Thursday, October 20, 2005

Mavis Gallant's Advice to Short Story Readers

Stories are not chapters of novels. They should not be read one after another, as if they were meant to follow along. Read one. Shut the book. Read something else. Stories can wait.

2 comments:

Larry Keiler said...

Oops, sorry, forgot to put my name on that. I didn't say it anyway. Mavis did.

Marianne said...

Yeah, I like writing that can wait - there is a pleasure in knowing it is there, waiting for you. Especially when you're mid book. Kinda like sipping a cup of coffee.

I went to a reading last night at the Starlight in Waterloo. One woman (can't remember her name)read from her collection of short stories called "Hair Hat". A character reapppears throughout the stories - not as the main focus, but more and more is revealed about him as the book progresses. Now get this - he has his hair fashioned so that it looks like he is wearing a hat. Now THAT is different...

Another author read from a book that reminded me of your work, Gary, your novel. Lovely and bizarre. Hope you get back to it. And you know what? I liked your work better!

Just read a wonderful book of poetry by Robert Bly. Themes connect or link the poems, but also style and format. Bly uses an Islamic form of poetry called ghazal. Three lines per stanza - goes straight to the heart. Maybe I'll try to write a ghazal this weekend...