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The Oxford Book of English Short Stories

af A.S. Byatt (Redaktør)

Andre forfattere: J. G. Ballard (Bidragyder), H. E. Bates (Bidragyder), Leonora Carrington (Bidragyder), Angela Carter (Bidragyder), G. K. Chesterton (Bidragyder)31 mere, A. E. Coppard (Bidragyder), Charles Dickens (Bidragyder), Ronald Firbank (Bidragyder), Penelope Fitzgerald (Bidragyder), John Fuller (Bidragyder), William Gilbert (Bidragyder), Graham Greene (Bidragyder), Thomas Hardy (Bidragyder), Philip Hensher (Bidragyder), Aldous Huxley (Bidragyder), M.R. James (Bidragyder), Rudyard Kipling (Bidragyder), D. H. Lawrence (Bidragyder), Rosamond Lehmann (Bidragyder), Mary Mann (Bidragyder), Ian McEwan (Bidragyder), Charlotte Mew (Bidragyder), Arthur Morrison (Bidragyder), V.S. Prichett (Bidragyder), Saki (Bidragyder), Alan Sillitoe (Bidragyder), Elizabeth Taylor (Bidragyder), Rose Tremain (Bidragyder), Anthony Trollope (Bidragyder), Sylvia Townsend Warner (Bidragyder), Evelyn Waugh (Bidragyder), H. G. Wells (Bidragyder), Malachi Whitaker (Bidragyder), T. H. White (Bidragyder), P. G. Wodehouse (Bidragyder), Virginia Woolf (Bidragyder)

Serier: Oxford Books of Prose

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1933140,345 (3.79)2
The Oxford Book of English Short Stories, edited by A. S. Byatt, who has published several collections of short stories, is the first anthology to take the English short story as its theme. The thirty-seven stories featured here are selected from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, byauthors ranging from Dickens, Trollope, and Hardy to J. G. Ballard, Angela Carter, and Ian McEwan, though many draw ingeniously from the richness of earlier English literary writing.There are all sorts of threads of connection and contrast running through these stories. Their subjects vary from the sublime to the ridiculous, from the momentous to the trivial, from the grim to the farcical. There is English empiricism, English pragmatism, English starkness, English humour,English satire, English dandyism, English horror, and English whimsy. There are examples of social realism, from rural poverty to blitzed London; ghost stories and tales of the supernatural; surreal fantasy and science fiction. There are stories of sensibility, precisely delineated, from Hardy'sreluctant bride to the shocked heroine of Elizabeth Taylor's The Blush, from H. E. Bates's brilliant fusion of class, sex, death, and landscape, to D. H. Lawrence's exploration of a consciousness slowly detaching itself from its world. There are exuberant stories by Saki and Waugh, Wodehouse andFirbank, with a particularly English range from high irony to pure orchestrated farce.The very range and scope of the collection celebrates the eccentric differences and excellences of English short stories Some of A. S. Byatt's choices clearly take their place in the grand tradition of story-telling, while others are more unusual.Many break all the rules of unity of tone andnarrative, appearing to be one kind of story before unexpectedly turning into another. They pack together comedy and tragedy, farce and delicacy, elegance and the grotesque, with language as various as the subject-matter. As A. S. Byatt explains: 'My only criterion was that those stories I selectedshould be startling and satisfying, and if possible make the hairs on the neck prickle with excitement, aesthetic or narrative.'… (mere)
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An anthology such as The Oxford Book of English Short Stories may be judged by many measurements: does it anthologize well-known works or hidden gems? Does it have a discernible theme? Are the authors well-balanced, through time and genre?

A.S. Byatt has compiled a singular classic in this one. As an avid reader of anthologies of all kinds, one of the most important criterion for me is whether or not it is a rehash of the canon or introduces something new to the mix, and Byatt does not disappoint. Though some of the stories were familiar - I know I've read "The Troll" by T.H. White somewhere before - others were completely new, though I am intimately familiar with the authors.

Byatt, additionally, has chosen what would at first glance appear to be a very odd theme. Of course, the title points you to the most obvious: English short stories. But what, Byatt wonders in the introduction, does it really mean to be English? She categorically rejects the twee countryside stories, filled with gentle countrymen and their stout, good-hearted wives, and instead focuses on the "thingyness of things". As I said, a very odd theme, but Byatt shows what an anthology should do, which is to illuminate the theme through the choices made. By the time I had reached the wicked tale of Huxley's fallen nun, I began to see what Byatt meant. There is a solidity, a practicality, a certain concreteness to the best of English authors. We see some, as M.R. James and Mew, use it to create horror; Wodehouse and Waugh to spark laughter; Lawrence and Pritchett to inspire thoughtfulness; and Kipling and Wells to provoke awe.

I will admit that there did, for me, seem to be a "sweet spot" of the book, where the authors were at once familiar and beloved: G.K. Chesterton, Saki, Wodehouse, and others appear right in a row, and while Byatt chose stories that were largely unknown to me, their style was. The ones toward the end of the book* I was less keen on - some of them, to me, overshot literary prowess and landed straight in pretentiousness, while others seemed a little too self-aware.

Where they worked, however, they worked - and give a glimmer of what it means to be English.

* My copy had an unfortunate misprint which resulted in half of "Dream Cargoes" and the two John Fuller stories being completely unreadable. Only the last bit of "My Story" was intact - all the more galling, because it looks quite promising.

( )
  kittyjay | Apr 23, 2015 |
A very good mix of stories. Collection has clearly been well thought through. I like the fact that it's in chronological order as it's interesting to see the styles change, not only author to author but decade to decade.

As with all short story collections, some are better than others. A great variety here though. ( )
  ElaineRuss | Sep 23, 2013 |
Five stories in this collection were standouts for me:

At Hiruharama (by Penelope Fitzgerald)
Nuns at Luncheon (by Aldous Huxley)

and

The Destructors (by Graham Greene)
Solid Objects (by Virginia Woolf)
Toys of Peace (by Saki)
  silloftheworld | Aug 10, 2012 |
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Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Byatt, A.S.Redaktørprimær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Ballard, J. G.Bidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Bates, H. E.Bidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Carrington, LeonoraBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Carter, AngelaBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Chesterton, G. K.Bidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Coppard, A. E.Bidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Dickens, CharlesBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Firbank, RonaldBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Fitzgerald, PenelopeBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Fuller, JohnBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Gilbert, WilliamBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Greene, GrahamBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Hardy, ThomasBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Hensher, PhilipBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Huxley, AldousBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
James, M.R.Bidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Kipling, RudyardBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Lawrence, D. H.Bidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Lehmann, RosamondBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Mann, MaryBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
McEwan, IanBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Mew, CharlotteBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Morrison, ArthurBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Prichett, V.S.Bidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
SakiBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Sillitoe, AlanBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Taylor, ElizabethBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Tremain, RoseBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Trollope, AnthonyBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Warner, Sylvia TownsendBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Waugh, EvelynBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Wells, H. G.Bidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Whitaker, MalachiBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
White, T. H.Bidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Wodehouse, P. G.Bidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Woolf, VirginiaBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
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The Oxford Book of English Short Stories, edited by A. S. Byatt, who has published several collections of short stories, is the first anthology to take the English short story as its theme. The thirty-seven stories featured here are selected from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, byauthors ranging from Dickens, Trollope, and Hardy to J. G. Ballard, Angela Carter, and Ian McEwan, though many draw ingeniously from the richness of earlier English literary writing.There are all sorts of threads of connection and contrast running through these stories. Their subjects vary from the sublime to the ridiculous, from the momentous to the trivial, from the grim to the farcical. There is English empiricism, English pragmatism, English starkness, English humour,English satire, English dandyism, English horror, and English whimsy. There are examples of social realism, from rural poverty to blitzed London; ghost stories and tales of the supernatural; surreal fantasy and science fiction. There are stories of sensibility, precisely delineated, from Hardy'sreluctant bride to the shocked heroine of Elizabeth Taylor's The Blush, from H. E. Bates's brilliant fusion of class, sex, death, and landscape, to D. H. Lawrence's exploration of a consciousness slowly detaching itself from its world. There are exuberant stories by Saki and Waugh, Wodehouse andFirbank, with a particularly English range from high irony to pure orchestrated farce.The very range and scope of the collection celebrates the eccentric differences and excellences of English short stories Some of A. S. Byatt's choices clearly take their place in the grand tradition of story-telling, while others are more unusual.Many break all the rules of unity of tone andnarrative, appearing to be one kind of story before unexpectedly turning into another. They pack together comedy and tragedy, farce and delicacy, elegance and the grotesque, with language as various as the subject-matter. As A. S. Byatt explains: 'My only criterion was that those stories I selectedshould be startling and satisfying, and if possible make the hairs on the neck prickle with excitement, aesthetic or narrative.'

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