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The Overcoat: You Will Read It Now

 
 
Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2008 09:06 am
For your benefit, I have provided here a link to Nikolai Gogol's "The Overcoat," which, I decided last night, over a cup of Russian tea and a piece of carrot cake, is the best short story ever written. Though I had read it many times before, it finally unseated Chekhov's "Lady With the Dog," which had previously been tied for first.

Oh, you beg to differ! Will get in the ring, ************. I will prove you wrong.

http://www.geocities.com/short_stories_page/gogolovercoat.html
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Type: Discussion • Score: 5 • Views: 2,106 • Replies: 12
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Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2008 09:09 am
@Gargamel,
you apparently overpowered the link...
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Gargamel
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2008 09:13 am
Son-of-a!

I hate these darned internets.

Let's try again: http://www.geocities.com/athens/oracle/7207/overcoat.html
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2008 09:15 am
@Gargamel,
I saw that performed at the Vancouver Playhouse a few years ago. It was done with one man, no talking, miming only, and to Shoshostiak or however you spell it. It was absolutely fabulous and I'd see it again.
Gargamel
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2008 09:20 am
@Mame,
Wow!

I would love to see that. I'm curious to know if the humor translates. I was that nerd on the train yesterday laughing at his book.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2008 09:26 am
@Gargamel,
IT'S A SHORT STORY SMACKDOWN(downownwn)!

Is there a difference between a short story and a novella?

If not I'll nominate two of my favorites "God Bless You Mr. Rosewater" by Vonnegeut and "My Happy Life" by Millet (with a special jab to Gargamel).

Would Sedaris' "Santaland Diarys" count?

What about Capote's "The Grass Harp"?

Anyway, I know I'll have to read both of your selections now......

DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2008 09:38 am
I've posted it before, but....


http://www.terrybisson.com/meat.html
0 Replies
 
Gargamel
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2008 09:43 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

IT'S A SHORT STORY SMACKDOWN(downownwn)!

Is there a difference between a short story and a novella?

If not I'll nominate two of my favorites "God Bless You Mr. Rosewater" by Vonnegeut and "My Happy Life" by Millet (with a special jab to Gargamel).

Would Sedaris' "Santaland Diarys" count?

What about Capote's "The Grass Harp"?

Anyway, I know I'll have to read both of your selections now......




And so my secret plan to get a new list of stories to read seems to be working perfectly. Yesssssss.

I've not read these, with the exception of Millet, of course.

Obviously this thread begs for a definition of the form. The "length discussion" is a tricky one. Scope and breadth must factor in. In My Happy Life for example, the narrative structure is much like you would find in a novel. We aren't given a brief back story and then, suddenly, a conflict (though tons of short stories don't follow this traditional description). Yet we get the story of I-forget-her-name's life in episodes, each one containing its own short story.

Ah! But I just finished Alice Munro's collection Runaway, in which several forty-page stories are structured like novels.

For the sake of argument, I will stick to the old school, updside-down checkmark definition, where a short story begins with backstory, along comes a conflict, followed by rising action, crisis action, resolution, and denouement.
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2008 09:46 am
@Gargamel,
Actually, you've jolted my memory, thank you. There were other people in the play. I remember now the train/bus scene - everything was choreographed and they were all hanging onto the hand straps and lurching as the bus lurched. Oh, it was so damn good. Standing O's, every night.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2008 09:50 am
@Gargamel,
Alice Munro. Now you're speaking my language. Just bought a couple of her collections.

Love boomer's Vonnegut recommendation. One of my favourites.

~~~

I love going to used book stores and buying anthologies. Great transit reading, and it's led me to a number of authors I'd previously ignored/been unaware of.
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2008 04:40 pm
@ehBeth,
I agree with you about anthologies, ehBeth. Alice Munro came to the Vancouver Public Library a year or so ago for a "Meet and Greet" and a little talk and my mom and I went to see her. Interesting lady. I should reread her books.

I am really liking Cdn women authors.
0 Replies
 
Cliff Hanger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2008 05:49 am
@Gargamel,
I have read and re-read "The Overcoat" so many times my girlfriend once took it off the shelf and hid it as a joke. Not funny, although I was able to get her back by hiding her frequented copy of Celan.


Gargamel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2008 08:58 am
@Cliff Hanger,
Hiding "The Overcoat"? That's crossing the line!
0 Replies
 
 

 
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