A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: From the Man Booker Prize-winning, New York Times-bestselling author of Lincoln in the Bardo

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A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: From the Man Booker Prize-winning, New York Times-bestselling author of Lincoln in the Bardo

A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: From the Man Booker Prize-winning, New York Times-bestselling author of Lincoln in the Bardo

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Mostly we walk around identifying with one set of opinions and assessing the world from that position. Saunders’s concentration is often on the forward dynamic of the stories, their “tight, escalatory pattern”. He links each story to a specific aspect of writing and this gives structural reality to his ideas in a way that I've never seen a writing book do before. The stories touch on our encounters with bears, alligators and sharks, among other potentially scary things. His thoughts on reading, and he does teach this class in person, and what and why the author uses the words he does.

a pretty hopeful model of human interaction: two people, mutually respectful, leaning in, one speaking so as to compel, the other listening, willing to be charmed. Also what seeming digressions can add to the story--sometimes the digression is where the story really is. But anyone can google "how to hit a curveball" and be informed that a hitter must "identify the spin" and "hit the bad ones but let the good ones go by" and so on, and we can all be happing about that on our way to the batting cage, but once we get there, we'll find that, nevertheless, some of us can hit a curveball and some of us can't.Those two best versions of us, in a moment of reading, exit our usual selves and, at a location created by mutual respect, become one. The result is an uptick in our attentiveness; subtly rebuffed by the story, we get, we might say, a new respect for its truthfulness. And as someone who hasn’t read a lot of Russian short fiction — and also as someone who doesn’t feel like I always understood what I did read — this book entertainingly filled voids in my education of which I was only vaguely aware. En total, siete relatos — Chéjov, Tolstói, Turgenev, Gógol — extraordinarios, como no podía ser menos en aquella época dorada del relato breve. El lector puede que tenga la paciencia de esperar hasta la última línea si el relato consigue mantener el interés, pero al terminar va a tomar cada uno de los elementos del relato y les va a preguntar, inconscientemente, ¿y tú, para que estabas aquí?

En estos días, en los que a pesar de estar tan interconectados gracias a la tecnología es tan fácil sentir que perdemos el vínculo con lo que realmente importa, la lectura ayuda a conectar de nuevo o, al menos, a creer que esa conexión sigue siendo posible. There is so much here that teaches us about the art of the short story form, the marvel of the Russian literary tradition (and Saunders' unquestionable love for it), as well as about living with a genuinely generous heart and open mind. This time of year, especially, it makes sense to opt out of the chillier weather and sit in on some of the lessons, virtually, as Saunders’ shares with his Syracuse students, in a master class on the Russian short story. Good writing is “the cumulative result of all this repetitive choosing on the line level, those thousands of editing microdecisions”.Leer mil veces, cuestionando cada decisión —un giro de la trama, una característica de un personaje, la mera elección de una palabra— y cambiándola por otra mejor que es, en definitiva, la que como escritor te guste más. Still, there is sufficient ambivalence in Turgenev’s construction of the story to be open to his approach as perfectly valid too. I want to thank you for allowing me to guide you rather bossily through these stories, for letting me show you how I read them, why I love them. How are we supposed to live with joy in a world that seems to want us to love other people but then roughly separates us from them in the end, no matter what? Algunos de los relatos son extraordinarios pese a sus defectos (hablando desde un punto de vista académico); otros los son precisamente por sus defectos.

También son relatos “revolucionarios”, aunque no en el sentido de literatura política sino de una cierta resistencia silenciosa contra un sistema represivo y clasista. He argues that his speech on happiness “seems kind of…grumpy…seems not just anti-happiness but sort of anti- everything. I've tried to be as clear and persuasive as possible, telling you what you should be noticing, pointing out certain technical features, offering my best explanation of why "we" were moved in this place or that, and so on. La cita dice mucho acerca del tono en el que se desarrollan esas clases de escritura para jóvenes que, antes de empezar el curso, ya se encuentran entre los talentos más prometedores de su generación y que, por descontado ya saben escribir, aunque aún no hayan encontrado su voz. unfailingly, often thrillingly illuminating … Published any time, A Swim in a Pond in the Rain would be a joyous reminder that fiction is “the most effective mode of mind-to-mind communication ever devised”.With his newest book, A Swim in a Pond in the Rain, Saunders pretty much publishes the MFA class on writing that he has taught at Syracuse for over twenty years.



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