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A World of Great Stories (1947)

af Hiram Haydn (Redaktør), John Cournos (Redaktør)

Andre forfattere: Tawfiq Al-Hakim (Bidragyder), Enrique López Albújar (Bidragyder), Sholom Aleichem (Bidragyder), Leonid Andreyev (Bidragyder), Azorin (Bidragyder)91 mere, Pio Baroja (Bidragyder), Johan Bojer (Bidragyder), Elizabeth Bowen (Bidragyder), Manuel Buaken, Ivan Bunin, Ventura García Calderón, Morley Callaghan, Albert Camus, Ivan Cankar, Karel Capek, I.L. Caragiale, Oscar Castro Z., Augusto Cespedes, Anton Chekhov, Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, Louis Couperus, Helen Davidian, Lauro de Bosis, José de la Cuadra, Jesus del Corral, Isak Dinesen, Georges Eekhoud, Arreph El-Khoury, Jorge Ferretis, Anatole France, André Gide, Jean Giraudoux, Maxim Gorky, Tao Kim Hai, Refik Halid, Alfonso Hernández-Catá, Hermann Hesse, Sun His-chen, Wang His-yen, Egon Hostovsky, Lu Hsun, Morley Jamieson, James Joyce, Franz Kafka, Younghill Kang, Angel Karalitcheff, Arthur Koestler, Harry Kurz (Introduktion), Selma Lagerlöf, Mariano Latorre, Monteiro Lobato, Benito Lynch, André Malraux, Thomas Mann, Katharine Mansfield, Antun Gustav Matos, Kalman Mikszath, Gabriel Miro, Ferenc Molnar, Lilika Nakos, Martin Andersen Nexo, Liam O'Flaherty, Luigi Pirandello, Katherine Susannah Prichard, Marcel Proust, Horacio Quiroga, S. Raja Ratnam, Wladyslaw Stanislaw Reymont, Aquilino Ribeiro, Rainer Maria Rilke, Rhian Roberts, Romain Rolland, Jean-Paul Sartre, Hjalmar Söderberg, Arthur Schnitzler, F.E. Sillanpaa, Ignazio Silone, Konstantin Simonov, Edith Sitwell, Sigfrid Siwertz, Fyodor Sologub, James Stephens, Chang T'len-i, Rabindranath Tagore, Alexey Tolstoy, Mao Tun, Saw Tun, Sigrid Undset, Luis Manuel Urbaneja, Johannes L. Walch, Joseph Wittlin, Lin Yutang, Constant Zarian, Pratoomratha Zeng, Arnold Zweig, Stefan Zweig

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
2614101,991 (3.45)26
This remarkable collection of 115 short stories from around the globe represents the very pinnacle of writing from the last decade of the nineteenth century through the mid-twentieth century. Thoughtfully edited to include well-known writers of the time and those that would have great influence on storytellers of the future, readers are sure to discover scores of new writers and appreciate those they already know even more. Contributors range from England's D.H. Lawrence, Denmark's Isak Dines, New Zealand's Katherine Mansfield, Ferenc Molnar from Hungary, and Anton Chekhov from Russia, to Ben Hecht and Ring Lardner in the U.S., and a host of others from across the North and South America, Europe and Asia.… (mere)

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The best of modern literature . . . interesting. The title of this book is somewhat misleading. I for one fell into the trap of reading it as "a world of great short stories," but the fact is that much of the book is filled with excerpts from larger works. The editors attempted to find representative short fiction from every country of the world — except African countries. Seems odd to me that they couldn't even find something to excerpt from Egypt or South Africa, but what do I know about Egyptian or African literature between 1900 and 1947?

In reading these stories one is left with a sense of how bleak, primitive and hopeless humanity was in the first half of the 20th century. How different a world that was from what most of us living and reading today have experienced. Of course, the effects of the world wars between 1914 and 1945 created living horrors, personal and economic, that we can barely imagine today. A huge majority of the stories collected here reflect badly on humanity both collectively and individually. However, there are a few bright spots. Some of the stories actually leave the reader with at least an inner smile.

The editors state at the outset that most countries did not have a short story tradition, so it would have been impossible to create such an international collection of short fiction without resorting to excerpts from novels and even one play.

Altogether this is a significant collection of tales representing the period. I read the stories randomly, and as luck would have it, ended on a high note. I found some authors whose work interests me enough to look for more of their writing. ( )
5 stem Poquette | Aug 17, 2011 |
O. Henry “The Love-Philtre of Ikey Schoenstein” kind of a glitch-ridden prototype of Damon Runyon **½; Sherwood Anderson “Hands” good quick character caricature, the Man Who Loved Children ***; Ernest Hemingway “Ten Indians” pointless **; William Faulkner “A Rose for Emily” another type, the crazy Southern belle dame ***½; Wilbur Daniel Steele “The Man Who Saw Through Heaven” Heart of Darkness-Gothic as a dramatization of the loneliness felt when Christian-humanist virtues are ground up by the dicta of scientific positivism ****; F. Scott Fitzgerald “The Baby Party” sentimentally affecting, but he sure doesn’t know anything about child language acquisition ****; Ring Lardner “Ex Parte” reap the rewards of playing to your contemporaries, dick*½; Thomas Wolfe “Circus at Dawn” painterly, didn’t grab me **; John Steinbeck “Flight” more interesting than what I thought about this story is the fact that even the smooth readability of Steinbeck can be trumped by the horrible conversations of the global elite ***; Ben Hecht “Snowfall in Childhood” this was lovely and not even the horr. con. supra could ruin it completely! (it turns out the dude is South African, and I have a feeling he is about to bust out some problematic attitudes characteristic of some--but I very very much do not want to suggest all or most or many!--white South Africans) ****; Katherine Ann Porter “A Day’s Work” this has the phrase “I know you from old”, which I love in its superior “of” iteration; more importantly, how do you even turn into a person like that? His comment on the Dominique Strauss-Kahn affair is that it’ll be “bad for the (insurance) business” (his). How exactly? ***½; Eudora Welty “Petrified Man” how exactly can a neighbourhood where the average house price is approaching a million bucks be a “bad neighbourhood”, even in Vancouver, asshole? Anyway, this made me think of the Outkast skit “The Adventures of Kim & Cookie” ***; Irwin Shaw “Act of Faith” really strong—starts out like an episode of MASH (which I’ve never watched) and then turns into a bittersweet portrait of a Jewish-American soldier just after victory in WWII. Meanwhile, dude’s on to Hitler, of course. I weep for us all ****½; GK Chesterton “The Blue Cross” okay, the guy got to his purpose—emulsify the guilt of apartheid with a German who understands, say yeah it was bad but I’m a good person. It makes me soften toward him a little, even if he did favourably compare them to the Nazis by saying “at least they didn’t kill anyone”. Meanwhile, GK is fun like plum pudding but gets a tad preachy at the end, as you’d expect ****; Rudyard Kipling “The Eye of Allah” Kipling going medieval is a little like Chris Claremont getting obsessed with Japan or Australia or pilots or Norse myths (or Faerie or media studies or, or, or), but this takes its cute turns. Also, my seatmates done finally shut their traps, so I feel okay about life ***; Somerset Maugham “Red” Englishman, his model of vigorous manhood on the wane, doesn’t know if he wants to be Hemingway or write things like “that wonderful colour that so inflamed the Pre-Raphaelites” ***; Edith Sitwell “Fanfare for Elizabeth” things were bad and then a virgin was born; this is starting to feel like a drag with all the fucking excerpting **; Saki “The Open Window” dated but exquisite ***½; DH Lawrence “The Rocking-Horse Winner” childhood trauma, budding sexuality, the injunction to consume, bourgeois manhood ***; Liam O’Flaherty “The Sniper” we’ve read streets-of-sorrow stories like this before but this one has prose like a coiled spring with a whiff of cordite ***½; Elizabeth Bowen “Sunday Afternoon” toffs cautiously explore Blitz PTSD—seems like the start of a good novel, if only the fucks knew the difference between that and a short story ***; James Stephens “Desire” QUEER THEORY ***; James Joyce “The Boarding House” Joyce is twice as Irish as any of the other Irish writers in this book, and it makes me wonder if we’ve reconstructed Irishness in his image ****; Morley Jamieson “The Old Wife” it’s like a weird reply to Joyce in a way ***; Rhian Roberts “Keep Up Appearances” Celts and their dialogue, Jesus. I like the Welsh exclamations, tewch, and I do like the Welsh, duw, and how they’re fucking first and drinking and fighting later, but this one kind of didn’t speak to me fach **½; Katherine Mansfield “Miss Brill” I thought it was just a clinically exact piece of cultural criticism, and was preparing to start retroactively referring to many young ladies I’ve known as Miss Brills, but then it stabbed me in the heart with a crocheting needle *****; Katherine Susannah Prichard “The Gray Horse” the Aussies and their horses are all ready to have a go, but I feel a malaise **; Morley Callaghan “A Sick Call” seems a bit hackneyed and then there’s a twist ending and then you realize it doesn’t change the fact that the story was a bit hackneyed ***; Anatole France “Madame de Luzy” ha ha, France pimps France ***; Marcel Proust “Overture” Proust is either the worst writer in the world to excerpt or the best, I can’t decide ***; Romain Rolland “Deliverance” poignant ***½; Andre Gide “A Crime Without a Motive” existentialism has been done better, to say the least **; Colette “The Gentle Libertine” charmant ****; Jean Giraudoux “May on Lake Asquam” the kind of thing you might write if you though you were a writer but you’re really just a person who found it easy to love life on the level of the, like, body ***; Andre Malraux “Man’s Fate” this teen revolutionary fantasy/oddity/allegory remains poised on the knife-edge between poignant and embarrassing and doesn’t quite fall either way ***; Jean-Paul Sartre “The Wall” makes me love and hate humans so hard I get bone-tired ****½; Albert Camus “The Funeral” I’ve been harping on the excerting thing a lot, but excerpting L’Etranger is just so criminally stupid. Let’s go read out digests and then go to the sock hop and I hear Big Al Camoo just got a new tractor and fuck mid-20th century America *; Georges Eekhoud “Hiep-Hioup” likes it when the bad girls die first **½; Azorin “An Unbeliever” letdown **; Pio Baroja “Blasa’s Tavern” the Spaniards are all black hats! Watch out for their butterfly knives! ***½; Gabriel Miro “The Woman of Samaria” the pseudo-archaic diction makes it comical and sucky **; Luigi Pirandello “Horse in the Moon” implied sex-and-death but with a bit too much politesse **½; Ignazio Silone “The Travellers” I could read a whole novel about these guys as long as it did not contain a second instance of the phrase “the shadowy opening of (the horse’s) intestines” ****½; Lauro de Bosis “The Story of My Death” Lauro, you flew too high****; Aquilino Ribeiro “The Last Faun” Ribeiro is a bit inscrutable but seems like an easygoing sort who is suspicious about the motives behind the piety of some young women but not a dick about it ***½; Thomas Mann “Disorder and Early Sorrow” Mann paints interactions like Proust paints individuals ****½; Rainer Maria Rilke “The Tale of the Hands of God” it was obscure to me **½; Franz Kafka “The Married Couple” it’s quotidian Kafka, but it certainly qualifies as Kafkaesque **½; Stefan Zweig “Moonbeam Alley” there are many problematic, fin-de-siecle Viennese aspects to how this tale is presented, but the core idea is a solid one and the moonbeam stuff is cute in a way I would call, weirdly, anti-Disney ***; Arnold Zweig “Kong at the Seaside” yet another excerpt! but I find this one highly seductive and it works on its own ****½; Arthur Schnitzler “The Dead are Silent” gives rise to thoughts in re my lack of strong knowledge on the differences between single and compounded trauma and makes me wish I’d waited until I was in Vienna to read it, although I sure don’t want to carry this monster around until then (I’m currently in the lobby of the good Night Inn in a Swiss ski town called Brig, which comes from brigge, Old High Germanic for “bridge”. The only other people up are the night cleaning shift [there’s something interesting in the prominent place doing menial work that Central Europeans give their (many?) people with cognitive disabilities, the implications of which in terms of attitudes toward the disabled/work and class/the social safety net/immigration/etc. are obviously beyond exploration here] and a German tour group who are energetic and loud. We are going to go to the Matterhorn and then discuss whether it’s worth the SF100 [!] it costs to go to the top. Oh, oops, the French tour group is getting up too. Time to start the day) ***½; Arthur Koestler “Darkness at Noon” really good short story of ideas w/kind of a whimper of an ending—put into an unfavourable light by the inclusion in the same volume of Sartre’s “The Well.” The excerpting problem is also here, perhaps ***½; Hermann Hesse “Henry’s Loves” seems like a bit of a golden boy–idiot savant, like Jim Morrison or Hansel from Zoolander ***; Louis Couperus “Bluebeard’s Daughter” oh hell yes. You go from a cute pastiche to which he gives his best, to a mystery, to an uncompromising feminist morality, to a one-line sting in the tail ****½; Johannes L. Walch “The Suspicion” mostly harmless **; Martin Andersen Nexo “Birds of Passage” mostly homeless ****; Isak Dinesen “The Sailor-Boy’s Tale” when you’ve killed a guy, kissed a girl, and had your life saved by the falcon you rescued from the rigging of your first ship, disguised as a Lapp woman, then and only then are you a man ****; Sigrid Undset “The Death of Kristin Lavransdatter” this excerpt on the other had seems to be the emotional climax of what looks like a fascinating book, and that is just unconscionable **½; Selma Lagerlöf “The Outlaws” oh don’t do it, Selma, don’t smear this stark Northern beauty with no God shit***½; Sigfrid Siwertz “In Spite of Everything” and it’s no doubt true, it ruined his life and no doubt hers too but he’d still come running to tie her shoes—that’s relationshps, right?—but it felt a little too perfunctory, a précis of a whole sad world ***; Hjalmar Söderberg “The Burning City” he’s got kids’ number ***½; Anton Chekhov “In Exile” so it goes **½; Maxim Gorky “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 ***½; Sholom Aleichem “Tevye Wins a Fortune” heartening and lefty with how his version of winning the lottery is just getting a small share of society’s wealth for being a good dude and using it to secure a fair living ****; Feodor Sologub “Hide and Seek” eerie and affecting and that’s not always easy ****; Leonid Andreyev “The Abyss” and so this is exactly why we need a revolution—because there will always be scum like this who think the people are subhuman and itching to kill ½; Ivan Bunin “The Gentleman from San Francisco” gets a little less allfired arrogant when you remember he’s a Russian writing about Americans on holiday and not an American doing that … but only a little **; Alexey Tolstoy “Vasily Suchkov” starts out like “children of the revolution try to invent the sexual revolution”, takes a weird Graham Greeney turn, then goes a bit violence-porn at the end ***½; Konstantin Simonov “His Only Son” hackneyed but actually really strong ****; Wladyslaw Stanislaw Reymont “Death” Polish Gothic crossed with, like, Coronation Street, but not as good as that sounds **½; Joseph Wittlin “The Emperor and the Devil” an Austro-Hungarian “Recruiting Sergeant” ***; FE Sillanpaa “Selma Koljas” the Finns are even more perfect blue than the Japanese in some ways ***½; Karel Capek “Money” I guess Czechs were always cold fishes **½; Egon Hostovsky “Vertigo” Modernism! ***; Ferenc Molnar “The Silver Hilt” makes me feel like I can take on the world, laughing at our foibles all the way ****½; Kalman Mikszath “The Green Fly” heh/whoa! ***½; Ivan Cankar “Children and Old Folk” yeah, that’s what kid and old people are like all right ***; Antun Gustav Matos “The Neighbour” it’s good to see Croats being adorable instead of staring bar fights and being Cro Cop ****; IL Caragiale “The Easter Torch” this made me unhappy **; Angel Karalitcheff “The Little Coin” fuck you, Romania! Bulgaria gets that life is about glory as well as degradation. Also, apparently the Balkans bring out the essentialist in me ***; Lilika Nakos “Maternity” it’s all right, but really, there’s NO Greek short stories worth including and you had to excerpt a novel that was clearly not meant to be excerpted unless your intended message is “hey guys, sometimes Chinamen AREN’T awful”? *½; Lu Hsun “Medicine” obscure **½; Mao Tun “Spring Silkworms” a subtly anti-imperialist look into another world ***½; Chang T’ien-I “Mr. Hua Wei” a decent character sketch (an underappreciated genre) of the Party fixer ***; Sun His-Chen “Ah Ao” the writeup didn’t really make clear whether this was a short story or an excerpt, but in this case I hope for the latter, because I would follow Ah Ao where she goes ****; Wang Hsi-Yen “Growth of Hate” maybe in the end the story of one sad peasant is the only way to make it mean anything, in China as elsewhere, but the scale of suffering in the Japanese War and Civil War periods (and for that matter, afterward) is such as to make me wish for, like, a new genre transcendently apt to help us understand history’s greatest crimes ***; Lin Yutang “The Dog-Meat General” now that’s a character sketch ****½; Younghill Kang “Doomsday” the death of a people’s soul at the hands of pygmies wielding pilfered glory ***½; Ryūnosuke Akutagawa “The Handkerchief” restrained, classical, playful, whimsical, dramaturgical, tragic, ominous, moral, magical, masterful *****; Rabindranath Tagore “My Lord, the Baby” a wry model of male nurturing and sacrifice ****½; S. Raja Ratnam “Drought” turned off by the apolitical message that seems to be here **½; Helen Davidian “The Jealous Wife” to be honest, this brings up some pain and I don’t feel like it’s possible to fairly evaluate it in that state of emotional arousal but I will give it *** for purposes of calculation of the mean; Tawfiq al-Hakim “A Deserted Street” I like the references to Shahrazad and the magic realism, which I would probably have a better name for if I knew anything about the Arabic literary tradition, but ultimately I felt a bit like I was peering into a bestiary in a language I didn’t understand ***; Arreph El-Khoury “Hillbred” panders a bit but then a sting in the tail ***; Constant Zarian “The Pig” I love the fairytale register in which this Bulgakov predecessor tells this dark totalitarian story ****; Refik Halid “The Gray Donkey” the payoff is “corrupt officials are corrupt”? Meh **; Saw Tun “Tales of a Burmese Soothsayer” ha, natural language—but there’s a sadness that hurts, like he knows he’s not empowering his countrymen so much as comforting them ***; Tao Kim Hai “The Cock” CHIKKINZZZ ***½; Pratoomratha Zeng “My Thai Cat” pleasant but inconsequential and not particularly skilled **; Manuel Buaken “The Horse of the Sword” there is, of course, a moment in every horse story that makes your heart leap with joy, but then it’s all I want to live in America, and that blows ***; Mariano Latorre “A Woman of Mystery” we were human in a wagon under the stars ***; Oscar Castro Z. “Lucero” airtight ****; Jose de la Cuadra “Valley Heat” a little bit hot but mostly kind of unintelligent; Augusto Cespedes “The Well” real man-v.-nature-v.-man stuff ***; Jesus del Corral “Cross Over, Sawyer!” lovable rascalry ***½; Jorge Ferretis “The Failure” now here’s a man who knows how to get a lot of stories and ideas into a small space ****½; Enrique Lopez Albujar “Adultery” I’m not sure whether he’s engaging in anthropology or misogyny but either way it kind of pisses me off *½; Benito Lynch “The Sorrel Colt” I imagine it as an NFB short for horsegirls starring the kid who played Atreyu ***; Alfonso Hernandez-Cata “The Servant-Girl” it’s just realism, just some moderately interesting happenings, and it strikes me that you need to see the characters filled in at much more length to care in the absence of something else notable artistically or plotwise **½; Horacio Quiroga “Three Letters … And a Foot-Note” I found his narratress’ phraseology charming and the twist ending moderately humdrum**½; Monteiro Lobato “The Funny-Man Who Repented” laugh, clown, laugh, for that is your destiny ***½.

And then there were introductions to the regions that taught me little except about the prejudices of the past. There is no section on Africa, for fuck’s sake. Half a star. (And so the total is 346.5/116=2.99, rounded up to 3 stars overall.) ( )
11 stem MeditationesMartini | May 30, 2011 |
This is an enjoyable collection of short stories ranging through various great authors of western lit. Anthologies frequently raise questions of the discrimination of the editors; this one is no exception. But that too is part of the enjoyment and learning process. ( )
  AlexTheHunn | Aug 31, 2007 |
As its title suggests, this is a collection of short stories from all over the world. It is an amazing collection that surveys works from countries and authors familiar to English language readers, and provides translations of works from less familiar: divided into sections, 'Romance' includes works by Marcel Proust, Jean-Paul Sartre and Luigi Pirandello; 'Germanic and Scandinavian' includes stories by Rainer Marie Rilke, Isak Dinesen, and Sigrid Undset; 'Russian and East European' showcases stories by Anton Chekhov, Maxim Gorky and Karel Capek; the 'Oriental' section provides works by Lu Tsun, Mao Tun, Rabindranath Tagore, and Tawfiq Al-Hakim. These are just the authors I have a passing familiarity with. The 'Latin American' section provides treats from authors hitherto completely unknown to me, such as Augusto Cespedes and Jorge Ferretis. The English language world, labelled the 'American and British' lists luminaries such as William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Eudora Welty, G. K. Chesterton, Saki, James Joyce and Liam O'Flaherty. Australia is represented by Katherine Susannah Prichard, New Zealand by Katherine Mansfield.
  flexnib | Oct 23, 2005 |
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Haydn, HiramRedaktørprimær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Cournos, JohnRedaktørhovedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Al-Hakim, TawfiqBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Albújar, Enrique LópezBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Aleichem, SholomBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Andreyev, LeonidBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
AzorinBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Baroja, PioBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Bojer, JohanBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Bowen, ElizabethBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Buaken, Manuelmedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
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Undset, Sigridmedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Urbaneja, Luis Manuelmedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Walch, Johannes L.medforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Wittlin, Josephmedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Yutang, Linmedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Zarian, Constantmedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Zeng, Pratoomrathamedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Zweig, Arnoldmedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Zweig, Stefanmedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
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Oprindelig udgivelsesdato
Vigtige steder
Vigtige begivenheder
Beslægtede film
Første ord
Sidste ord
Oplysning om flertydighed
Forlagets redaktører
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This remarkable collection of 115 short stories from around the globe represents the very pinnacle of writing from the last decade of the nineteenth century through the mid-twentieth century. Thoughtfully edited to include well-known writers of the time and those that would have great influence on storytellers of the future, readers are sure to discover scores of new writers and appreciate those they already know even more. Contributors range from England's D.H. Lawrence, Denmark's Isak Dines, New Zealand's Katherine Mansfield, Ferenc Molnar from Hungary, and Anton Chekhov from Russia, to Ben Hecht and Ring Lardner in the U.S., and a host of others from across the North and South America, Europe and Asia.

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