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Anyone have a short, short story to recommend?I wi

 
 
Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2011 09:37 am
I will teach three sections of ENG 101 in the spring. While the course work concentrates on essay reading, I like to open the class with a short story to teach theme, plot, setting and characters which are not necessarily being taught in high schools today.

I've been using a two page Ernest Hemingway story, The Old Man at the Bridge, for three semesters and I am tired of it. I need something fresh. Any one have a very short (five pages or less) story they love?

We open the semester with the narrative. Their first assignment is to write a narrative essay, generally on a significant event in their lives. The Hemingway story captures a moment in time: the clearing of refugees from an area during the Spanish Civil War. While the story doesn't have to hinge on an historic event or period, a little tale of a live event would work well.

I'm adding a narrative poem this semester as well: Poe's Annabelle Lee with two musical settings:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y99BsG3xzww&list=PL91BE8F7A98741A30&index=1&feature=plpp_video

and


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1b2vcHVG90&list=PL91BE8F7A98741A30&index=2&feature=plpp_video

I think the settings would illustrate the many ways of telling the same story. Besides, the gothic version plays on Poe's "dark romanticism" while the bluegrass setting reminds us that Poe was an American author and that there is a thread of darkness in American lit, particularly the Southern Gothic.
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Type: Question • Score: 4 • Views: 1,901 • Replies: 13
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Sturgis
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2011 11:44 am
@plainoldme,
Kill me now, because it'll be another bridge tale.

I happen to enjoy the works of Ambrose Bierce, who wrote several shorties, including a personal favorite An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge (American Civil War era); but, it doesn't really fall into short, short, runs about 3400 words. It can be located here:
http://www.readbookonline.net/stories/Bierce/74/ (listed strangestly under the letter O) as can other Bierce stories. I like his work, much of it is quite descriptive and gives settings at particular times, years. For additional shorts, there is a menu on the left of the Patagonia.

Additionally, I find the short stories of Raymond Carver to be nicely done; not sure if they'd fit your needs.

There are a few I should recall but am lost, one was a Sherwood Anderson bit, and the one with the escaped mentally ill man, How Beautiful With Shoes by Wilbur Daniel Steele. The Anderson and Steele stories were in books I read back in college, in Humanities courses, (at least Steele was, not as sure about Anderson, that may have been the English class...it's been a few deciduous decades since then, but they were college level and in that Freshman year).

For a poem of length with several images to be conjured up along with descriptions of all that is occurring, there's The Death Of The Hired Man by Robert Frost. It can be locationed on Youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNZxHIPueRU
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2011 11:51 am
my favourite short story

Once upon a time, they all lived happily after ever. Then I woke up and it was all a dream.
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2011 12:08 pm
"The Lady or the Tiger" by Frank Stockton

"Disillusionment" by Thomas Mann

"An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" by Ambrose Bierce

"Gift of the Magi" by O Henry
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2011 09:44 pm
Im not good at remembering particular stories and read for the bath of experience, not analysis, so I remember writers I got on with more than plots.

I've some short story writers I like - Balzac, de Maupassant, to the very different Laurie Colwin or Alice Munro or Edna O'Brien. Which brings up William Trevor, but I think he would be a hard one to engage a lot of students with.

Jamaica Kincaid, has she written short stories? I think so. Junot Diaz?
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2011 10:48 pm
Split Cherry Tree

http://www.americanliterature.com/Stuart/SS/SplitCherryTree.html
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Dec, 2011 02:23 am
@plainoldme,
Anything by O.Henry
Almost anything by Ernest Hemingway
Saki (H.H. Munro)
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Dec, 2011 07:38 am
@Sturgis,
It's not that its a bridge tale: it's about asking the same questions, attempting to generate a discussion, six times over (three semesters with two sections each).

I've never read either Ambrose Bierce or Raymond Carver, although I did see the movie Short Takes based on, I believe, a collection of his short
stories.

I remember . . . now that you mentioned it, of course . . . the poem "The Death of The Hired Man."

I'll look into Bierce and Carver during term break.

Thank you so much!
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Dec, 2011 07:40 am
@georgeob1,
That makes two votes for the Bierce story. I will look into it and the Mann story.

I remember the "Gift of the Magi"from very early on, perhaps, as early as 6th or 7th grade.

Thanks!
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Dec, 2011 07:46 am
@Lustig Andrei,
Lustig Andrei wrote:

Anything by O.Henry


many of his stories have lessons that are also found in the stories of other cultures - there could an interesting lesson plan there
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Dec, 2011 07:49 am
@edgarblythe,
That is food for thought: a gun-toting, uniformed man who doesn't believe in science arguing with a teacher over personal responsibility! A tale ripped from today's headlines!
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Dec, 2011 05:22 pm
@plainoldme,
Do you remember Peggy Lee's hit song "is that all there is"? It is taken entirely from Mann's short story.
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Dec, 2011 08:24 pm
@georgeob1,
That's interesting. I always liked that song, but, I loved Peggy Lee. My mother hated it.
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Dec, 2011 09:36 am
@ehBeth,
ehBeth wrote:

Lustig Andrei wrote:

Anything by O.Henry


many of his stories have lessons that are also found in the stories of other cultures - there could an interesting lesson plan there


Interesting observation. I can also see some of that in Hans Christian Andersen's works - though the lives and characters of the respective authors were very different.

I also think that any of Aersop's Fables might also be a useful resource for POM's classes.
0 Replies
 
 

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