Phew. Finally. The semester over. Final seminar paper is written and turned in, grades are done, and even took the weekend to drink and relax and basically not do anything at all, and now... now, back to work. Which means, we're going to try to kick some action back into this blog. For real. And what better time to do that, than short story month? Nevermind the fact that the month is half over.
First up, I just finished reading Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself, which, as my mantra has been going, is maybe not all that great as a book, but is kind of amazing and fascinating as artifact. Here's a snippet from Wallace, which I thought ties in nicely to short story month, and is also an idea and concept I've thought a lot about, here and there:
...I meant that's probably ultimately why novels and movies have it over short stories, as an art form. Is that if the heart of the short story is dishonest, there aren't enough of the little flashes to keep you going. Whereas in a novel or a movie, even if the central project doesn't work, there are often ten or fifteen great, great, great things.
Hm. Thoughts on this? Of course, one could argue that, then, if the heart of a short story IS honest, it has the possibility of maybe even being the "greater" art form, what with it being like a small, crystalized, perfect thing with nothing around it to taint it. I don't know.
On a similar note, I remember hearing something year ago, on NPR I believe, where this guy referenced a Japanese term (again, I believe; my memory of this actually happening is really, really fuzzy) that basically referred to something being better because of its faults -- the novel with the moments that don't quite work, the album with its "weaker" tracks instead of any kind of best of, etc. I've reference this, in one way or another, tons of times over the years, and I really, really wish I could remember the interview or the word or phrase. But. Anyway. Not sure where I was going with this, but I think it's interesting and wanted to throw it out there.
From now until the end of the month I am really going to try to read and blog about a story a day. We'll see how that goes.