The Gull Reef Club

11/19/2007

Scraps

Filed under: — Jaime @ 11:58 pm

I’ve read a few short stories as of late in a futile attempt to sate my appetite for non-western lit. I’ve learned there isn’t much available in the form of free e-texts out there that qualify.

I first picked up Vsevolod Mikhailovich Garshin’s The Signal. Typically Russian – terse, brutal, bloody, and oddly communal. For what it was, I enjoyed it. It did go to reinforce some stereotypes I carry about Russian literature – well, except that this was only 6 pages.

I followed this up with Brazilian Tales, which was a translation of 6 short stories by -wait for it- Brazilian writers. I only read 5 of the 6. I got about 40 lines or so into ‘Life’ and knew there was not a chance I would finish it. The remaining stories were incredibly dull and lacking emotion, with the exception of Joaquim De Assis’s ‘The Attendant’s Confession.’ I quite enjoyed ‘The Attendant’s Confession.’ I found it to be in the vein of Edgar Allan Poe. One of those stories where the battle of conscience is at the core. I recommend you read that story and skip the rest of the Brazilian Tales.

In the mood for a Thanksgiving story, I set into Rebecca Harding Davis’ Jane Murray’s Thanksgiving Story. All I can tell you is – don’t bother. It’s complete tripe.

Despite my utter disregard for Davis’ Thanksgiving story, I think I’ll give her Life in the Iron Mills a shot. The biographies of Davis available online all seem to laud her as some socially progressive writer (before such terms were tainted with the stink of modern Democrats), which piques my interest. Iron Mills is allegedly one of her best works. We’ll see about that.

And like you care, but I’ve added a new category for things I read and review. That way you can skip these entries if fiction bores you to tears…ahem…Mike…

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The Gull Reef Club