigeret: dec 27, 2010, 11:20pm

Have we ever discussed anthologies in depth here in the salon? I don't think we have. So why not now?

I pulled out A World of Great Stories: 115 Stories, the Best of Modern Literature ed. by Hiram Haydn and John Cournos, over the weekend, an anthology published in 1947, that provides a nice historical snapshot of what was considered "cutting edge" or "important" in the short story form circa the mid 1940s.

Considering the date of publication, I was particularly struck by how "A World" in the title of the anthology seems to literally refer to the entire world just about, and not merely the standard ubiquitous English speaking nations (plus western Europe and a sprinkling here or there of a very few exotic locales) that that U.S.A.-centric era in our culture (and in publishing) seemed to regularly output.

Of the 115 short stories selected here, 87 are from non-English speaking nations. Of the 52 nations represented, 45 are non-English. These are mostly writers I've never heard of. I thought I'd list a geographical section per post that makes up the anthology. I'm curious to hear if any of you are familiar with these stories and writers, as like I said, they're mostly new to me.

dec 27, 2010, 11:22pm

Post away. For once I am intriqued by the prospect of a list.

Redigeret: dec 28, 2010, 12:12am

Latin American Section of A World of Great Stories:


Mariano Latorre: "The Woman of Mystery"
Oscar Castro Z.: "Lucero"


Jose de la Cuadra: "Valley Heat"


Augusto Cespedes: "The Well"


Jesus del Corral: "Cross Over, Sawyer!"


Jorge Ferretis: "The Failure"


Ventura Garcia Calderon: "The Lottery Ticket"
Enrique Lopez Albujar: "Adultery"


Benito Lynch: "The Sorrel Colt"


Alfonso Hernandez-Cata: "The Servant Girl"


Horacio Quiroga: "Three Letters ... and a Footnote"


Luis Manuel Urbaneja Achelpohl: "Ovejon"


Monteiro Lobato: "The Funny-Man Who Repented"

Redigeret: dec 28, 2010, 12:08am

Asian Section of A World of Great Stories:


Lu Hsun: "Medicine"
Mao Tun: "Spring Silkworms"
Chang T'len-i: "Mr. Hua Wei"
Sun Hsi-chen: "Ah Ao"
Wang Hsi-yen: "Growth of Hate"
Lin Yutang: "The Dog-Meat General"


Younghill Kang: "Doomsday"


Ryunosuke Akutagawa: "The Handkerchief"


Rabindranath Tagore: "My Lord, the Baby"
S. Raja Ratnam: "Drought"


Helen Davidian: "The Jealous Wife"

Saudi Arabia

Tawfiq Al-Hakim: "A Deserted Street"


Arreph El-Khoury: "Hillbred"


Constant Zarian: "The Pig"


Refik Halid: "The Gray Donkey"


Saw Tun: "Tales of a Burmese Soothsayer"


Tao Kim Hai: "The Cock"


Pratoomratha Zeng: "My Thai Cat"


Manuel Buaken: "The Horse of the Sword"

dec 28, 2010, 12:14am

I am embarrassed and ashamed. I have read work by only four of the authors on this list. I must have this anthology. Give it up now Rique

dec 28, 2010, 1:04am

I recognized the names of only the two of the authors: Lin Yutang and Rabindranath Tagore.


dec 28, 2010, 4:39am

Does it have anything from Greece?

dec 28, 2010, 4:58am

Lu Hsun (as a name only), Ryunosuke Akutagawa and Rabindranath Tagore (both faves). 'pparently I don't know much about Latin America.

dec 28, 2010, 9:18am

I've read the Lu Hsun anthology, Chosen Pages from Lu Hsun.

And that is all I recognize from this list.

Redigeret: dec 28, 2010, 2:13pm

7> Yes it does. Next geographical section momentarily ...

Redigeret: dec 28, 2010, 2:34pm


Redigeret: dec 28, 2010, 7:05pm

Russian and East European Section of A World of Great Stories


Anton Chekhov: "In Exile"
Maxim Gorky: "One Autumn Night"
Sholom Aleichem: "Tevye Wins a Fortune"
Fyodor Sologub: "Hide and Seek"
Leonid Andreyev: "The Abyss"
Ivan Bunin: "The Gentleman from San Francisco"
Alexei Tolstoy: "Vasily Suchkov"
Konstantin Simonov: "His Only Son"


Wladyslaw Stanislaw Reymont: "Death"


F.E. Sillanpaa: "Selma Koljas"


Karel Capek: "Money"
Egon Hostovsky: "Vertigo"


Ferenc Molnar: "The Silver Hilt"
Kalman Mikszath: "The Green Fly"


Ivan Cankar: "Children and Old Folk"
Antun Gustav Matos: "The Neighbor"


I.L. Caragiale: "The Easter Torch"


Angel Karalitcheff: "The Little Coin"


Lilika Nakos: "Maternity"

dec 28, 2010, 2:55pm

2> Urania#1!!!

You should be embarrassed and ashamed! Your embarrassment and shame is so great that I'm embarrassed and ashamed for you! And I must say, Urania#1, that as I go through and click on these touchstones, and see the name "Lola Walser" as a member who owns these author's works consistently, being a renowned LT user she is who's apparently read everybody (unlike some of us), your embarrassment and shame is only magnified all the more! Never mind that you've read four more than I have!

dec 28, 2010, 4:17pm

I only recognize Tagore and Tawfik Al-Hakim from the first list and have only read Tagore. I did a bit better with the second, recognizing Chekhov, Gorky, Andreyev, Bunin, Kapek and Molnar, but I've only read Chekhov, Gorky, Kapek and Molnar. Not very good....

dec 28, 2010, 5:41pm

I barely have the time to read the books I read. I don't see the value of reading widely, but I do see the value of reading deeply. I'd rather read Bleak House several times than read a translation of a Bulgarian poet, etc. It's not what they say but how they say it. How do we know what the Bulgarian poet is saying if we are innocent of his or her language. The Russians love P.G. Wodehouse, I must admit to not knowing why. What am I missing here?

dec 28, 2010, 5:56pm

I've always wanted to be Lola.

dec 28, 2010, 7:36pm

Whatever Lola wants...Lola gets. (And that's coming from a Damn Yankee).

I'm out. I mean I know about Chekhov off a dat, inta der, but dat's about it.

I did immediately take the lead of Fearless Leader Freeque here, and "Bookmooched" a copy of this anthology. I'm waiting, panting, and slobbering.

dec 28, 2010, 10:37pm

Off of the Eastern European list, I did much better. I have read works of ten of nineteen authors.

Redigeret: dec 29, 2010, 3:35pm

Germanic and Scandinavian section of A World of Great Stories

Germany and Austria

Thomas Mann: "Disorder and Early Sorrow"
Rainer Maria Rilke: "The Tale of the Hands of God"
Franz Kafka: "The Married Couple"
Stefan Zweig: "Moonbeam Alley"
Arnold Zweig: "Kong at the Seaside"
Arthur Schnitzler: "The Dead are Silent"
Arthur Koestler: "Darkness at Noon"


Herman Hesse: "Harry's Loves"


Louis Couperus: "Bluebeard's Daughter"
Johannes L. Walch: "The Suspicion"


Martin Andersen Nexo: "Birds of Passage"
Isak Dinesen (a.k.a. Karen Blixen): "The Sailor-Boy's Tale"


Sigrid Undset: "The Death of Kristin Lavransdatter"
Johan Bojer: "The Shark" (highdesertlady is the only salonista I see with a book by Johan)


Selma Lagerlof: "The Outlaws"
Sigfrid Siwertz: "In Spite of Everything"
Hjalmar Soderberg: "The Burning City"

dec 30, 2010, 12:46pm

What a neat anthology! Can be had cheaply, too (99 cents U.S.) Would it be crazy to suggest a story a week Salon read in the future?

dec 30, 2010, 12:49pm

Ok -- I'm feeling a bit more literate -- I've read 9 of the Scandinavian/Germanic authors.

dec 30, 2010, 9:21pm

99 cents!? I spent $3.99 at one of my favorite used haunts for it, Once Read Books. I think that's a great idea, especially if we focus on the more "unknown" writers in the anthology, to start off. Let's do it slick. One short story a week. If we were to start the third week of Jan., we could do 50 stories for the year. Sandydog ordered the book. Anybody else interested?

Redigeret: dec 30, 2010, 10:10pm

Romance Language Section of A World of Great Stories


Anatole France: "Madame de Luzy"
Romain Rolland: "Deliverance"
Marcel Proust: "Overture"
Colette: "The Gentle Libertine"
Andre Gide: "A Crime Without a Motive"
Jean Giraudoux: "May on Lake Asquam"
Andre Malraux: "Man's Fate"
Jean-Paul Sartre: "The Wall"
Albert Camus: "The Funeral"


Georges Eekhoud: "Hiep-Hioup"


Azorin: "An Unbeliever"
Pio Baroja: "Blasa's Tavern"
Gabriel Miro: "The Woman of Samaria"


Luigi Pirandello: "Horse in the Moon"
Ignazio Silone: "The Travelers"
Lauro de Bosis: "The Story of My Death"


Aquilino Ribeiro: "The Last Faun"

dec 30, 2010, 9:40pm

Interesting idea! I'm in. Off to order...

dec 30, 2010, 10:20pm

Me too.

dec 30, 2010, 10:22pm

I ordered the first day Rique posted the list.

dec 30, 2010, 10:26pm

Not me, I finish BK first

dec 30, 2010, 11:30pm

I ordered it, but I may need to be reminded to read it. Also I might not have anything to say about it.


jan 1, 2011, 4:34pm

4: Tawfik el Hakim is an Egyptian writer, he is definitely not from the culture-less and literature-less Saudi Arabia.

jan 4, 2011, 8:40pm

Sometimes BookMooch actually works. I asked for this book on 12/28, and got it in my grubby paws today.

jan 4, 2011, 10:19pm

Good to hear Dog! We'll pick us out a story to start with in a week or two. What looks good to you off the bat? If anybody else has obtained it, what story would you like to start with?

29> The editors messed that up apparently, mistaking Arabic for Saudi Arabia. Weird.

jan 4, 2011, 10:43pm

I got it yesterday, but haven't had time to take much of a look. I'l try to do so tomorrow.

jan 4, 2011, 11:11pm

Cool! I suppose I should take another peek too and see what sounds good to me.

jan 5, 2011, 9:31am

Waiting for my copy.

jan 6, 2011, 1:17am

My top five picks at the moment from this anthology under discussion would be:

1) Georges Eckhoud's "Hiep-Hioup" (I want Big Mac Daddy's country represented!)

2) Lauro de Bosis' "The Story of My Death" (excellent title!)

3) Fyodor Sologub's "Hide and Seek" (a writer mentioned extensively in Ben Waugh's group, The Chapel of the Abyss) and one whom I've always been curious about.

4) Monteiro Lobato's "The Funny-Man Who Repented" (another great title)

5) Pratoomratha Zeng's "My Thai Cat," since, well, tomcat vacations in Thailand (why else?)

jan 6, 2011, 1:20am

Btw, I came across another (what looks like) awesome anthology (a bit slimmer) recently, comprised of twenty-five writers from Africa, China, India, Japan, & Latin America, (about half of whom I'd never heard of before), published in '92 and then reissued in '02 as a Signet Classic: Other Voices, Other Vistas. I'll list the "unknowns" a bit later ...

jan 6, 2011, 8:42am

As far as I'm concerned, choose one and let's go!

jan 6, 2011, 9:44pm

Well all righty then.

"My Thai Cat," by Pratoomratha Zeng, let's read. I, however, will wait until I hear that slick has the book, before proceeding. So, once we start, I'll read page one out loud; thea, you can read the second page out loud; sandydog, page three; and then slick page four, and so on ...

jan 6, 2011, 9:55pm

I ordered mine ages ago (well 10 days ago). it has yet to arrive.

jan 6, 2011, 10:56pm

I was so piqued to discover on the German and Scandinavian list a Swedish author of whom I had never heard (Sigfrid Siwertz) that I immediately ordered a copy of his novel Downstream (1923) out of spite. I thought I had all the major Swedish writers (at least the 20th-century ones) down. Very little of his work has ever been translated and nothing recently, but it should be. Read this passage from Downstream and you will understand what I mean.

In the long dream of childhood there reigns a capricious, mysterious and yet irresistible Fate, beneficent like the fairy with its wand beside the princess's cradle, or cruel like the wolf in Red Riding Hood. The shadow of that Fate still casts itself over our riper years. It haunts us, ghost-like, even when we have begun consciously to order our lives. Only a few chosen spirits are able to cast off the spell of these fairies and trolls.

This is the tale of a people whose childhood was passed in the shadow of the wolf--and who could never escape from their childhood.

jan 6, 2011, 11:00pm

They look great, Rique!

(The old, obedient dawg, always the follower.)

'Anything but "Rose for Emily". I've read that 4,219 times already.

This is really a cool, old volume, with "ORIENTAL", and "ROMACE LANGUAGE" as categories. How quaint.

Redigeret: jan 6, 2011, 11:08pm

40> that's one of those oomph, powerful passages hits you right in the gut. I'm very very pleased that I could finally find a list for you, U, that has proved beneficial to your literary edification! Anthologies are the key; so much obscure stuff is out there, just waiting to be "discovered" by you and me.

41> I don't plan on reading any of the U.S.A. selections. You'll notice I didn't bother listing the British and American section. Although I will say the writers from Wales and Scotland are new to me.

4,219 times?! Did you know that that is the exact number of anthologies "A Rose for Emily" has been included in ... just in those published in the 1960s as a matter of fact.

jan 6, 2011, 11:36pm

Indeed. There were 3,866 found in various Norton Anthologies.

The remaining 353 were of course...

- Kramden Anthologies.

jan 7, 2011, 7:04pm

Mine arrived today -- so I'm ready for "My Thai Cat."

jan 7, 2011, 7:09pm

Mine still hasn't arrived.

jan 7, 2011, 7:53pm

Mine also still hasn't arrived.


jan 7, 2011, 9:12pm

Mine hasn't arrived either. Anyone have any Ralph Kramden pictures to put up while we wait?

jan 7, 2011, 9:24pm

Preferably with a pensive look, chin resting on a relaxed fist...

jan 7, 2011, 10:39pm

How funny. Since I did find out about Sigfrid Siwertz via this list, I am reading his book Downstream aka Selambs. It is excellent but slow going. It is more evocative than plot-oriented so one can't just skip merrily along. One has to imbibe slowly.

jan 8, 2011, 1:30am

Ask and ye shall receive

I do like those more evocative than plot-driven books.

jan 8, 2011, 1:45am

Ha! Yes Proust is a feast but sometimes a good roisterous plot-driven big hits the spot . . . (and that's not the G-spot).

Redigeret: jan 8, 2011, 8:53am

Ah, Ralph, the Buddha.

Meditate. Live purely. Be quiet. Do your work with mastery. Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds. Shine.

And if you don't Alice, I'm tellin' ya, I'm gonna SEND ya to-the-moon!

jan 9, 2011, 2:01am

Wonder of wonders. My university library which has been short on consistency lately has Wallenstein and Mr. Hiram Haydn's anthology. I'll be happy to join you as soon as I get my hands on these books.

There's an entry for Armenia? I'm surprised that we weren't classified under Mother Russia. We as in: I'm of Armenian origin.


jan 9, 2011, 2:02am

Got mine today!

Redigeret: jan 9, 2011, 2:13am

Good to hear. We're still waiting for Mr. Durick, Lisa, and Urania's to arrive. Now those whose book has already arrived, it wouldn't be fair to begin reading early until all the books have been served to their owners. When you're at a restaurant, and only four of the five dinners arrive, the four of you with food don't start scarfing your grub down do you? No, may it never be! Instead, you politely wait for the fifth dinner to arrive before taking a single bite off your plate. That's called manners. Likewise, if only half of our books have arrived, then those whose books have arrived must politely wait until the other's books have arrived, and not open a single page. Not one peek inside the book. Because that would be being rude and indiscreet -- a faux pas -- and not to mention being also an embarrassing breach of etiquette and decorum. Think, 'What would Martha Stewart do?' Ergo, you're welcome to read, you just can't read the anthology in question until everyone else's anthology arrives.

jan 9, 2011, 12:44pm

'Rique, so kind, but, really, don't let your food get cold. Don't you just hate eating cold food?

jan 9, 2011, 1:10pm

and you're so kind too, Lisa, to be so magnanimous like that, but see, waiting also stirs up the thrill of anticipation. Like when a sailor's been out at sea for six months, gets off the boat and sees his sweetie, and rushes her home off the naval base 'cos he's built up some anticipation in his mind ... so, waiting, will only make reading the short story even more of an exciting read!

jan 9, 2011, 3:32pm

Is that what happens now that Subic Bay's been closed down?


jan 10, 2011, 9:08am

I think my awesome anthology must have decided to take a detour and an inter-owner vacation. I will speak to it sternly when it arrives.

jan 15, 2011, 8:38pm

So does everybody have their awesome anthology yet? If so, let's get reading and discussing "My Thai Cat" this holiday weekend, shall we?

jan 15, 2011, 9:00pm

FINALLY, mine arrived this afternoon. I will try to read it before I go to sleep!

jan 15, 2011, 11:51pm

I'll read it tomorrow. That's two of us who'll have read it. Who else will be reading/discussing it?

jan 16, 2011, 12:00am


jan 16, 2011, 6:43am

Just up. I'll read it over coffee.

jan 16, 2011, 8:48am

No!!!!!!!! My awesome anthology has not yet arrived. I feel an Anglo-Saxon attitude coming on.

jan 16, 2011, 8:55am

Woof! I'm on it. Turn to page 849, class.

jan 16, 2011, 9:31am

Noooooooooooooooo!!!!! Not yeeeeeeeeeeetttttt.

Redigeret: jan 16, 2011, 11:27am

Don't mind my manners; I gulp my dog chow - without waiting for all to be served - too.

I know, no problemo, Mary, I'll just read it to you!

"Sii Sward was our Thai or Siamese cat in my home town Muang..."

Woof-woof. Bow-wow-wow..


jan 16, 2011, 1:11pm

Well, I left my copy in my office at school, so I won't get to it until Tuesday.

jan 16, 2011, 1:40pm

So let's meet back here Tuesday night and see if Urania has her book by then.

jan 16, 2011, 2:37pm

Do you think the goats might have gotten to it?

jan 16, 2011, 4:04pm

Those darn kids!

Aw I was just playin' before, Urania. I've plenty to do to keep busy. Fighting the ice on the roof is just one of my current pastimes.

As for reading, what possessed me to try Gargantua and Pantagruel? Nothing but poo-poo and pee-pee jokes for weeks on end. I'm still wallowing in Book 3.

Redigeret: jan 20, 2011, 7:43pm

Denne meddelelse er blevet slettet af dens forfatter.

Redigeret: jan 21, 2011, 9:54pm

Anybody read "My Thai Cat"? Must say I've gotten sidetracked. Are people still interested? Or is this one of those ideas that sounds really really good at first, but then fizzles in the actualization?

Redigeret: jan 21, 2011, 10:09pm

Its only three or four pages for goddess sake! You aren't missing much though. It was a slightly amusing anecdote that illuminated an aspect of Thai culture (and universal human nature) but it was not a powerfully told or written short story. I was talking to someone and they suggested we take turns suggesting the next story. I think its a great idea and am waiting anxiously for another salonista to make a suggestion!

jan 21, 2011, 10:03pm

I'm still in. 'Sounds really familiar. I'm not joking agin; I bet it has been in some other anthologies.

jan 21, 2011, 10:19pm

I have a package here from today's mail that I suspect is the anthology. If the stories are short I'll catch up with you. Am I correct in inferring that "My Thai Cat" is the first and current story to be discussed?


jan 21, 2011, 10:29pm


jan 21, 2011, 11:16pm

Denne meddelelse er blevet slettet af dens forfatter.

jan 21, 2011, 11:17pm

I'm waiting for my copy! Please Mr. Postman!

Redigeret: jan 22, 2011, 3:02am

Poor kitty, but good kitty. I am hopeful of asking my Thai neighbor a couple of questions about this story. She is married to an American so it is likely she is from an urban area, where she might have met him, and she may not know about rural activities. I know that she goes to a temple, and I'll be able to ask her about this conflation of vedic faith with Buddhism.

SPOILER Poor kitty, but I'm glad she saved the village farms and got over the tribulations.


Redigeret: jan 23, 2011, 3:37pm

Yeah, Mr. D., the vedic/Buddhism interplay was pretty interesting. I liked the story; fable-like. Quaint. Here's a fun quote for those w/out the book:

" '...the villagers have asked us to help in the ceremony asking for the rain. I promised them to use our cat -- Sii Sward.'

"I was stunned. How could they use my cat to get rain? I thought of those chickens that the Chinese killed and boiled during their annual Trut-Chine, the Chinese ritual days for sacrificing to and honoring the memory of their ancestors. To have my cat killed and boiled like a chicken! Oh, no."

Would anybody w/the book like to pick a story for us to read this week?

jan 23, 2011, 11:42pm

81: One of the best spoilers I've ever read!

jan 24, 2011, 12:58am

My Thai neighbor's good English wasn't inclusive of the kind of questions I would have liked to ask in follow up, questions of implication, generalization, and so forth. She didn't recognize the name of the author, and I neglected to ask her about the Thai literary world. Sii Sward is not common but is the recognized cat name for a cat with special eyes and the ability to work magic. In her experience, including the temple she attends now, there are no Gods in Thai Buddhism, although there are rural folk who participate in rituals like the one in the story. Our communications broke down when I tried to ask about the variety of sects in Thailand.


jan 24, 2011, 1:50pm

I'm sure she thought that was a topic best left in bedroom.

Anyone have any interest in Gorky's One Autumn Night. I haven't read it but am about to.

jan 24, 2011, 2:04pm

85: I hope it isn't only people like me, who move their lips when they read, that get your joke.

We can travel all over the world in this anthology. I am all for Gorky!

jan 24, 2011, 2:10pm

I thought the joke was intended. I was just using my twenty pound hammer to point it out. BTW, I don't move my lips when I read, but I do pronounce the words in my head. It takes me longer, but I don't miss much that way.

As for Gorky, what say you oh fearless leader?

jan 24, 2011, 2:13pm

Don't have much to say about "My Thai Cat" -- fragrant kitty, wet kitty? An interesting quick peek into a local custom.
On to Gorky....

jan 24, 2011, 2:37pm

87: I am sure you are right - thanks for the hammer!

jan 24, 2011, 6:07pm

Let's pop the corky on some Gorky.

jan 24, 2011, 6:22pm

"One Autumn Night" on page 570


jan 24, 2011, 7:52pm

Thai Cat a nice intro. On to Gorky!

jan 24, 2011, 9:33pm

Varuna (the god of rain and the ocean) shows up in the Ramayana as well. Rama threatens to kick his ass (ie, ruin all the oceans) but Varuna persuades Rama to go put a world of hurt on the deep ocean demons instead.

Me thinks that this was much too much attention on a mere, lowly feline.

On to Gorky!

jan 24, 2011, 9:45pm

It wasn't a mere, lowly feline. It was Sii Sward who brought rain to the drought stricken farmers.


jan 25, 2011, 1:34am

So Gorky portrays the consequences of unfettered capitalism: hunger, cold, loneliness. In sharing their talents, insofar as each can, each is redeemed, not alienated from their labor (that is the labor of forcing their way into the crate), and they have the strength to provide mutual aid. Hurray for communism!


feb 1, 2011, 7:56pm

Is anybody interested in taking ownership of this thread and keeping the one story per week idea, picking the story, talking about it, going?

Opportunity of a lifetime, I'd say, to have your own thread, led by you, whomever you may end up being. I'm too busy elsewhere to remain on top of this. Time to delegate. I think it's a great thread and a great idea; hopefully someone will take charge of it.

feb 1, 2011, 8:06pm

I now own the book, but I'm no good at owning threads. I will try to read a story tonight and throw a bomb about it.

feb 2, 2011, 12:50am

I have finally received my copy of the book, so bombs away A_musing.

Redigeret: feb 2, 2011, 10:27am

Because I've been sampling a fair bit of Chinese literature of late, I started on the "Oriental Section", which began with a lovely little essay describing how western literary forms were rescuing otherwise moribund cultures. Of course, that may well have been the attitude of some of the authors as well (some of whom work their way into the British foreign service, for example, while writing their stories), and so I enter expecting these stories to be rich in fodder for looking at cultural cross-mixing.

The first story is "Medicine" by Lu Hsun, and it's a lovely little story that does a good job trying to restrain the story's natural melodrama. The editors read it mainly as a critique of Chinese medicine and backwardness, but I think there's a more deeply tragic reading focused less on what is Chinese and what is Western (and the West really doesn't impinge on the story itself: it is absent, despite the editors reading themselves and their culture right into the story in their commentary) and more on a Dickenesque kind of commentary.

feb 2, 2011, 3:03pm

I will read the Gorky and Hsun in the next few days.

feb 2, 2011, 3:16pm

While waiting for someone to bring this beast under control, I have been opening the book at random and reading whichever story it opens to. Sort of like throwing a dart at a map.

feb 2, 2011, 4:01pm

I'll read "Medicine" soon; I hope today.


feb 2, 2011, 4:57pm

"Medicine" for me tonight.

feb 2, 2011, 6:56pm

I read it. Now I need someone else to answer the question, "So what?"


feb 2, 2011, 9:26pm

I will post a rant later. I have to sign off because I have nearly used up my appointed gigabytes for the month ending on the 5th. Expect unusually long silences.

feb 3, 2011, 3:44pm

The capitalists have trod on the working classes instilling superstitious reactions to what is fearful in life. It is time for something new, a long march to a people's democracy, freedom through scientific economics.

Meanwhile I have forsworn blood soaked pastries, although I ate a pork chop last night.


Redigeret: feb 3, 2011, 5:03pm

You got much more out of that than me. I thought it was just a tight little vignette of superstitous parents losing their child while a crow screamed forebodingly at them. It seems nicely laden with some interesting images and symbols and left open to ambiguities: was it hopeless from the beginning? Could anything have been done? Did the executed have a reason for their death?

I have Hsun's (or Xun's in other transliterations) Ah Q sitting waiting to be read some time.

feb 3, 2011, 5:09pm

The first thing I got out of it was my antipathy to the cure, which I got as a subject of the story from the explanatory material.

The second thing I got out of the story was a representation of the weirdness that arises out of love and death.

But as I drove around town yesterday and last night I remembered that the author was a socialist and lined up some of the facts of the story with a socialist take. The tea house proprietors were business owners but possibly impoverished so they could be accepted; I wonder how much culturally necessary bourgeois businesses were disturbed by the revolution. The capitalist selling the blood soaked cake was insistent on the sale. The result was a tremendous disappointment. Hail Marx.


Redigeret: feb 3, 2011, 5:22pm

Interesting. I actually liked your "so what" and wanted to see what others would say. The thing left me thinking there was a hopelessness conveyed: a "so what". If it's instead laden with hope for someting better and hatred for the oppressors, I'd find it cheerier and less "so what".

The fellow selling the blood cake was indeed pretty insistent, but he's not exactly a big-time capitalist. Though I did get the impression that the loss of the coins hurt, and that the cost was high.

I'm not sure what symbolism there is to some of this stuff, but I sense symbols. I didn't feel motivated to pull them apart, since I could just read it as a vignette.

I'm looking forward to Urania's rant.

Redigeret: feb 4, 2011, 12:48pm

Of the three stories we've read so far, I like Medicine the best. I read it as a "mere" ghost story. I wouldn't have seen it myself, but Mr. D's shorter version at 106 seems accurate. The flowers at the end seem an odd touch if the author was so opposed to superstition.

The Gorky story had a few moments but it was not as good as I expected from a person so confident that he was destined to achieve such greatness. I also found it lacked the emotional resonance he desperately sought to evoke through various pitiful details. I don't know if that was in part the translation or wholly the result of his me-me-me focus. It would be interesting to collect and publish a literature of hunger. I think it would be, unfortunately, quite good. With an unpdated translation, this story would make it.

I forgot to mention in the discussion of Thai Cat that, in The Golden Bough, Frazer describes similar rain-making rituals from that area of the world .

feb 9, 2011, 4:22pm

I propose for the next story Latin American writer Horacio Quiroga. I don't recall the title. Anyone else up for it?

feb 9, 2011, 4:46pm

"Three Letters...and a Footnote" on page 934. It is very short; I am sick and indolent, but still may be able to make it through it.


feb 9, 2011, 4:49pm

I will read it and register my reaction.

Redigeret: feb 9, 2011, 4:51pm

Will read tonight.

ETA that I still need to read the last one.

feb 9, 2011, 4:54pm

I'd be interested in your thoughts on Medicine, T.E.; I still find the story a bit of a cipher, which does make it interesting.

feb 10, 2011, 9:31am

Well, that was a teensy bagatelle, wasn't it?

feb 10, 2011, 9:46am

(I got wrapped up in something else and didn't get my homework done. I hope I can get an extension!)

feb 10, 2011, 11:15pm

Indeed, a teensy bagatelle. Ah, we are all so predictable! Just straight men setting up the punch line.

I think this volume is mostly teensy bagatelles. Amusing little short-shorts giving us a wide sampling of many little tastes. I know in precisely which room of the house this book will find its home.

feb 10, 2011, 11:53pm

118: "I know which room"
I was thinking the very same thing.

feb 10, 2011, 11:54pm

Is this yer guyses way of saying that these stories stink?

feb 10, 2011, 11:55pm

No, just that its perfect for a pit stop.

Redigeret: feb 11, 2011, 12:00am

That is a sacred room, where many good books reside. The length of the stories is really perfect for short reads.

feb 11, 2011, 9:44am

So far, though enjoying the quick reads, I'm underwhelmed, with the exception of "Medicine." Intrigued by that one and would read more from and about the author. What's next?

feb 11, 2011, 2:51pm

It's too heavy for comfortable reading in the room which shall not be named.

Redigeret: feb 13, 2011, 5:39pm

All Salonistas,

Do not lament that you lack a copy of A World of Great Stories.

You may find an audio version of "Three Letters...and a Footnote" here:

As for the story, all I can say is that if Hottie were on that bus, she'd been on that editor like stink on a monkey.

Finally, the probability of having previously read 2 of the last four selections - continues to boggle my modest canine brain. I should go down to the Indian Reservation and play some roulette.

Everything should be new from now on in.

feb 14, 2011, 3:06am

Finally got it! O. Henry seems like a glitch-ridden prototype of Damon Runyon.

feb 14, 2011, 2:24pm

Are you guys reading these in any order? I started at the start and have made it as far as the Fitzgerald, which (reliable Fitzy!) was devastating.

Redigeret: feb 14, 2011, 2:40pm

Martin dear, we're just sort of calling them out the way that people call out the next hymn to sing at a revival. Friends, I think Martin just called out "The Baby Party." We've yet to read an American. Shall we proceed?

Redigeret: feb 14, 2011, 2:59pm

I think others have been dipping into it as they please but we've also been tossing out titles for reading as a group. Those are the only I've read. Would you like to suggest some? I, at least, am all ears. And eyes. Hair, too. Pretty scary when you think about it.

Oops, I see that while I was composing this, another story has been selected through our informal process. Yippee!

feb 14, 2011, 3:04pm

>128 theaelizabet: yaaaay! sounds good. Meanwhile, I'll proceed on silent pads to "My Thai Cat".

>129 slickdpdx:

feb 14, 2011, 3:26pm

I just, finally, read "Three Letters...and a Footnote." I didn't see an actual footnote; did anyone else? I thought it was too cute.


feb 14, 2011, 3:31pm

It was too cute, I concur. I also agree that it should be called something like "three letters and a post-script".

feb 14, 2011, 3:49pm

So is the third letter also the footnote or postscript? Maybe it should be called "Three letters Ending With an Ironic Turn."

"The Baby Party" seems to be an encapsulation of American urban prosperity in the third decade of the twentieth century. Men used to get in fist fights without the intent of killing their opponent and of kicking their opponent in the head when they had him on the ground. It was a barbarian age of high good manners; we may have replaced it with a different barbarian age of high good manners.


feb 14, 2011, 4:50pm

>133 Mr.Durick: didn't they still lose a lot of teeth?

feb 16, 2011, 1:16am

Catching up! "My Thai Cat" I found pleasant but inconsequential and not particularly skilled; "One Autumn Night" kind of contra-Nietzsche in a way I approve of, as well as a great sketch of a certain kind of attenuated-yet-feverish young man who gets more of a charge from philosophy than sex and mental health; "Medicine" obscure.

Redigeret: feb 16, 2011, 9:29am

The Baby Party: Now that would happen over a traffic incident (and, just as in the story, it must be an incident with no actual damage to the precious one.) Of course it would end differently.

feb 17, 2011, 9:43pm

EF made an excellent suggestion to avoid the uh-MUHR-kin stories for now. But let's have the rest of the gang, just this once, try "The Baby Party" (p.59).

Then I'd suggest we get back to some of those gems mentioned back on >35 absurdeist:.

So, far we have:

1. MY THAI CAT (Pratoomratha Zen) p. 849
2. ONE AUTUMN NIGHT (Maxim Gorky) p. 570
3. MEDICINE (Lu Hsun) p. 747
4. THREE LETTERS...AND A FOOTNOTE (Horacio Quiroga) p. 934
5. THE BABY PARTY (F Scott Fitzgerald) p. 59

feb 19, 2011, 7:23pm

> 96

Crickets are a chirpin' here, offa dat... inta dere.

I'm a gonna take charge and march off smartly on this one.

Per your request EF, I'll cover this, at least through April Fool's Day.

'Any more comments about "THE BABY PARTY" (p. 59)? Or, even the next story, from the land of good chocolate, HIEP-HIOUP (p. 333)?

feb 19, 2011, 7:28pm

Yeah, sorry about the USIntrusion there. Looking forward to getting Flemish (?) w/y'all.

feb 19, 2011, 7:40pm

That one's too long. Oh well, I may try it anyway.


feb 19, 2011, 8:14pm

138> thanks Sandydawg#1 for assuming control of the anthology! I'll jump back in myself come April Fool's if need be.

feb 20, 2011, 12:42am

Well! "Hiep-Hioup": not a big fan of poor people or female sexuality, is he? Feels like the 19th (not 20th) century Gothic version of one of those horror movies where the "bad girls" die first.

Redigeret: feb 21, 2011, 1:54am

SPOILER This story has an abrupt surprise ending.


feb 23, 2011, 1:11pm

Hiep Hioup Hooray!

feb 23, 2011, 3:03pm

145: You win.

I suppose this story belongs on another thread, but. A friend and I were on an elevator with Treach - who we knew was Treach - at the height of his fame. My friend - a troublemaker - assumed a starstruck air and burst out, "I know you!" Treach, in turn, assumed a combination of "aw, shucks" humility mixed with a bit of noblesse oblige for a fan. Friend then shouts/sings, "Jump! Jump!, right?" Treach, crestfallen and offended, spits out "No, man, that was Kriss Kross!"

feb 23, 2011, 3:55pm

>your friend is a cruel individual. I'll buy him a beer if ever it becomes possible.

Redigeret: mar 1, 2011, 7:18pm

Ok, we've had a shot at 'Family Guy' (p. 59), and the misogynistic 'Of Vamps and Men' (p. 333).

By the way, is this Hiep-Hioup?

'Time to try "THE STORY OF MY DEATH" by Lauro de Bosis, Page 371!!!

feb 26, 2011, 7:23pm


Redigeret: feb 27, 2011, 9:47am

"The Story of My Death" is apparently about the story of Olympian (he won a prize in the 1928 Olympics, IN POETRY) de Bosis' own fate/death. Fiction and reality merge, as in In Cold Blood

Truly an amazing story. Holy forshadowing, Batman!

feb 28, 2011, 11:11pm

Hiep-Houp was okay. I did not see it as especially misogynistic as men, too, are capable of terrible spite even when it is hurtung the them as much as anyone else. Reading the Italian story that follows Pirandello's. Will read the deBosis as well.

Redigeret: mar 1, 2011, 5:19am

Well, de Bosis wasn't really a story as such but he sure was bracing.

mar 1, 2011, 1:22pm

And Ignazio Silone sure was a fascinating character, wasn't he? And a good writer, too--I could have read a whole novel about "The Travelers", as long as it didn't contain any more instances of the phrase "the shadowy opening of the intestines".

mar 1, 2011, 2:04pm

I'd never heard of Silone. I liked that bit and will read the novel it seems to come from if it is available in translation. And, I couldn't disagree more. The horse's ass was the best thing about that story!

I started the deBosis last night. That is a strong brew. Really liking it.

mar 1, 2011, 3:48pm

So de Bosis in 1931 in his penultimate sentence says, "The Spanish people have freed their country." What's the story with that?


mar 1, 2011, 4:40pm

>154 slickdpdx: no, I'm with you about the shaking of the flesh and the dude trying to make sure the rest of the horse was still there, and I get how the phrase in question is integral to the effect--but "opening of the intestines" just skeeves me out.

>155 Mr.Durick:

What next?

mar 1, 2011, 5:26pm

I guess my "just before World War II" for the relative chronological location of the Spanish Civil War extended farther than history allowed.


mar 1, 2011, 11:38pm

> 151
Yes, misogynistic wasn't exactly the appropriate term.

>156 MeditationesMartini:
Shall, (or Shan't), we finish what EF started back on # 35?

HIDE AND SEEK (Feodor Sologub) p. 590

mar 3, 2011, 4:31am

It was eerie! Now I demand more! Let us all read "The Cock" on p. 845, friends! Ha ha, it is from "Annam".

mar 3, 2011, 7:48am

Whoah. Now THAT ("Hide and Seek") was cheerful.

Agreed, we certainly could pick up the pace a wee bit.

mar 10, 2011, 2:02pm

Okay, it's been a week. I am calling out "The Death of Kristin Lavransdatter" by Sigrid Undset.

Redigeret: mar 10, 2011, 2:45pm

I found a good remedy for the depression induced by Hide and Seek was the preceding ( i think) story by Aleichem about Tevye winning a fortune. I am now reading Bunin's Gentleman from San Francisco.

It seems like a large portion of these stories are excerpts from larger works. I will read the Undset next. Tiu-tiu for now!

mar 13, 2011, 3:20pm

Slick, if you mention it, it's on!

Sorry folks, about the erratic posts/suggestions. I've been busy roaming the countryside, sniffing trees, chasing cats. Here's where we are, and I will suggest a few new ones, to prime the pump again.

6. HIEP-HIOUP (p. 333)
8. HIDE AND SEEK (p. 590)
9. THE COCK (p. 845)
13. MATERNITY (P. 734)

Please, feel free to chime in and comment about one and all!

Redigeret: mar 14, 2011, 7:26pm

"The Cock" was extremely similar to that of the cat (ie, "My Thai Cat"). It's nice when a story ends well, although the superstition, parental distrust and caste prejudice isn't all that wonderful.

Speaking of "ending well", the story "Maternity" seemed considerably more gritty and bleak. A Greek Grapes of Wrath.

(Dolmathakia of Alacrity?)

mar 15, 2011, 1:50pm

#163-164 Thanks for keeping the ball rolling! I've got some reading to do.

mar 15, 2011, 2:50pm

>162 slickdpdx: yeah, good for Tevye, man. I liked how his fortune was just a fair and secure living, and how he got it by acquiring a portion of the surplus unfairly hoarded by the bourgeoisie, and how the reason he got it was being a good dude. Lefty humanism.

mar 15, 2011, 3:08pm

I guess we can see it through a lefty and humanist lens, but Tevye certainly didn't! The wiki entry on Aleichem has some interesting stuff. He was a confirmed triskadekaphobe! (How unfortunate that the word has fifteen letters.)

mar 21, 2011, 2:12pm

Sweet Christmas, Ryunosuke Akutagawa. I nominate that as the best story yet. Every sentence can be read at least three ways, alters the way you understood just what came before it, and leads you inexorably onward. Riveting.

Redigeret: mar 24, 2011, 8:18pm

Word that. Ok little (and big) professors, here's a short one. Turn to page 443, please:

15. KONG AT THE SEASIDE (Arnold Zweig), p. 443

mar 24, 2011, 8:16pm

Wow, I didn't know too much about Zweig, a contemporary and homey of the likes of Freud, Mann, Brecht, Seghers, and Feuchtwanger. Fascinating.

mar 25, 2011, 9:20am

Recently, I've been reading The Paris Review Interviews, volume 4, a wonderful anthology of musings on writing and the writing process, by Paul Auster, Haruki Murakami and a host of other luminous writers.... Auster's interview was particularly helpful in getting me through a mini bout of depression I seemed to be experiencing as I was editing and putting the final touches on my own book. More reflections at my blog,

mar 25, 2011, 7:10pm

Sounds like good stuff recovering prof. Auster is a great live reader. I am sure he gives good interview.

I'm a page or two from finishing Lavransdattar. I like this excerpt enough, but it is not making me want to read the books. Looking forward to the Akutagawa!

mar 25, 2011, 7:33pm

I read a tonne of those interviews! They are all (?) online at

And yeah, I think I could get down with Lavransdatter at novel length, but the excerpting is pissing me off. Are there no Norwegian short stories? Is butchering a novel and extracting its organs really necessary? I wish I had some folksy analogy to hand, possibly about putting lipstick on a pig.

Redigeret: mar 26, 2011, 3:13pm

Finally, no more cat and rooster stories; a Dog Story! Zweig's story was lovingly re-created in 2004 by the good folks at South Park:

The role of Kong is played by Butters. The little girl, Paris Hilton. A masterpiece. But the reference to "Kong at the Seaside" occurs in the first part of this episode. After that, be warned, it gets pretty gross, even for South Park.

Redigeret: mar 27, 2011, 5:36pm

Let's see if I can't scare up a few Salonistas, to try a couple more:

16. THE BURNING CITY by Hjalmar Soderberg p. 549
17. THE PIG by Constant Zarian p. 826

A dog, then a pig; it's getting to be like a Pink Floyd album around here...

mar 26, 2011, 5:10pm

This Canadian is calling out the Canadian story by Canadian Morley Canadallaghan.

mar 26, 2011, 5:27pm

Thanks for putting up the link to the interviews, Martini. I can't wait to delve into them.

mar 26, 2011, 8:11pm

Ok, Martini, our illustrious dictator was going to avoid the Anglo stuff but what-the-hey, it's on:

18. A SICK CALL by Morley Callaghan p. 249

He's got an awfully Irish name and Irish ain't Anglo or Western, or nothin'. (I me'self 've been curious about "The Sniper")

DOH! I mentioned another one!

19. THE SNIPER by Liam O'Flaherty p. 223

mar 26, 2011, 8:19pm

>178 Sandydog1: per cod-Irishman PJ O'Rourke, they're the Koreans of Europe. I call out the story by Younghill Kang, who in a classy move is both one of the authors included in this collection and one of the editors responsible for selection. (One of the surest things a professor can do to lose the respect of their class, I find, is assign their own book. Sometimes it's even appropriate, but it's like, maybe alter the purview of the course a little instead of forcing us to give you hundreds (?) of $ in royalties.)

mar 26, 2011, 8:31pm

(His favorite, oaky, cheap Spanish Tempranillo spurts out of his nose)

"The Koreans of Europe". LOL, ya got the Dawg.

This Soderberg story takes, oh, a couple nanoseconds to read. But if any of youz got a 3-5 year old adult in your household, you will LOVE "The Burning City".

I believe in Soderberg, who said, (in Gertrud),

"I believe in the lust of the flesh and the incurable desolation of the soul."

mar 26, 2011, 8:35pm

Redigeret: mar 26, 2011, 10:39pm

First...Have you ever felt, on LT, that you were running a monologue?

Second, Martini, Ach achon ach am toirsech monuar!

Third, I totally missed the Korean reference. Here 'tis:

20. DOOMSDAY by Younghill Kang p. 788

Fourth, Anyhoo, I just read "The Pig"...twice. 'A very interesting allegory: Master and Margarita meets Animal Farm.

"Who can fathom a pig's soul?"

mar 27, 2011, 12:07am

>182 Sandydog1: ha! I will stand by you even unto the death, and if you fall I will continue reading on my own, because that's how we roll.

mar 27, 2011, 4:29am

And I like the Soderberg. He's got kids' number.

mar 27, 2011, 5:13am

And I like the one by Kang! The end of a world we in the West didn't even know enough about to mourn, at the hands of pygmies wielding pilfered glory.

mar 27, 2011, 5:33pm

A "Sick Call," a pagan beauty, a slick Priest.

This one had a similar tone to that of "A Baby Party".

mar 28, 2011, 12:39pm

The handkerchief was interesting. Criticism/defense/neither of Bushido?
I liked how the story called bullsh*t on Strindberg by using, completely effectively, the very trope (if that's the right word) that Strindberg was deriding as "mannerism." That has me leaning toward defense or, perhaps, neither. The story reminded me of a short DFW piece I love: Death is not the end.

Did anyone else like Gentleman from SF? The end was a bit lumbering and lacked subtlety but I liked it.

mar 31, 2011, 3:22am

>187 slickdpdx: I dunno, I thought it was a bit lumbering and lacked subtlety, myself.

I need something to read before bed and Digging Deeper is downstairs, so I'm calling out "The Silver Hilt" by Ferenc Molnar.

mar 31, 2011, 1:49pm

>188 MeditationesMartini: oooh, nicely called, self. This one made me wanna take on the world laughing (at our foibles).

apr 5, 2011, 9:01pm

I can't help but feel like I'm standing over y'all shouting "EAT! EAT! NOW! I BUST MY HUMP ALL DAY." I call out "The Gentle Libertine" by Colette.

apr 5, 2011, 9:20pm

I am so in full agreement. Our former Dictatorial Dude had such a great idea. Where the Freeque iseverybody?

Come hell or high water, I'm going to plug through all 115 titles.

apr 5, 2011, 9:37pm

I'm still here, especially if it's Colette. Off to read.

apr 5, 2011, 9:51pm

Good! Good! Somebody yell some more out for me.

apr 6, 2011, 12:25am

here, where is everybody. Damn timezone. I always feel like in a bad synchronized movie.

apr 6, 2011, 1:01am

Yeah, let's get some more Belgians up in this piece.

apr 6, 2011, 6:34am

"How grand to be Queen, with a red ribbon and a revolver..."

The Gentle Libertine

apr 6, 2011, 9:31am

The Molnar was silly and a bit fun. A Tale of Two Confidence Men, you could call it. I started the Edith Sitwell which has a rant on the suburbs from Thom. Dekker. Will read burning city, pig and libertine.

apr 10, 2011, 4:56am

I read the Rilke/will read the Sitwell/am calling "Hillbred" by Syria's Arreph El-Khoury

apr 10, 2011, 4:47pm

Ok, let me try to do a little bookeeping here. Do let me know if I've missed any of these call-outs, and please, add some more!

21. THE SILVER HILT - Ferene Molnar, p. 698

22. THE GENTLE LIBERTINE - Colette, p. 283

23. FANFARE FOR ELIZABETH - Edith Sitwell, p. 202

24. THE TALE OF THE HANDS OF GOD - Rainer Marie Rilke, p. 421

25. HILLBRED - Arreph El-Khoury, p. 824

I did read the latter, a mere 2 1/2 pages.

apr 11, 2011, 3:07am

Sorry to be such an, um, martinet, but I wanna get through all of these before I go on holiday. Which is in six weeks!

apr 11, 2011, 3:10pm

And so I am calling out "Deliverance" by Romain Holland. Also, hey, the El-Khoury story wasn't bad. At first it seemed like he was colonial-pandering but then there was a sting in the tail.

apr 12, 2011, 3:46am

"Deliverance" was poignant. Calling "The Sailor-boy's Tale" by Isak Dinesen.

apr 14, 2011, 10:45pm

Okay, I'm just gonna start reading these, or I'll never get them done, but one more callout for old-tymes sake: the last story in the book, Monteiro Lobato's "The Funny-Man Who Repented". Good luck everyone!

apr 14, 2011, 11:57pm

I'm here! The book is by the bed and that one sounds like a good one for tonight.

By the way, I picked up a copy of the Selected Stories of Lu Hsun ("Medicine") at the local library sale. The book was published in China in 1960 by the Foreign Language Press--in English. Anyway, in the introduction, which was written in 1922, Lu Hsun, who is described here as the "chief commander of China's modern cultural revolution" writes,

"As for myself, I no longer feel any great urge to express myself; yet perhaps because I have not entirely forgotten the grief of my past loneliness. I sometimes call out, to encourage those fighters who are galloping in loneliness, so that they do not lose heart. Whether my cry is brave or sad, repellent or ridiculous, I do not care. However, since it is a call to arms, I must naturally obey my general's orders. This is why I often resort to innuendos, as when I made a wreath appear from nowhere at the son's grave in "Medicine"... For our chiefs were then against pessimism. And I, for my part, did not want to infect with the loneliness I had found so bitter those young people who were still dreaming pleasant dreams, just as I had done when young.

Just thought you'd want to know.

apr 15, 2011, 5:09am

Lu Hsun had a great and generous spirit.

apr 15, 2011, 9:38am

Got to the Colette. Still chipping away, albeit more slowly.

apr 15, 2011, 9:45am

Re: "The Funny Man Who Repented" Well,who doesn't laugh at a good joke about Englishmen and friars?

Keep calling out Martin. This is my bedtime reading.

apr 17, 2011, 12:09pm

"The Sailor Boy's Tale" was a nice story, but not terribly original. Reminded me of "Androcles and the Lion", or, the ending of Little Big Man.

apr 24, 2011, 9:51am

Martini's right. We've got to resume batching these up in fives and tens, or we shall never get through them all!

26. DELIVERENCE p. 267
29. THE SORREL COLT p. 922
31. THE OLD WIFE p. 226
32. OVEJON P. 937
33. THE GRAY HORSE p. 241
34. THE LAST FAUN p. 377
35. AN UNBELIEVER p. 344

Have fun with these Theresa, et multi al! PLEASE feel free to add the next 5 or 10.

apr 30, 2011, 7:30pm

36. CIRCUS AT DAWN p. 76
37. MADAME DE LUZY p. 263
38. IN EXILE p. 563
41. DROUGHT p. 808
43. MISS BRILL p. 237
44. FLIGHT p. 81
45. OVERTURE p. 278

Redigeret: maj 1, 2011, 3:25pm

Thanks for the fodder, Marty. I'm home nursing some very minor, almost pleasant, miniscus tear surgery. Just hoping they left enough meat in the knee so the the ol' dog can get out and run again soon. Time to get rid of the paunch.

"The Old Wife" (or was it the old horse?). Another harsh slice of human existence.

"The Jealous Wife" More sadness.

"The Servant Girl" But wait, there's more! Poor little Galacian girl. These are the characters that I always long to "save".

"Miss Brill" A beautiful stage and scenery. Actually, all stage and scenery.

"Flight" I wonder if Cormac McCarthy had read this prior to writing No Country for Old Men. It also reminded me, of course, of "The Sniper".

maj 12, 2011, 4:58pm

In my old age I seem to be always bringing up the rear. For some reason I saw this thread early in the year and even though I love short stories, decided the time wasn't right. But just now, ten minutes ago, I rediscovered y'all and I'm banging my head against the wall! I ACTUALLY OWN THIS BOOK!!! and didn't realize it until I just now clicked on the link and saw the picture on the book page. I probably bought it on a remainder table -- god knows when -- and somehow it got shelved and never read.

Oh well. There's no time like the present -- even though my current reading agenda is way overbooked. Let's see . . . The Confidence-Man, 2666, Porius, Art of Memory, Literary Theory and Criticism . . .

But I've enjoyed reading all yer comments thus far.

maj 12, 2011, 5:19pm

Just finished Capek's Money - good - and reading Vertigo, the next story, quite good. Oh, and finally got to Kong at the Seaside. Belongs in a classic collection. Would also be an interesting read for sophisticated group of high school kids, perhaps.

maj 12, 2011, 7:25pm

Aw c'mon Sue, it's only like, 950 pages!

I am committed to finishing these 115 stories. I'll be bragging about this accomplishment, oh, around 2013...

maj 12, 2011, 9:55pm

I'm taking mine on vacation! 10 hours of transcontinental/Atlantic flight should amount to a serious dent, so I hope ....

maj 12, 2011, 10:30pm

Hey, I'm going to give it a shot. The book now sits proudly in that little room . . . 115 stories, 115 days – yup! I can do it this year.

maj 13, 2011, 12:20am

Vertigo one of the better I've read in the collection. Another author to check out. I did end up buying the Silone trilogy.

maj 13, 2011, 4:08am

I'm hoping your progress on this bad-boy will motivate the rest of us, Martini.

Welcome aboard Suzanne!

And thanks for the recommendation Slick. It would be interesting to separate the wheat from the chaff. That is, as folks finish, it would be fun to hear opinions concerning the top 10 or so.

maj 14, 2011, 4:32am

1 Mai Thai Cat - inscrutable
2 One Autumn Night - wistful
3 Medicine - poignant
4 Three Letters . . . and a Footnote - hilarious

maj 14, 2011, 10:05am

One word reviews! That's cool!

maj 14, 2011, 1:54pm

Cool! Just like that Tony Kornheiser and Mike Wilbon segment ("What's the Word") on ESPN's Pardon the Interruption.

A Rose for Emily - Great Expectations-esque
The Baby Party - sheepish
Flight - predatory
The Sniper - coincidental
The Old Wife - selfish
Miss Brill - scenic
The Sailor Boy's Tale - transmogrifying
The Servant Girl - stoic
Three letters...and a footnote - flirtatious
Hide and Seek - tragic

maj 14, 2011, 5:20pm

Cross Over, Sawyer would make a great read in tandem with The Silver Hilt.

maj 14, 2011, 11:32pm

5 The Baby Party - pathetic
6 Hiep Hioup - pitiful
7 The Story of My Death - portentious
8 Hide and Seek - ominous
9 The Cock - ironic

maj 15, 2011, 10:56pm

10 The Death of Kristin Lavransdatter - dreadful
11 Tevye Wins a Fortune - meshugas
12 The Gentleman from San Francisco - grandiloquent
13 Maternity - heartening
14 The Handkerchief - triquetral
15 Kong at the Seaside - capricious
16 The Burning City - dumbfounding

maj 17, 2011, 2:27am

I'm a bit surprised, what with the gazillions of short stories laying about in books, that so many of these are excerpted from larger works. Couldn't they find stories that were intended as stories? Some of these are quite good, no matter their provenance.

17 The Pig - swinish
18 A Sick Call - epiphanous
19 The Sniper - horrifying
20 Doomsday - perfidious
21 The Silver Hilt - alchemical
22 The Gentle Libertine - idiotic

maj 18, 2011, 2:51am

Who all is still reading these stories? These one-word reviews are really hard.

23 Fanfare for Elizabeth - huh?
24 The Tale of the Hands of God - hysterical
25 Hillbred - sad
26 Deliverance - unfortunate

Redigeret: maj 21, 2011, 10:53am

Poquette - you are a demon reader! I enjoy your one word reviews. Those I've read give me a chuckle or a nod of recognition and the prospect of a spoiler is minimized for those I've not yet read.

What I like most is discovering some writers I did not know; sampling them in these short bits and then searching them out. Silone was one of those for me. Wittin and Hostovsky I am looking up. Sitwell had my interest piqued.

Ouch. Hostovsky's The Arsonist is a bit too expensive. Wittlin's Salt of the Earth can be hard to find and no touchstone.

maj 18, 2011, 4:43pm

Slick - Thanks! Actually, maybe a demon, but not such a swift reader and I'm soooo far behind what with my late start and all. I've only read 26 of the stories – a mere drop in the bucket. Also, I'm following the reading plan laid out by Sandy and Martini, so I haven't gotten to the authors you have mentioned yet. All in good time.

maj 20, 2011, 10:24pm

I think that this is thread should be a "spoilers allowed" zone. After all, they are indeed such short stories.

It's been so long for these. Hmm, I'll try a few more:

Mai Thai Cat - superstitious
The Gray Horse - earthy
The Gentleman from San Francisco - Roth-esque
Maternity - impoverished
A sick Call - manipulative

maj 21, 2011, 7:41am

Taking an excerpt from L'Etranger and calling it a short story - BULLSHIT BULLSHIT BULLSHIT

maj 21, 2011, 12:15pm

YES YES YES but the excerpts from good writers I did not know have been the most rewarding reading. They should have called it a "sampler" of writing from around the world instead of a story collection.

Redigeret: maj 21, 2011, 12:26pm

I agree completely; I was mislead into believing these selections were all stories, as in complete stories. Could've easily been fixed by the publisher had they amended, after the title, in parentheses, "A Smorgasbord selection of complete stories, excerpts, and/or samples from stories," something like that. Still one of the best anthologies I've ever encountered. Anthologies rarely elicit the type of buzz this one has.

maj 21, 2011, 12:40pm

Just read Ring Lardner's Ex Parte: good. I can see the influence on Peter W.

Redigeret: maj 21, 2011, 1:05pm

I've got a copy of Best Short Stories: 25 Stories from America's Foremost Humorist by Lardner. I wonder, slick, if we ought do to an impromptu rebel group read of said book and perhaps thereby lure the great Peter W. out from his, admittedly exquisite, naturalistic thread realm?

maj 21, 2011, 2:01pm

There is a funny one sentence review of that book by an LTer.

maj 21, 2011, 2:03pm

I've been skipping the excerpts. But yes, I am anal, and I will not check this damn book off as read, until I read finish 115.

So, this little squad of Salonistas has been at it for a while. What are our favorites?

A Rose for Emily has always been near & dear to my heart. 'Sentimental (and a tad twisted) old dog that I am...

Redigeret: maj 21, 2011, 2:57pm

>234 absurdeist:, I have that book somewhere and I've read it! Wonder where it is. Love Lardner!

>236 Sandydog1: Dawg, I've haven't picked up that book in weeks. Must get back to it. Rose for Emily was the first thing I ever read by Faulkner, way back in my childhood. Wonderful and warped.

maj 21, 2011, 8:10pm

Hey, I made up a new verb back on # 236: "read finish".

I knew the ol' dawg was at least as brainy as Koko the Gorilla...

maj 22, 2011, 1:45am

Sandy - I noticed that, but I wasn't going to say anything . . .

27 The Sailor-Boy's Tale - fantastic

maj 23, 2011, 4:27am

28 The Funny-Man who Repented - haha!
29 The Sorrel Colt - reassuring
30 The Married Couple - obliviotic

maj 23, 2011, 1:46pm

I'm glad the anthologies have been seeing so much action! I'm just off an all-day car ride from Zurich via Bern and Gruyeres (WHICH WAS SO WEIRD) to someplace called Brig, and I am something more than halfway through.

Redigeret: maj 23, 2011, 1:56pm

Thanks for checking in. How is the road fare? (Meaning food not tolls.)

I'll read the Dinesen next, based on Poq's one-word review.

I highly recommend Wittlin's The Emperor and The Devil.

maj 23, 2011, 2:27pm

Nota bene: At the risk of expanding my one-word review, when I said "fantastic," I was not speaking qualitatively, but substantively.

maj 23, 2011, 2:34pm

I suppose I should have realized that as it is more in keeping with the character of the other reviews. I'll still read it next.

maj 23, 2011, 6:30pm

I've added one of the touchstones for this book to the About box at the upper right of this thread.


maj 24, 2011, 12:05am

>fulsome! illicit cherries, beer, bitters, everything you can possibly do with melted cheese, and tomorrow this dude Putt is gonna make us some kind of Schwezer nudelspezialität. I'm reading Louis Couperin. He is fun.

maj 24, 2011, 12:42am

31 The Old Wife - inevitable
32 Ovejon - rewarding
33 The Gray Horse - symbolic

maj 24, 2011, 9:28am

246: Sounds incredible!

maj 24, 2011, 10:59pm


Keep 'em coming, Suzanne. I've been busy at work and I am definitely slipping.

maj 25, 2011, 2:33am

You asked for it, Sandy! I'm going to need some more numbers soon!

34 The Last Faun - casuistic
35 An Unbeliever - delusionary
36 Circus at Dawn - spectacular
37 Madame de Luzy - farcical
38 In Exile - chilling
39 The Jealous Wife - restorative

maj 25, 2011, 2:40am

>236 Sandydog1: My favorite so far is "Circus at Dawn" for the sheer vividness of the writing – very evocative.

Sorry, Sandy, I missed the question before. But didn't really have an answer till now anyway.

maj 26, 2011, 7:29pm

The Sailor Boy's Tale was quite good, in addition to being fantastic.

maj 26, 2011, 9:12pm

Glad you liked it, Slick. I did too but didn't want to oversell it.

maj 27, 2011, 2:38am

40 The Servant Girl - redemptive
41 Drought - karmic
42 In Spite of Everything - ambivalent
43 Miss Brill - deflating

The heavens hung dark and gray above the spires of the cathedral, stillness lay and dreamed in the treetops, the air was as though filled with pitying kindness and cool, chaste caresses. Far away across the plain the sky was a mild and sad symphonic prelude in violet-gray and transparent blue-green, where the stars had just dissolved . . .

* * * * *

He who doesn't hear too many empty words, to him everything begins to speak: the light, clouds, lamps, trees.

– Sigfrid Siwertz, "In Spite of Everything"

maj 27, 2011, 4:19pm

Am I the only one who's been following the suggested reading order?

And Sandy, are we on our own after #45 or are you going to post some more? I'm almost there and would love a new assignment to drool over! ;-)

maj 30, 2011, 3:04pm

Yes, Suzanne, you may be the only one dutifully reading along. (I'm missing about a half dozen scattered about.) And yes, it's probably a bit premature to turn loose. And yes, I jumped in and mentioned Faulkner, for one. And yes, sorry for the delay during this bat-shit crazy busy holiday weekend.

So, allow me to make the following suggestions:

46. A ROSE FOR EMILY (Billy Faulkner) p. 38
47. VALLEY HEAT (Jose de la Cuadra) p. 877
48. THE FAILURE (Jorge Ferretis) p. 898
49. MY LORD, THE BABY (Rabindranath Tagore)
p. 802
50. THE GREEN FLY (Kalman Mikszath) p. 703

maj 30, 2011, 3:55pm

OH guys! Yesterday I had maybe the most fucked-up birthday party in a long history of same (thanks for the tymez, Switzerland! Let's all try not ot break any more glass) and today I blew off my family and their hooligan buds and went to Germany, where things make sense, and read the rest of Awesome Anthologies in the sunshine by the lakeside in Konstanz. Here's my review!

Redigeret: maj 30, 2011, 4:45pm

Sandy – I do love the orderliness of a prescribed reading list! Thank you!

MM – Are birthday wishes in order? If so, may I be the first latest to congratulate you!

ETA – MM, I was thinking of doing a review that consisted of my accumulated one-word jobs but then thought it would be too long and have been trying to think how the heck I would review a conglomeration of 115 stories that would be in any way meaningful to anybody at all, but now I see that you have far and away exceeded all expectations of how a collection of 115 stories ought to be reviewed, and I couldn't help laughing quite a few times at the clever comments relating these old stories to modern times and so all in all, even though you very scientifically calculated the star rating — you forgot to click the ****ing stars!

Tres clevere!

maj 30, 2011, 4:33pm

44 Flight - tense
45 Overture - somnolent

maj 30, 2011, 5:05pm

>hahahahaha amazing. I'm off to klicken now. Thanks for the kind words, and I have very much enjoyed your one-word reviews, which are, like, pithy and apt and other words appropriate to quality one-word reviews.

maj 30, 2011, 11:10pm

Bravo, Martini!

maj 31, 2011, 1:17am

Yes, yes.

maj 31, 2011, 11:46pm

46 A Rose for Emily - macabre
47 Valley Heat - incestuous
48 The Failure - indomitable

jun 1, 2011, 11:53pm

49 My Lord, the Baby - atavistic
50 The Green Fly - persuasive

jun 3, 2011, 10:36am

The Easter Torch was another good one. I am generally really liking the Poles, Italians, Bulgarians, Hungarians, Rumanians, Czechs in the book.

jun 3, 2011, 6:50pm

51. THE EASTER TOUCH (I L C aragiale) p. 717
53. THE WOMAN OF MYSTERY (Mariano Latore) p. 864
54. AH AO (Sun Hsi-Chien) p. 771
55. THE DOG-MEAT GENERAL (Lin Yutang) p. 786

jun 7, 2011, 2:38am

51 The Easter Torch - delirious
52 The Man Who Saw Through Heaven - bewitching

Probably my fave so far is 52.

jun 7, 2011, 3:33am

My overall fave was 14, whatever "triquetral" means.

jun 10, 2011, 4:39pm

I am glad Maternity ended the way it did. Reading the Dutch story A Suspicion.

jun 14, 2011, 10:51am

The Netherlands story Johannes Walch's A Suspicion was good. The Shark, by Norwegian Johan Bojer also a good one.

Redigeret: jun 20, 2011, 12:30pm

I liked Selma Lagerlöf's The Outlaws quite a bit. I am not sure the religious message is the same as it seems Martin might have taken it to be. Or, I was deaf to the way he intended his brief review which seems like it cries out the same thing as the story. He is a clever fellow. So its probably the latter.

jun 23, 2011, 8:54pm

Keep going on this, slick. I got a bit tuckered out on this one. I so hate having a long "To Be Finished" list so I will read all of these stories, some day. Maybe some more salonistas, will grab a copy and join in!

jun 23, 2011, 10:11pm

Is it really worth reading, dawg? I stopped after reading one story. Should I pick the book up again?

jun 23, 2011, 10:25pm

I was wondering where you were on this, oh retired tyrant. From what I have read, I think Smartini's reviews were spot-on.

Perhaps, life is too short to drink bad wine and read 3-star books...

jun 23, 2011, 11:57pm

Okay - there have only been two times in my long, long life when I seriously felt faint - once I was in film school, and I COULD NOT come to objectivity about how to edit my film - I was about three months past the deadline and finally a colleague of said: "Why don't you have someone ELSE edit it? THAT'S WHAT editors are FOR!!!" and it was like being asked to make Sophie's Choice. The room started spinning and I had to lie down on the floor for a minute. The second time is upon reading this post. My god.

jun 23, 2011, 11:57pm

I mean: "these posts". This whole post, I mean.

jun 24, 2011, 12:16am

RMRM, in this Salon, we have to lie down on the floor regularly, for different reasons

jun 24, 2011, 12:20am

272: I'm just taking it at my own speed (i.e. when I visit one of our bathrooms). I'm thinking the extras time to ruminate helps bridge the gap against Martin's intelligence and current immersion in academia.

273: You picked some bad ones, unfortunately. There are definitely 4 star stories here. I've "discovered" a few Italian, Scandi/Northern and Central European writers I did not know of whom I quite like. Check out my comments and Martin's review.

275: You ain't seen nothing yet, unless you saw Martin's review!

jun 24, 2011, 12:34am

>275 RMRM: RMRM - LOL!

Slick, you got that right re Martini's review.

I'm still reading, but got a bit out of order. I agree that this book is a bit of a challenge. But the gems make it worth while, I guess. Admittedly getting sidetracked by group reads of other hefty tomes, etc.

jun 24, 2011, 12:54am

I'm not kidding - I'm going to PASS OUT from the sheer exhilaration of this post (could be the three-day-diet - I was telling MeditationesMartini that I have a passel of wild teens careering in and out of my life and house (and car) at any moment of any day, and I like to freak them out by telling them that one of them is going to have to be ready to take the wheel at any moment when I lose consciousness as a result of the three-day-diet (they love that). Okay, I HOPE I'm worthy - I'm gonna start at the beginning and see if I can catch up or throw some e-dart at your list and discuss some of this w/ you all. And you've reminded me of some of my favorites (that I haven't had occasion to think about in SO long:) Do you all know Henri Michaux? We had to read his stories about Plume en francais. I was young and remember thinking: "DOES THIS MEAN what I THINK IT MEANS?" and being SO delighted to find that it did! And I have this great old collection of - well, I'll behave correctly and get up and go get the book: Ninteenth Century German Tales, Edited by Angel Flores, Doublday, 1950 (forgive me if my commas and periods are misplace - MY GOD - this is not an ONLINE COURSE - GIVE ME A BREEEEEEAK!!!) Anyway, may not be quite as mystiquey as most of the above, but I remember it being a very rich experience (German Tales). And I have some old Paris Reviews I gotta check out now! Okay (eek - I'm humbled by this task, I tell you - but so very happy about it!) THANK you for being smart and funny (and above the age of 14).

I think my name is Mom?Mom?Mom?Mom?

jun 24, 2011, 12:59am

STOP THAT, MACUMBEIRA! (Just kidding - I just automatically yell). Nice to meet you, Poquette. I HAVE to go to bed now.

jun 24, 2011, 5:16am

Do we know Michaux ? Do we know the Barbarian from Asia ? ( Not you TC ! ). Do we know Plume ? Of course we do!

But we call him Ephialtes since he changed his nationality.

jun 24, 2011, 1:01pm

Nice to meet you too, RMRM. I hope you feel better after a good night's rest.

BTW, this whole group is apt to keep you hyperventillating, speaking from personal experience. So best get used to it!

jun 24, 2011, 6:50pm

Heavy breathers galore in Le Salon.

jun 24, 2011, 10:43pm

Hi you guys: thanks for the greetings! Here's what I got so far (sorry - I just can't stop writing sometimes):

Well, I figured it would be easiest to proceed in reverse chronological order. You leave me no choice, you know. How else would a poor newbie go about chopping away at all this?
Okay, I found Lagerlof’s The Outlaws on Let’s see: Translated by: No indication. And now, you must know that I have to notice and comment on all the little things first (in fact, my family has been blessed with many steel-traps-that-are-really-good-for-trapping-plot-detailsfor minds and they affectionately roll their eyes at the fact that they make me sit thru one movie that is as visually-stimulating as Harry Potter after the other (or my god – Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? Or that one where Brad Pitt gets younger and younger – anyway – who in their RIGHT MINDS can look past that ART DIRECTION? And so I don’t retain a thing about the plot the first time around but I could draw every set by memory. Anyway, I’m not as social as they are, and they’re NOT AS VISUAL as I am, so between us they can all just ****-off ((just kidding – we really do love each other very much))) but who’s to say who’s superior if I watch it the second time and am able to absorb the plot and they never watch it a second time to notice the design? Anyway this introduction is intentional in that I likewise noticed the little things in The Outlaws that were just so delightful, and I’ll read it a second time and focus on the profundities I did pick up on but can’t elaborate on quite yet, as are first and foremost minutia like cloudberries to discuss. Lookit: Rubus chamaemorus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Now, this word may have not been found in your translation(s), but in my version Tord gives Rees that fateful look that so perilously tips their relationship, Tord starts noticing that Rees has no fear and waltzes into the quagmires hidden by cloudberries and takes his way over them by choice. Anyway, I think cloudberries are pretty cool as I’ve never seen one, and they’re also referred to as knotberries, and I thought: “Oh, could Knottsberry Farms be named after the cloudberry?” (The answer is “no” for those of you who are interested, and as you can see I could probably be diagnosed pretty easily with ADD by any and every psychiatrist who’s got a special interest in prescribing ADD medication, but I find that any and every psychiatrist is ONLY thinking about sex and drugs beneath their ooper-dignified exterior, so I choose to create my own label for myself, which is “highly intelligent and acutely curious” and self-medicate with caffeine (a regimen and an attitude I both highly recommend). But I did find this interesting too:
Knott's Berry Farm - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
And yes, I know that Wikipedia is unacceptable as a source of authority, but I choose to believe a lot of it because it’s easier and more fun – in fact it’s usually great fun. Sorry – I have a deep appreciation for Wikipedia as there wasn’t such an easily accessible source of ANY information in my youth, much less on that was so – oh, “cooperative” (I went to Catholic schools – HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!).
Now then, back to the story: I also found it interesting that she used this word (earlier in the story, actually) in this context:
The man trembled when he found that he was paved. With shaking hands he caught at a support, giddy he measured the height to which he had climbed.
She uses the word “pave”: from the etymology I can only guess that she means “camoflagued”? (how do you spell it?) Anyway, I’d be interested in your opinions on this: pave - Online Etymology Dictionary
Oh, the various and other interesting things I found interesting so far (I’m only about halfway thru – but I have to get back to my life at some point) were foray-studies of St. Olaf and Viken, the fact that his mother rides around on a seal (how cool is that?), and I suppose I had always had this assumption in the back of my head that corpses are used by witches for ointment – seems to make perfect sense, right? But it was nice to have that verified once and for all. And I thought this was a really interesting point:
On moonlight nights she sits in the surf, where it is whitest, and the spray dashes over her. They say that she sits and searches for shipwrecked children's fingers and eyes."
"That is awful," said Berg.
The boy answered with infinite assurance: "That would be awful in others, but not in witches. They have to do so."
Just like meatpackers (or butchers or farmers or hunters). We all have to inure ourselves to the realities of business, right? It reminded me of this terrible TERRIBLE experience I had at this hairdresser’s with a very trendy reputation – once you wait forever for an appointment and get there, you’re trapped. So she talks thru the whole haircut about the Cardinals game she’s going to when she’s finished (please, Kevin Charles was my hairdresser when we lived in California. Look: The Kevin Charles Salon Anyway, perhaps there’s only so much of his website that you want to spend time on, but if you continued to read you’d find that his clients fly in from all over the world because he serves you tea in an exQUISITE cup and saucer and you choose the tea from a little tea-humidor and tells you how pretty you are and how that cut will look fantastic on you and says things like: “Oh, that Halle Berry cut will be easy because he just cut her hair last month”. Anyway, as my spirits sunk I let this THING in St. Louis cut my hair while she took phone call after phone call about the Cards tickets and her DOG put his ENORMOUS FACE on my lap and her appointment setter handed her some triple burger from Rally’s and as I checked out (this ties in with the things one inures one’s self to in order to run a business – she does this NONSENSE at the register – in front of everyone – like I haven’t caught on to it by now – she goes: “How about scheduling another appointment for a color? (and at the top of her lungs in front of god and everyone):…”GET RID OF SOME OF THAT GRAAAAAAY?” And I’m like: “How ‘bout you schedule an appointment at the gym?” Anyway, it’s one of the reasons I love short stories – it’s just really fun to make analogies to modern day practices (witches/hairdressers/meatpackers – see what I’m saying?).
Berg Rese pretended to be stupid in order to find out what he wanted. "No one can be called a thief without having stolen," he said.
"No; but," said the boy, and pressed his lips together as if to keep in the words, "but if some one had a father who stole," he hinted after a while.
"One inherits money and lands," replied Berg Rese, "but no one bears the name of thief if he has not himself earned it."
She’s got some great tension going between the characters. But that’s for my next post, as I can’t be expected to spit all this out and be articulate about profundity tonight, thank you. And I have one (no two) more ADD thoughts for you all: You MUST read The Secret Sharer and this really really cool article on Wayne Newton that I read in Vanity Fair a long long time ago that I would say qualifies as a short story as it’s every bit as interesting, but I’ve tried like a banshee to find it – to no avail. Okay, I gotta go.
PS: Ooohhhoooo DAAAAAANG – they’re recommending on my Home Page to read: The Island Of Lost Maps – can you believe it? (Librarything, I think I love you)

jun 24, 2011, 10:46pm

AUGH = my hyperlinks aren't showing: look up:
Cloudberry, Knottsberry Farms, kevin Charles Salon, "pave" in the online etymology dictionary, ugh - I think that's all. You guys make me SO happy!

jun 25, 2011, 2:08am

>278 slickdpdx: you just lessened my hangover incrementally. Thanks!

jun 25, 2011, 3:34am


It's time to eliminate your hangovers forever. It's called H2O after every drink and Ibuprofen. Four hours after your last drink (or when you first wake up after having passed out) take four (4) Ibuprofen (800 mgs) -- prescription level dose -- and when you wake up in the morning, you won't have a goddamn hangover, and won't need the slick likes of slick to help you feel ever so slightly better. Understand?

Again: H2O; four (4) Ibuprofen. I speak from experience!

jun 25, 2011, 10:17am

Oh thank GOD I can escape St. Louis on this thing. I love you guys already. Now tell me - how do you feel about cloudberries? Let's talk about cloudberries!!! And riding on seals in order to find fingers to make potions with!

jun 25, 2011, 10:49am

HEY! I just looked up "Ephialtes" (and then I looked up "Macumbeira" - so cool) (but the two concepts are converse, if you take Macumbeira's word for the fact that he "is peace". But LISTEN TO MEEE: I remember when I was a relative newlywed and my ex (his name is David - and I'll probably be referring to him a lot - I'll try not to asphyxiate you all w/ my RAAAAGE when I do - my god - anyway, he really was adorable and fascinating before he rather abruptly became who he is now, and he - well, I'm a girl, so he was my introduction to the male world in all those ways that you only come across when you spend an inordinate amount of time w/ someone of the opposite gender (yes, I did use the word "inordinate" - I no longer believe in marriage - it's really really really wrong - but that's a subject for another booklet) anyway, he was reading this historical novel about the Battle at Thermopolye (oh, I always misspell it) (do I HAVE to spell correctly with you guys? Oh, and can I just all-out CURSE please? S'okay if I can't - but don't you just NEED to curse ((and love to? (((blushing emoticon)))? Okay, anyway, you know - males watch stuff like The Terminator and read stuff about specific battles and they know all about the history of explosives (SO cool - not something a female would allow herself to explore on her own - we're just conditioned to the point where it wouldn't even occur to us that we COULD) and I just remember reading how they prepare those poor little boys for battle and it was one of those - what's that called? You know - passages - I was like: "Hmm - well, if he can stomach this, I should be able to". You know - it's just one of those beautiful moments when you share your gender-specificity w/ another (oh, you all make me wax poetic - tee hee).

jun 25, 2011, 10:53am

HEEEEY!!! I just looked up Barbarian Asia, so I could perhaps figure out what the **** you were referring to, Macumbeira. SO COOL (oh my god - I really was not aware that I was THIS starved for adult conversation). WHAT on EARTH am i going to choose to read at this juncture? My god.

jun 25, 2011, 10:56am

Can anyone fetch remrem some cold water. I think we have a case of Salonitis here.

jun 25, 2011, 10:58am

I love you guys. I love you guys.

Redigeret: jun 25, 2011, 11:31am

redrum redrum

I've been a fan of Macumbeira for a very long time myself. I think you'll find, RMRM, that each post of Big Mac Daddy-O is like its own self-contained Ulysses, a world of wonders, a cabinet of curiosities, replete with recondite references and arcane allusions (if not illusions -- being he's also "Mac The Magician" -- like the novella by Mann) and that a Macumbeirian devotee can literally devour hours per post (if not days) dissecting his entirely original, uncommon communiques.

jun 25, 2011, 11:26am

Okay, I just finished The Outlaws. I think this must be what it feels like to be hit by a stun-gun. Reading it made me feel like I was LEVITATING until I got to the END - YOU GUYS DIDN'T TELL ME IT ENDED BADLY (oops - spoiler). S'okay - yer all smart enough that I forgive you. Okay, I gotta put my thoughts about this story together and go try to be productive in the meantime. Ciao

jun 25, 2011, 1:17pm

We had a friend we used to call "Rico Suavee". Fitting again in this case. Look, I'm not kidding - I see now why they portray ladies of yore as fainting all the time. You're all just too much. OKAY - WHEN ARE you going to start talking about LITERATURE?

jun 25, 2011, 2:56pm

'A shot in the arm, or a snort up the nose, of the "Awesome Anthologies" thread.

jun 26, 2011, 3:15am

I love your post Henri. ( brushing away an upwelling tear from the corner of the Minds' eye )
But you compare me to something you loathe, so how should I take your compliment? Vice versa or versa le vice ?

jun 26, 2011, 3:21am

I think you and I both know, Mac (ssshhh, tell no one, it'll be our secret -- whisperwhisper -- that my Ulysses-loathing has been largely show, playing the foil to add melodrama to le salon) so do, mi amigo, take it as the great honour for which it was intended.

jun 26, 2011, 11:21am

Hmm, but what I did not tell you and what I have secretly kept off screen is that I hate Ulysses by that show-off James Joyce. My adulation was no more than show, playing the foil to add melodrama to le salon. ..

Didn't we just encounter each other when jumping through the looking glass ?

jun 26, 2011, 11:27am


As Murr might say, "What is reality?"

Redigeret: jun 26, 2011, 11:42am

RMRM, you simply must check out the rest of Le Salon, if you haven't already. We have talked and continue to talk about literature in many of the other threads. At present, the hot literary items are Spenser's The Faerie Queen and John Cowper Powys's fine novel Porius. In the recent past such as Ulysses (not to be confused with Odysseus), Chateau d'Argol, 2666, Clarel, oh, I could go on for a while, have been discussed at great length. Look around. Le Salon has many threads of interest. Be sure to check in with our own in-house weatherman, copyedit52 (otherwise known as one of our writers in residence, the author of I Think Therefore Who Am I and the followup Digging Deeper, two books one must read) so he can include St. Louis in the weather report, if he doesn't already. And, yes, if Rush Limbaugh is any recommendation of St. Louis, I feel your pain. We are planning next years reads in one of the other threads of Le Salon, look it up and join in the fun.

I, personally, enjoy Le Salon so much that I've dumped nearly all my other groups so I can concentrate on this one.

BTW, I am a male in a very happy, very committed marriage to the mother of my children, and, yes, a lifetime of watching males leads me to believe the most dangerous toxin known to man is testosterone.


jun 26, 2011, 12:25pm

geneg, thank you so much for your reply. Yes, yes, I have been skulking around on the other salon sites, but I was a little afraid of showing my face again, as I was afraid I'd scared you all away yesterday w/ my outbursts. I've been eyeing ( - well, how DO you spell "eying"? Oh - I guess it's "eying". Sorry). Anyway, I've been eying those tomes you guys are approaching and trying to figure out which I could responsibly commit to, as I still have The Outlaws to wrap up (if I'm still welcome - I am a little effusive by nature - I can keep a lid on it - promise) and once in a while I just get in the car w/o destination and plop at some BandB and once I wound up in Cape Girardeau and what a charming experience except for the fact that they really do celebrate the place as the birthplace of Rush Limbaugh, and I;m not kidding! And I must say I'm relieved to see such talk of James Joyce. He's one reason why I like SHORT stories. But I'm happy to admit that I haven't applied myself properly to be able to criticize him w/ authority - it's just TOO difficult to do so (so far in my life, anyway).

jun 26, 2011, 12:41pm

...and I SO like the idea of the Faerie Queen. I get Spenser and all those guys all mixed up - what a wonderful reason to start forcing myself to differentiate (except Sir Walter Scott - he's too special to confuse w/ anyone else - and HA HA - THAT's the extent to which I get all those Brits mixed up! But I've gotten much better over the years - there was a time when I'd get Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Walter Scott and Sir John Guilgud all mixed up simply because their names started with "Sir". And I get Robert Penn Warren and Robin Wright Penn and Henry James and some other guy who has a last name for a first name and a first name for a last name mixed up, and I used to get James joyce and Oscar Wilde mixed up and I didn't even KNOW why - probably just from seeing the books on my siblings' book shelves together and hearing somewhere along the line that they were both from ireland, but once you've learned a little about Oscar Wilde (and seen that black and white version - or ANY version for that matter - of The Importance of Being Earnest you can feel safely that oscar wilde will continue forever to stand out in your mind. 'kay, my kid's here - gotta go.

jun 26, 2011, 12:43pm

PS (quickly) thanks too for your comments on STL. I love this beautiful place (and I do mean - beautiful - it's so beautiful here), but I was thinking of removing that indicator of my identity, as I have so many bad things to say about it! Ha ha ha ha.

Redigeret: jun 26, 2011, 12:51pm

I for one appreciate your maximalist and amusingly digressive p.o.v.'s reminiscent of many of the pomotomes we like to read! I recommend your "keeping a lid on it" only if it makes you more comfortable hereabouts.

Btw, I attempted sending you an official invite to the group a couple times the other day, but for whatever reason the invite would not post on your page. So consider this your formal invite. We'd be delighted to have you join us.

Oh, and William H. Gass, one of my favorite writers, is a St. Louis native.

jun 26, 2011, 3:22pm

Yes RMRM blast away. Don't worry about the response or lack of response. Let it fly.

jun 26, 2011, 3:38pm

I love you guys. I love you guys.

jun 26, 2011, 4:06pm

we know we know

jun 26, 2011, 6:07pm

You could do a lot worse. We are not as broad as a barn nor are we as deep as a well but we'll serve.

jun 27, 2011, 9:21pm

a) Porius - it's okay, because you're funnier than a well or a barn, and
b) M. Freeque: you are a most congenial host - thank you so much for the formal invitation - I should have acknowledged it yesterday, but I hereby inform you all that I become a bit of a splat on the weekends in order to be all I can be during the week, and so:
c) it's the week now, so i'm cracking my knuckles to come up w/ that short story review (you guys don't seem to require any ability to do what you say you're going to do, do you? My Lord, I'm just so conditioned to do what I say I'm going to do).

jun 27, 2011, 9:45pm

Okay, is it all right with you guys if I just DON'T produce a formal review of The Outlaws? I'm not even sure if you all CARE if I do or not, and I really just want so badly to goof around on the other Salon-sites and be my ADD-self. I just want you to know that I am indeed a Person-of-Honor. And I think when I promised it I was subconsciously trying to live up to the expectations that I assumed MeditationesMartini had of me as an acceptable candidate for membership (where are you, MeditationesMartini? I'm worried about that hangover).

jun 28, 2011, 4:41pm

I'm here! Specifically, I am in a single wide in a Roman trailer park! That is a thing that exists! And I have no expectations of you except that you get up every day and be the best damn RMRM you can be.

jun 28, 2011, 11:31pm

Continuing with my garrulous reviews after a brief hiatus:

53 - The Woman of Mystery - arousing
54 - Ah Ao - bleak
55 - The dog-Meat General - deviant

This completes the selections of Sandy and Martin. Now I shall follow my own random selections:

56 - The Open Window - disquieting
57 - Henry's Loves - polymorphous
58 - The Lottery Ticket - nonsequitur
59 - A Deserted Street - disconnected
60 - Horse in the Moon - connubial
61 - Sunday Afternoon - disenchanted
62 - Children and Old Folk - incomprehensible
63 - May on Lake Asquam - mournful

jul 1, 2011, 4:00am

64 - Desire - chilling
65 - Cross Over, Sawyer! - crafty
66 - Tales of a Burmese Soothsayer - oracular
67 - Growth of Hate - hellish
68 - The Love-Philtre of Ikey Schoenstein - shifty
69 - Bluebeard's Daughter - polyandrous

jul 1, 2011, 8:11pm

You go, Suz'!

jul 3, 2011, 2:43pm

Okay, I had to go off to a quiet place and figure out why I ramble uncontrollably among new groups of people I like (it's not the first time that's happened). I think I figured it out, and can keep a handle on my exclamations now. Can I come back?

jul 3, 2011, 3:06pm

Sure! Didn't realize you had put yourself in a corner.

In the midst of all the excitement, it wasn't clear to me whether or not you are actually reading A World of Great Stories, the subject of this thread. I did see you had read "The Outlaws" which I promise to get to soon. I'm reading all the shorter short stories first to build up my count and saving the longer ones till last. Stories under ten pages get priority just now. But I'm running out.

jul 3, 2011, 3:34pm

Blast away RMtwice. Please don't rusticate because of us. We need your energy. Don't think twice it's all right.

Redigeret: jul 3, 2011, 3:37pm

RMRM, the occasional shot of vodka can help you stay cool.

jul 3, 2011, 4:27pm

Por is absolutely right. I'm still laying on the porch, and only occasionally snapping at flies...

jul 4, 2011, 6:17pm

Did not like In Spite of Everything.

jul 4, 2011, 11:45pm

****! You have NO idea how hard it is not to exclaim. I don't want to read ****. I just want to enjoy your companies!

jul 5, 2011, 12:14am

ok sit in the corner and be quiet. Here is a drink.

jul 5, 2011, 1:20am

Okay, I just want to ramble on and on about the walk I took with my cat and with a nice big soccer-mom tumbler full of the drink, and on the walk it came to me - i could start a thread - something called:
"Scattecisms" or "Meta-meanderings" - I don't know - but sometimes don't discussions of literature make you feel UNCORKED or something? Don't they just SET you OFF in 1000 directions, or is it me? At any rate, this alternative thread would be available to those who are interested, but it wouldn't disrupt your more more-centered discussions. Plus, I gotta tell you all about the walks we take (and the crazy neighbors), and the - my GOD! Don't you wonder whether you're a novelist or a lover-of-literature sometimes? And don't you just get it all mixed up?

jul 5, 2011, 1:54am

No, yes, yes and no.

jul 5, 2011, 1:56am

Okay, yeah - I gotta stop dinking around finding these individual stories and order the book. Yes, Poquette, I did read the Outlaws (I recommend such - so looking forward to your comments) and I'll just get the thing and start reviewing, now that I've gotten that proposed "sub-thread" solution out of my system!

jul 5, 2011, 1:57am

Hey - where's my proposed sub-thread solution?

jul 5, 2011, 2:00am

OK, it's there - I gotta go to bed (aren't time-stamps embarassing?).

jul 5, 2011, 2:04am

Ordered. Nitol!

jul 5, 2011, 4:04am

70 The Outlaws - misguided
71 The Horse of the Sword - glorious

jul 5, 2011, 7:17pm

WHAT?! (respectfully, of course). Misguided? How so?

jul 5, 2011, 8:01pm

332: I made the same mistake somewheres up there - poquette's one-word review generally (always?) describes the events of the story not its merit.

I am finding Deliverance (not Dickey's) promising so far.

jul 5, 2011, 10:04pm

I see! Thank you slickdpdx. I'm still interested in her elaboration (I'm assuming you're a "she", Poquette, based on your postfix) - she seems so smart. Even from her one-word reviews I've already learned a vocabulary word: "casuistic". I like that.

I thought there were great profundities in the progression of the characters' relationship (but I gotta go back and read it again - I did have a big bag of thoughts about their interactions. And I THOUGHT I remembered liking the story because the author made you think that the older character was drawing misguided conclusions, and then the story tipped back and forth and back and forth until it was hard to know if he was misguided or not. (Ha - I obviously have to go back and read it again. And I'll be a more detailed reviewer, and not as fast as you guys) (okay, just one TEENSIE tangent - I read the wildest story in the New Yorker about a professional nit-picker once - VERY informative).

jul 5, 2011, 10:35pm

There's some what pick the nits and others what shave the whole thing off.

jul 5, 2011, 10:51pm

Yes, which is why this woman played such an important role in her community - she saved all the kids at her nearby grade school from the razor! Okay, I'm not saying another word on here til I have the review all ready to share. Oh, and I propose we make a pact with one another and all and promise NEVER to encourage one another to drink again (ugh - but it's just SO fun to do at the time).

jul 6, 2011, 1:08am

Okay. Yes, I am female. My profile page says so, anyway.

Always glad to discuss my "reviews."

"The Outlaws" received the epithet "misguided" because I perceived each of the characters as misguided in their individual ways.

The fisherman was misguided because he believed he was guilty of theft.

The peasant was misguided because he killed the monk in cold blood.

The monk was misguided because he stuck his oar in when he shouldn't have, which clergy are often prone to do because they have convinced themselves they have a direct pipeline to a higher authority. Maybe so, maybe not. His pipeline certainly neglected to provide him with tact.

The story is VERY well written – descriptions vivid and precise. Very elegant prose.

These little one-word labels aren't reviews in the strict sense. Slick is correct. I am not making a value judgment, as reviews tend to do. These are merely cues intended to evoke a recollection of the story, and they are ambiguous enough that I hope they engender a second thought, as they did for me as I had to think up a one-word description that encapsulates the entire story. Some work better than others.

jul 6, 2011, 1:27am

The monk was misguided because he stuck his oar in when he shouldn't have, which clergy are often prone to do because they have convinced themselves they have a direct pipeline to a higher authority. Maybe so, maybe not. His pipeline certainly neglected to provide him with tact.

Ha ha ha ha. What a perfect paragraph!

jul 6, 2011, 1:28am

PS: Maybe not (sorry - I have anger at the church)

Redigeret: jul 6, 2011, 2:26am

338, 339> I very often amuse myself also. However, I just can't fathom why you would have "anger at the church". The Church, imo, has been beyond reproach both morally and ethically and inter-relationally since at least 2:23am this morning, EST.

jul 6, 2011, 2:28am

Good point, EF! I personally have no animus against the Church per se. After all, it is the saviour of Western Civilization.

jul 6, 2011, 1:52pm

and other civilasations !

jul 6, 2011, 2:22pm

Anger at the church, drinking "Mommy drinks", you RM2, are SUCH a true walk-the-talk Salonista!

(my tail wags profusely)

jul 6, 2011, 8:11pm

OH PARAYZE JAAAAYZIIIIS!! I really was trying to limit myself to discussions of literature, as it is a salon du literature (BUT IT IS A SALON, after all), but I jsut broke up for GOOD with my online boyfriend (WHAT AN AAAAAAAAAAAAAA**!!!!!) and I used to be able to dump nerdy thoughts into his mailbox all day and all night, EVERY day and every night. Am I going to get a swipe from a meanspirited Salonista for telling you all that I'm investigating steel production? Do you KNOW what a crystal lattice is (I skated around all this in high school)? So interesting.

jul 6, 2011, 8:18pm

And another thing (oh PLEEEZE just let me ramble - you'll find it's much easier): I've been meaning to say to MM in re his comment that things make sense in Germany that one time we touched down in Munich and the whole plane burst into applause - absolutely astounding (but I didn't want to irk anyone who hasn't been to Germany - BUT MY HUSBAND HAD SUCH a TRAVEL problem - you have NO idea what I had to go thru in order to tag along on his trips). And I didn't want to send him a private message as old ladies don't talk to young men privately - I'm learning all about online etiquette rather slowly - bear with me - and another friend just alerted me NOT ONLY to the Emerald Nut commercials starring Robert Goulet, but Will Ferrell's MOST hilarious imitations of him (really - wasn't Robert Goulet really something? I mean - in a way that you couldn't even appreciate at the time? I had no idea how smooth he was - I told my friend that he used to make my heart beat in a way that I was entirely too young to understand!). Anyway, check them out on Youtube. So delightful.

jul 6, 2011, 8:25pm

And Freeque, I just want to be clear - I was admiring POQUETTE's paragraph (but you do amuse me too!), not my own. And when I said "Maybe not", I meant it in response to P's question that maybe the monk had a pipeline to a higher authority, or maybe not. And if you'd have been raised among the clergy I knew, you'd have anger at the church too (but you know - those nuns - they astound me in retrospect - the discipline, the social service, the business skills - rocks - just ROCKS-of-persons. Another phenomenon I didn't appreciate at the time. Okay - literature coming up.

jul 7, 2011, 1:16am

Okay, I'll give you what I got so far re: The Outlaws, if you let me share my thoughts about crystal structure w/ you when I'm done: First of all, she's no slough (Lagerlof) - she got her likeness onto MONEY and STAMPS and stuff. She's taught me the definition of "battue" and reminded me of how important Bille August' film are (have you SEEN Pelle the Conquerer? So cool). And reading it reminds me so much of these Childcraft books I have (I found out from my brother recently that my grandparents ordered them in some GreenStamp sort of deal, or from making a certain amount of purchases at the grocery store or something - anyway, REMEMBER when grocery stores used to do that stuff? You could get an entire set of china - like it could be really fine stuff depending on where you shopped - and we have these gas stations called "Sinclair", and there was one by my grandparents' house and we'd always stop there to get gas so I could have a Dino the Dinosaur soap for my bubble bath when we got home). But I try sometimes to pass this folk stuff on to my daughter, and there is SIMPLY no context for it - as she's not surrounded by European relatives - and I was telling MedMart (look - do you all feel like you've known him all your LIFE or what? WHAT is up with that? Why are you so damned likable, Martini?) that Bruno Bettelheim is a good dude to raise kids by, but what I didn't say is that I picked up The Uses Of Enchantment at a bookfair recently - and I realized that so much morality came to me in the form of folk-tales, but (in our generation's case - because I'm fifty) it was all VERY European. Like I cannot pass it on to her (although I was in a Damenchor for a few years - we wore dirndls when we sang - so cool) and it gave her some sense of it all - but that's the thing that's hitting me about Lagerlof's story - like she's hitting you w/ some heavy morality, but she delivers it w/ all this rich Eurpopean detail - you know - like a spoonful of sugar. Okay, that's what I got so far.

jul 7, 2011, 1:19am

Okay, look at this: (THIS IS WHY STEEL IS SO STRONG!!! My god):

Miller indices
Main article: Miller index
Planes with different Miller indices in cubic crystals

Vectors and atomic planes in a crystal lattice can be described by a three-value Miller index notation (ℓmn). The ℓ, m and n directional indices are separated by 90°, and are thus orthogonal. In fact, the ℓ component is mutually perpendicular to the m and n indices.

By definition, (ℓmn) denotes a plane that intercepts the three points a1/ℓ, a2/m, and a3/n, or some multiple thereof. That is, the Miller indices are proportional to the inverses of the intercepts of the plane with the unit cell (in the basis of the lattice vectors). If one or more of the indices is zero, it simply means that the planes do not intersect that axis (i.e. the intercept is "at infinity").

Considering only (ℓmn) planes intersecting one or more lattice points (the lattice planes), the perpendicular distance d between adjacent lattice planes is related to the (shortest) reciprocal lattice vector orthogonal to the planes by the formula:
d = 2\pi / |\mathbf{g}_{\ell m n}|

jul 7, 2011, 1:30am

72 Ten Indians (Hemingway) - transitory
73 The Gray Donkey (Refik Halid) - credulous
74 The Little Coin (Angel Karalitcheff) - reconciled
75 The Abyss (Leonid Andreyev) - beastly
76 The Travelers (Ignazio Silone) - boneheaded
77 The Boarding House (James Joyce) - opportunistic

jul 7, 2011, 10:49am

Deliverance was good enough that I might pick up the entire novel, Romain Rolland's Jean-Christophe.

jul 7, 2011, 1:40pm

Why are you so damned likable, Martini?

My mom puts egg yolks in my kibble to make my coat glossy:)

jul 7, 2011, 2:24pm

slick - I agree, "Deliverance" is a masterpiece! The characterization of Hassler is priceless. The description of Hassler's neighborhood in Berlin sent me off to some thread or another asking if anyone in the Salon were from Germany and whether or not that neighborhood really existed or was merely a figment of Rolland's imagination. I'd love to see that domestic architecture. Anyway, that is merely an aside. It was inevitable the story would end tragically. All in all, one of the best stories in this collection.

Redigeret: jul 7, 2011, 2:43pm

I thought the same thing (about the neighborhood)! I would not be surprised if WWII or the normal course of development has eradicated those buildings. I wonder if any photos survive? I bought Rolland's book. There aren't many copies out there, most are expensive print on demand jobs. So, if you are interested it is probably best to seek it out now.
That makes three authors I've picked up after reading a "short story" that was actually an excerpt: Wittlin, Silone and Rolland.
Started Bluebeard's Daughter, which I may have in a Couperus collection. A fun story with great atmosphere.

Redigeret: jul 7, 2011, 2:49pm

I just found that the book is available on Project Gutenberg, so I'm going to download it for my Kindle. Glad you suggested it, slick. There are scads of copies available through, but you have to be careful to get the first volume first as it is a multi-volume book and there are a bunch of abridgments out there.

ETA: Haven't read the Wittlin yet, but Silone, "The Travelers" was amusing. And yes, Bluebeard's Daughter is very amusing—until the end, that is!

Redigeret: jul 7, 2011, 3:02pm

>231 slickdpdx: YES YES YES but the excerpts from good writers I did not know have been the most rewarding reading. They should have called it a "sampler" of writing from around the world instead of a story collection.

I was just browsing through some of the past posts and stumbled on this comment by you, slick, which I did not fully appreciate way back then. But I now agree that the samplers are worthwhile for the reason stated. I did feel the editors misrepresented the collection by calling them "short stories." In the final analysis, no harm done.

Redigeret: jul 7, 2011, 4:18pm

Dangit. I bet the copy I get is abridged. At least there is Gutenberg!

I think the Arabian costume suits the Bluebeard's Daughter story quite well.

jul 7, 2011, 4:24pm

I think the Arabian costume suits the Bluebeard's Daughter story quite well.

Yes, now that you mention it. It did seem a bit incongruous at first, but as the story unfolded . . .

jul 7, 2011, 6:01pm

350, 354> I don't mean to brag (even though I do) but I was lucky enough a couple years ago to find a musty dusty ed. from the '30s or '40s, unabridged, from a bookshop that has since gone out of business, fairly cheaply. I'll take a look at it tonight.

jul 7, 2011, 6:03pm

Pardon me. I mispoke. Clicking on slick's touchstone, I see my copy is actually a 1913 Modern Library ed. As Rod Stewart once sang, "some guys have all the luck">

jul 7, 2011, 6:05pm

When I looked up the book I noticed it was in your library. Brag away! If you can't do it here...
The list of owners of that book is like a who's who of interesting libraries/personalities at LT. That is what sealed the deal for me.

jul 7, 2011, 7:28pm

I just put the 1938 Modern Library copy on my BookMooch wish list. I'm sure I will get it really soon.

Yeah, and monkeys 'll fly out of my butt...

jul 7, 2011, 8:45pm

1913 is something to brag about. And Sandydog, I only find good old books now in tiny, scary little towns, in which people don't know about their value. I'd say it's time for you to take a road trip, 'cause you really DON'T want monkeys flying out - of ANYwhere.

jul 7, 2011, 10:28pm

Yeah, whenever I see Sandy's name now I think of his butt.

As for only finding good old books in tiny, scary little towns, I'd say it's time for YOU, RMRM to get out more. I spent my entire adult life in San Francisco — hardly a small town — and the place is crawling with good old books. There are a bunch of small towns in California Gold Country which are full of antique shops and old book stores, and those towns are anything but scary. Besides, irrelevantly, the scenery around there is awesome — to much so to be scary.

Where are these "scary" little towns anyway? I don't think I've ever seen one. Maybe it is I who need to get out more, not that I want to go hunting for scary towns of any size.

jul 7, 2011, 11:04pm

I think they are in Maine and Rhode Island.

jul 8, 2011, 12:00am

Thinking about Romain Rolland above got me thinking about French short stories which then got me thinking about a cool and cheap and easily available though relatively tiny anthology pub. by Dover called Great French Short Stories (2004) ed. by Paul Negri

Lesser known stories by lesser known French writers include:

"Mateo Falcone" (1829) by Prosper Mérimée

"The Dark Lantern" (1893) by Jules Renard

"Emilie" (1854) by Gérard de Nerval

"The Pope's Mule" (1868) by Alphonse Daudet

"Salomé" (1886) by Jules Laforgue

There's also some better known French classics by Flaubert, Maupassant, Balzac, Zola, Gide, & Voltaire.

jul 8, 2011, 2:16am

EF, maybe we could do that when we finish the 115 stories.

jul 8, 2011, 3:05pm

I have a collection of Guy de Maupassant short stories. I've read and liked most of them.

Scary towns in California: how about some of the towns Peter visited in Digging Deeper. Towns in Mendocino county and the golden triangle. Some of those sounded pretty scary. Insular communities, long haired California red necks sportin' knives and revolvers (there were revolvers, weren't there?) on their hips, givin' all the strangers the evil eye. Not really a tourist area, apparently. I don't know if that's gold country, but it's got to be close.

jul 8, 2011, 8:36pm

de Maupassant is good.

Mendocino County is north of San Francisco along the coast. Gold Country is basically along Highway 49, which runs along the foothills parallel to the Sierra. Without looking at my map, I'm guessing 100-150 miles from Mendocino to hook up with 49, maybe further. It's 90 miles from SF to Sacramento and it's not too many miles from there to the foothills.

jul 8, 2011, 10:30pm

366> or, since you've obviously not been reading much as it stands right now anyway Poquette, what with this book, Porius, & the Fairy Queen ... oh ... you do have much reading material on yer plate. Hey I just like throwing out obscure stuff for future reference; no pressure to hurry this up and hurry up and read that whatsoever

367> you listen here, Georgia Man, stop yer dissin' and a pissin' on California pronto! We got babes and waves and earthquakes. We're weird and tan and some contend as shallow as a puddle, but we've got more movie stars and paparazzi and Yosemites and Sequoias and Death Valleys and Joshua Trees than you do, and we can ski and surf on the same day if we please. We got Steinbeck; you got Jimmy Carter, who's now a novelist and not juss some inept politician too. We got lots of Maui-wow-eee growers in them Mendocino parts too (not that I been smokin' none myself mind you) hidden in fern laden recesses in the stately shade of Redwoods; read all about it in Denis Johnson's stellar novel (the last novel by him that our very own slickdpdx has read of his), Already Dead: A California Gothic.

Who the heck is you to talk about insular, being you be of the state that inspired Deliverance? Banjo-pickin' peanut peddlers squealing like pigs falsely accusing a security guard of trying to blow up the Olympics! Gold Country is awesome, and while Poquette is right as rain saying 100-150 air miles removed between it and Mendocino, if you'll me to be pedantic some, it's really closer to 150-200 miles depending on which scenic winding road you choose to take. You read you, Gene, some gool 'ol Bret Harte get'choself a good flavor of Gold Country.

jul 9, 2011, 12:20am

My wife had an grad school class in college taught by a self-styled manly man who smoked Virgina Slims and carroed on inappropriate relationships with the undergrads. The required reading included Deliverance and All the Pretty Horses and she doesn't remember what all right this moment.

jul 9, 2011, 12:33am

"a self-styled manly man who smoked Virginia Slims"!

Tell me you made that up yerself and didn't pull it from some Tom Robbins novel!

Redigeret: jul 9, 2011, 1:27am

slick, my man, you've got yourself the makings of a short story there!

Enrique, I was too lazy to look at the map, but from Mendocino, I think scenic winding roads are the only choice and an awesome choice. Who cares about an extra 50-100 miles?

ETA: Also, 'rique, I love short stories. I'm just hoping we keep going with them from one source or another when we've finished the 115 Greats. (Just want to be sure to squeeze that thought in.)

jul 9, 2011, 11:47am

If you want to do short stories don't forget that Peach of a Georgia writer, Flannery O'Connor. Her two collections A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Everything That Rises Must Converge are as good as they come.

Freeque, I only repeat what I read in Digging Deeper. There are actually a few places in California I would live if I were paid to, Monterey/Carmel-By-The-Sea/Carmel Valley being the foremost on my list.

jul 9, 2011, 12:21pm

372> I hereby decree (as an active "participant" and not as a massive megalomaniac) that AWESOME ANTHOLOGIES will forever remain INFINITELY AWESOME, like Pieroin's nature threads, unending.

Besides the book above, I mentioned earlier in the thread Other Voices, Other Vistas as another title off the beaten path, we might want to consider as a future anthologic possibility.

373> I missed that, Gene. It's that addictive Pieroin I need to dis for dissin my Cali-forn-yeah, home to the finest post offices in the world!

jul 9, 2011, 7:16pm

Before we get too far away from Jean Christophe, may I share with you what John Cowper Powys had to say about it in One Hundred Best Books:

Rolland's Christophe is without doubt the most remarkable book that has appeared in Europe since Nietzsche's Ecce Homo.

It is a profoundly suggestive treatise upon the relations between art and life. It contains a deep and heroic philosophy—the philosophy of the worship of the mysterious life-force as God; and of the reaching out behyond the turmoil of good and evil towards some vast and dimly articulated reconciliation. Since Wilhelm Meister no book has been written more valuable as an intellectual ladder to the higher levels of aesthetic thought and feeling.

Massive and dramatic, powerful and suggestive, it magnetizes us into an acceptance of its daring and optimistic hopes for the world; of its noble suggestions of a spiritual synthesis of the opposing race-traditions of Europe. Of all the books mentioned in this list, it is the one which the compiler would most strongly recommend to the notice of those anxious to win a firmer intellectual standing-ground.
Well, that makes it official.

jul 10, 2011, 2:28pm

78 The Emperor and the Devil (Wittlin) - incapacitating
79 The Shark (Johan Bojer) - precarious

Enjoyed The Shark — how differently that story could have turned out! Makes one shudder to think . . .

jul 10, 2011, 3:20pm

Both really good one, I thought!
I recently read Miss Brill, quite good; Kepp Up Appearances, good; and Children and Old Folk, a bit disappointing.

jul 11, 2011, 3:58pm

Poor Miss Brill, there was something both pathetic and poignant about the disconnect between her inner thoughts and the unkindness of strangers. Just read "Keep Up Appearances." Another story with a painful twist of the penknife.

80 Mr Hua Wei (Chang T'Ien-i) - Machiavellian
81 Ex Parte (Ring Lardner) - off-the-wall
82 Hands (Sherwood Anderson) - handy
83 Keep Up Appearances (Rhian Roberts) - disarming

jul 12, 2011, 4:22am

84 Darkness at Noon (Arthur Koestler) - fatalistic
85 Selma Koljas (F.E. Sillanpaa) - dreamy
86 Money (Karel Capek) - suffocating
87 Vertigo (Egon Hostovsky) - phantasmal
88 The Neighbor (Antun Gustav Matos) - direct
89 A Crime Without a Motive (Andre Gide) - cold-blooded
90 Lucero (Oscar Castro Z) - sacrificial

These are all excellent stories. Have you read Darkness at Noon? Somewhere I heard good things about Gide's The Counterfeiters but had not heard of Lafcadio's Adventures (not listed on LT under that title at least). Both are now on my wishlist.

Redigeret: jul 12, 2011, 6:35pm

I like Gide. Lafcadio's Adventures is synonymous with The Vatican Cellars, which is the "canonical title". My copy, though, is titled Lafcadio....

jul 12, 2011, 7:05pm

I've started quite a few books at once, so I'm only about 10 pages into the 1941 Hardy translation of Darkness at Noon. I learned about Arthur Koestler from reading The Great Escape, a good book about Hungarian Jews who left the cafes of Budapest to make their fortunes, mostly in the U.S.

jul 12, 2011, 7:09pm

On the recommendation of our Porius, I picked up a Koestler book about a scientific fraud involving frogs or something like that. I have not yet read it but it looks to be quite interesting. The Case of the Midwife Toad.

jul 12, 2011, 7:16pm

Koestler has been a huge influence on my thinking, such as it is. His SLEEPWALKERS is excellent. JANUS is thought provoking if not disturbing. K. was one of the IMPORTANT thinkers of the last century. A little book on SYNCHRONICITY with Alister Hardy was pfun.

jul 16, 2011, 4:19am

91 The Well (Augusto Cespedes) - overwhelming
92 Vasily Suchkov (Alexey Tolstoy) - dastardly
93 The Suspicion (Johannes L. Walch) - unhappy
94 Man's Fate (Andre Malraux) - subhuman

jul 16, 2011, 1:40pm

The Suspicion was pretty good.

jul 16, 2011, 2:17pm

I liked The Suspicion too, Slick. The best of this little batch of depressing stories. It is a coincidence that they were ALL depressing since they were randomly chosen for length (or shortness, actually) more than anything else.

jul 17, 2011, 4:19am

95 Blasa's Tavern (Pio Baroja) - swaggering
96 The Woman of Samaria (Gabriel Miro) - Biblical
97 The Rocking-Horse Winner (D.H. Lawrence) - frenetic
98 Petrified Man (Eudora Welty) - mercenary
99 Snowfall in Childhood (Ben Hecht) - blissful
100 Spring Silkworms (Mao Tun) - painful

"The Woman of Samaria" is one of the best – beautifully written. "The Rocking-Horse Winner" and "Petrified Man" seem familiar, like I've read them before somewhere.

I'm on the home stretch . . .

jul 17, 2011, 10:25am

Go Poquette Go!!!

jul 18, 2011, 10:32pm

Jean-Christophe has arrived! It is unabridged. I think it will make a great December read.

jul 18, 2011, 10:53pm

Sweet. Though that is when Laura Warholic is scheduled too.

jul 18, 2011, 11:47pm

Slick, glad you got the Jean Christoph in its entirety. That must be quite a tome. Is it the three volumes all in one? Or is it just the Volume I: Dawn, Morning, Youth, Revolt?

Rique, as for the Laura Warholic, I think I'm going to pass on that. I'm going to wind up the Salon year with Thomas Mann. Gotta fit in some of my own TBR!

jul 19, 2011, 9:48am

It is three volumes in one tome, ending with New Dawn. Damn it. I'll read both!

jul 20, 2011, 3:32pm

You're choosing Thomas Mann & TBR over Laura Warholic, Poquette? I think you're just attempting to get on Big Mac Sugar Daddy's good side! And more power to you.

Yes, slick got Jean Christophe in its entirety I see. A paperback copy no less (**tries unsuccessfully not to snicker**) Ah well, we all can't read it the way it was intended to be read can we -- in a musty, small printed 1913 Modern Library edition.

Where did redrum redrum go?

jul 20, 2011, 4:22pm

Its hardback dude. With Louis Auchincloss intro.

She was a live wire. I wonder?

jul 20, 2011, 5:21pm



jul 20, 2011, 6:37pm

>393 absurdeist: I'm already on Big Mac Sugar Daddy's good side! ;-)

As for redrum, I'm sure she's lurking here somewhere.

jul 22, 2011, 2:53am

101 Adultery (Enrique Lopez Albujar) - twisted
102 Moonbeam Alley (Stefan Zweig) - seedy
103 The Dead Are Silent (Arthur Schnitzler) - cuckolded
104 Disorder and Early Sorrow (Thomas Mann) - childish

Have not read any Thomas Mann before. Wondering whether this story – charmingly written – is characteristic of his style. Looking forward to the Mann group read. Characters are well-drawn.

Anybody else read this story?

jul 22, 2011, 12:41pm

Not yet. I took a short break. When I start again I am reading a story by an author with one name. I forget now who it was but the one name and the title intrigued me as a flipped through. I think I'll read your 101-104 after that. They all look solid. I may have already read Moonbeam Alley in a different transalation. I know nothing of Mann, I am embarassed to say, but would venture a guess that the Buddenbrooks Mann has a similar voice.

jul 25, 2011, 3:52am

105 Act of Faith (Irwin Shaw) - great-hearted
106 A Day's Work (Katherine Anne Porter) - self-righteous
107 His Only Son (Konstantin Simonov) - futile

aug 6, 2011, 3:57pm

108 Death (Wladyslaw Stanislaw Reymont) - hateful
109 The Funeral (Albert Camus) - aloof

aug 6, 2011, 7:07pm

You've almost made it, Suzanne! Can't wait for the review of, what will it be, (how many stories are in the book?) 153 words?

What's been your favorite piece so far?

Redigeret: aug 6, 2011, 9:24pm

Oddly enough, agnostic that I am, "The Woman of Samaria" (Gabriel Miro) was my favorite so far simply for the shear beauty of the writing. I note that Martini didn't like it much – thought it was a bit over the top, but I happen to like that mushy style in its period. In second place I would put "Three Letters . . . and a Footnote" (Horacio Quiroga). Totally different animal, but made me laugh out loud. So many of these are depressssing!

BTW, there are 114 stories. I've counted three times and can't find number 115. We were cheated!

aug 7, 2011, 12:25pm

Oh, and how could I forget? "Deliverance" by Romain Rolland, gotta squeeze that in there somewhere — and after all that talk about Jean-Christophe! *shaking my head*

aug 17, 2011, 3:51pm

110 Birds of Passage (Martin Andersen Nexo) - irremeable
111 The Wall (Jean Paul Sartre) - existential

Unwittingly, I seem to have saved the best for last:

112 The Blue Cross (G.K. Chesterton) - Sherlockian
113 The Eye of Allah (Rudyard Kipling) - patronizing
114 Red (Somerset Maugham) - stunning

115 ????? As stated above, I've been cheated. My book only has 114 stories. No, I didn't double count. These stories have been counted and recounted six ways for Sunday and no matter what, the total is still 114.

Now that I'm finished, here are my favorite stories. These are not necessarily the best — not for me to judge, really. But my favorites in order of appearance are:

Thomas Wolfe - Circus at Dawn
Irwin Shaw - Act of Faith
G.K. Chesterton - The Blue Cross
Rudyard Kipling - The Eye of Allah
Somerset Maugham - Red
Katherine Mansfield - Miss Brill
Romain Rolland - Deliverance
Gabriel Miro - The Woman of Samaria
Hjalmar Soderberg - The Burning City
Ryunosuke Akkutagawa - The Handkerchief
Horacio Quiroga - Three Letters . . . and a Footnote

I'm kind of sorry I'm done. This book has been handy when I had just a few minutes to read. Actually, I read a lot of these on commercial breaks while watching the tube.

Anybody else out there persevering?

aug 17, 2011, 4:57pm

I have not been reading it as much as I was. I finished Moonbeam Alley the other night. A little contrived, but well-written otherwise. So far, of your favorites, I concur with Miss Brill and Deliverance and am surprised by the honor you have accorded to Three Letters.*

Footnote: Well, not all that surprised as you earlier mentioned how much you liked it! I did not think much of it...

aug 17, 2011, 10:03pm

I sputtered-out weeks ago.

The anal side of me hates the incomplete.

(Dang, that might elicit a clever response...)

dec 17, 2011, 3:23pm

This anthology is awesome. I am almost though reading it and feel sad. I was trying to count how manyof the stories mentioned "pince-nez."

dec 17, 2011, 6:20pm

How could I have missed that?! (pince-nez) Next person to tackle the anthology needs to keep a tally.

mar 22, 2015, 1:15pm

My research topic my thai cat written by pratoomratha zeng