Like other communications-intensive courses in the humanities, arts, and social sciences, it allows students to produce 20 pages of polished writing with careful attention to revision. It also offers substantial opportunities for oral expression, through presentations of written work, student-led discussion, and class participation. The class has a low enrollment that ensures maximum attention to student writing and oral expression; regular meetings with a writing tutor on drafts and revisions are helpful and are required. Because of the revision, there is no final exam.
Jun 09, Werner rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Short story fans; readers interested in seriously studying literature Recommended to Werner by: It was a textbook for a college class I took Shelves: This book served as a textbook for a college class I took in the mid 90s.
I've read some of the stories already; so I'm going to review the ones I've read so far.
Three selections actually, four; Jesus' parable of the prodigal son from Luke These are followed by about two dozen stories divided between units on aspects of fiction like Plot, Character, Setting, Theme, etc.
Then one writer, devout Roman Catholic Flannery O'Connor, is singled out for in-depth study, with three stories and two very good nonfiction pieces by the author herself that help to explain her philosophy of writing.
The best known of the three stories is "A Good Man Is Hard to Find," which of course has a positive message as O'Connor explains in one of the included critical pieces ; but for me the horrific impact of the events of the story --even depicted without blood and gore-- was so pervasive that the message was lost in it, and the climactic gesture that embodied it was just perceived as an odd anomaly and passed over.
Perhaps some of this was because I originally read it as a child of about ten --which is probably not the best age at which to encounter something like this.
It's easily one of the most starkly horrifying tales in the English language, and the more so because, unlike tales of supernatural menaces, it's something that could really happen.
These units are all followed by Suggestions for Writing, and all the stories in these sections are followed by intelligent questions that help the reader to interpret and appreciate them. The other stories, for "Further Reading," follow the O'Connor section, and are arranged alphabetically by author.
For the most part, I haven't read many of the stories in order. In choosing the stories, the editors concentrated heavily on descriptive general fiction. I'd place stories like Chekhov's appropriately titled "Misery," Mansfield's "Miss Brill," Langston Hughes' "On the Road," and even Steinbeck's "The Chrysanthemums" in this category; they're stories that should expand and soften the heart, and make you want to hug someone who's hurting.
Other selections didn't impress me as favorably. In the former, the protagonist's decision not to serve the townsfolk bread after he'd urinated in the kneading troughs, of course, is supposed to be a great moral epiphany, but it's overwhelmed by the sheer gross-out quality of the tasteless image.
Chopin's "The Storm" and "The Story of an Hour" are expressions of an anti-marriage philosophy that I don't share or sympathize with.
Ironically, her marriage, which ended in her husband's death before she began her writing career, was completely happy, by her own admission; like a lot of literature in the century that would follow, these stories represent the complete triumph of ideology over the writer's personal experience and normal feelings.
The literary-critical pieces by famous writers that follow the stories are short snippets, and I've only read the one by Poe. That one, though, has an intriguing insight --he argues that short stories, since they can be read at a sitting, allow the writer full scope to work an effect on the reader's mind, undiluted by the distractions that are inevitable when you have to read a work in several sittings instead of one.
That makes short fiction a more effective medium for the literary art, in his opinion, than novels. One of these, Jorge Luis Borges' "The Gospel According to Mark," was not one that I personally appreciated at all, though it would be impossible to analyze why without engaging in a spoiler.
He's an author whose work I'd never read before though of course I'd heard of him, as I had of all the authors I sampled here this time around ; suffice it to say that I'm not particularly motivated to read more of it. Coraghessan Boyle-- all earned high marks from me, in their different ways.
Each of these tales is as unique as the authors are; they have very distinct settings and plots, and the authors were coming from distinctly different places and backgrounds. But they have certain commonalities. They all deal, to different degrees, with subject matter that could be considered in some way dark or depressing --but to the writers' credit, they all deal with it again, not to share any spoilers!
Also, they all demonstrate a real skill for creating deeply realized characters whose attributes are brought out perfectly through the telling detail.
Their protagonists or other characters may be very flawed; but the writers aren't promoting or excusing the flaws, but rather the reverse. I'd read and greatly liked some of Tolstoy's other short stories before, and come to appreciate his unflinching --and skillfully conveyed-- Christian moral vision.
This selection, the story of the wasted life and lingering death of a Czarist Russian judge, a selfish and worldly man who's never considered ultimate reality and hardly ever had a thought or feeling in his adult life that was original or authentic, is of a piece with this body of work; it becomes a vehicle for driving home the universality of death, and raising the question of how we meet it.
It isn't explicitly Christian in its message, but knowing where Tolstoy is coming from adds depth and context to the reader's understanding. The writers of the other four stories were all completely new to me; I might not like all of their body of work, but these selections were good, well-chosen introductions that whetted my appetite for more.
Cheever writes in the classic short fiction tradition; here, he gives us a totally unlikeable, morally repulsive protagonist assuming that he's fairly representative of prosperous urbanites of his time, the reflexive sexism and male chauvinism of his attitudes and actions, and the ease with which he's gotten away with them in the past with no challenge, does a lot to explain the rise of militant "gender" feminism a few years later as an understandable reaction!
For me, that usually doesn't work in a story; but Cheever makes it work here. Baldwin and Walker deal with, respectively, the urban and the rural American Black experience, and with issues of family dynamics, personal character and choices as well.
Neither of them reductively subsumes the whole Black experience as a wooden, monolithic exercise in racial victimhood at the hands of whites --racism is a background in the stories, as in life, but the focus is on the black characters as determiners of their own destiny and makers of their own cultural world.
Baldwin's story tries to explain something of the dark psychology of drug addiction, which is a worthwhile literary subject but hard for me to relate to personally; and as a tone-deaf person, I probably get less benefit out of the role of blues music in the story than a blues fan would.
Boyle portrays the milieu of the socially, morally and culturally lost, stoned, egoistic, irresponsible delinquent youth of the 60s and afterward -- this has, tragically, become a fixture of the American scene with an obvious insider's eye, in the setting of a polluted lakeshore, the perfect symbol of nature defiled and perverted by a toxic culture.
But he portrays it to expose and critique, not glorify, its defilement. The Baldwin and Boyle stories both have a component of bad language, which in the latter case includes some use of the f-word; but, IMO, the dialogue in both is arguably defensible as realistic in its setting.
August 21, Since my last update, I've read four more stories here.An Introduction to Fiction / Edition 11 Kennedy/Gioia's An Introduction to Fiction, 11th edition continues to inspire students with a rich collection of fiction and engaging insights on reading, analyzing, and writing about ashio-midori.com: $ An Introduction to Fiction / Edition 11 Kennedy/Gioia's An Introduction to Fiction, 11th edition continues to inspire students with a rich collection of fiction and engaging insights on reading, analyzing, and writing about stories.
This course investigates the uses and boundaries of fiction in a range of novels and narrative styles--traditional and innovative, western and nonwestern--and raises questions about the pleasures and meanings of verbal texts in different cultures, times, and forms.
Toward the end of the term, we will be particularly concerned with the relationship between art and war in a diverse selection of. An Introduction to Fiction has 70 ratings and 11 reviews. Werner said: Nov. 20, This book served as a textbook for a college class I took in the mi /5.
Attention authors of the 21st century! If you have an unpredictable schedule, travel often, or live outside the Boston area, this online course is the perfect fit for your modern lifestyle. “Introduction to Fiction” will teach you a slew of essential fiction techniques all from the comfort of.
Kennedy/Gioia's An Introduction to Fiction, 11th edition continues to inspire students with a rich collection of fiction and engaging insights on reading, analyzing, and writing about stories.
This bestselling anthology includes sixty-five superlative short stories, blending classic works and.