Literature Stuff

My principal asked me today if I would like to teach a senior short story English seminar next year. Hell yes! Anyway, I have been scoping online for some ideas for texts. If you know of any good short story collections, either anthologies or single authors, please let me know. I have written a tentative list of texts I’d like to try out. In my travels, I came across Annie Proulx’s short story “Brokeback Mountain.” I am one of the few people who hasn’t seen this movie yet — it’s hard to get out and see movies like that with small children. Anyway, I was blown away by the spare language and vivid images. It was amazing. Her writing reminds me of Cormac McCarthy — some of the prettiest language I’ve ever seen. I had no idea the movie was based on a short story. What was interesting to me is that Proulx manages to convey the notion of two people in love; even though they are the same gender, you don’t think about that. I don’t know how she does it, because Proulx certainly doesn’t spare details or mince words. She’s direct and matter-of-fact. It just is. And you just ache for Ennis and Jack.

In other news, if you are in my area, you might want to go check out a reading and signing of Matthew Pearl’s new book The Poe Shadow (which was released recently) on Monday, June 19 at the Dekalb Library/Georgia Center for the Book at 7:00 P.M. I have it, but I’ve not read it yet. I received an e-mail from Matthew Pearl a couple of months ago when he came across a post on my classroom blog inviting my students to read and discuss the novel over the summer. I don’t know how many times I mentioned The Dante Club in class this year. As much as my students love Poe, I imagine they’d like this book.  He invited me to say “hi” if I could make it to his Atlanta appearance, so of course I’m going.  As one of my students quipped, “It sounds like a date to me, Mrs. Huff.”  See you there if you’re going.

4 thoughts on “Literature Stuff

  1. A collection of short stories that I read at university and really enjoyed was Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies. There's a story in there about a man and a woman who lose their baby that's particularly well done.

  2. I wholeheartedly agree with the above poster – Interpreter of Maladies is one of my very favorite books. I usually try to avoid Indian novels since I get enough of my culture at home (hehe), but it was absolutely amazing. Lahiri won the Pulitzer for it, I believe.

    One short story I love is Virginia Woolf's "The Legacy," which is in a A Haunted House and Other Short Stories.

    Oh, and do try catching Brokeback Mountain when you get the chance. Brilliant. I am a huge fan of Crash and was thrilled when it won the Oscar for best movie, but after I saw BBM, I think BBM should have won instead.

  3. Ladies, thanks for the suggestion. I'm going to check out that collection. I am going to try to watch Brokeback Mountain this weekend — it's on On Demand cable around these parts right now.

  4. Perfection Learning has some really cool anthologies, one favorite is Snapshots (that has multi- genre stuff). I like to put together my own story lists, but I farm from them regularly. They have two collections, the second one is geared to 9-12. I'll send on the exact titles when I return to school on Monday if you are interested in some others.

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