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.