Saturday, February 7, 2009

100 Shots of Short

I've been reading a lot more short stories recently. I've read two anthologies this year! Usually I just read short stories for school. I'm pretty scared of them. In order to get much out of reading a short story, you must analyze, read between the lines, try to find symbols, etc. I like doing that for school, but I haven't done much of it for pleasure.

I stared an english compostition class that is focusing about writing analyses of short stories. I have acquired two short story anthologies. One of them is fantastic! I also realized I have a Roald Dahl anthology just sitting on my shelf. Short stories are so easily accessible. You can find many on the internet, and if you have an extremely busy life, you really don't want to pick up a novel. If your life is busy but you have a spare half hour, a short story is perfect.

I joined the 100 shots of short challenge to force myself to analyze more when I pleasure read, to read more of something I am afraid of, and to plan in advance for college. I don't expect to be reading a lot after September, but short stories will be a great thing to read when I have a spare moment at whatever school I go to.

I'm not quite sure how I will post about what short stories I read. I know I will have a list of the ones I have already read in he sidebar. I'm thinking I post after every three to five short stories I read, or once a month.

So, I've already read three!

Desiree's Baby by Kate Chopin: To be honest, I didn't quite understand this one. I may have to go back and reread it. I liked the style the story was written in though

The Lotery Ticket by Anton Chekhov: This short story stays true to it's name: short. The story only has time to follow the thought process of the narrator. His wife buys lottery tickets frequently, but he thinks it is absurd. He is filled with a sudden hope one day as he read the paper that the paper will print their lottery ticket number. He imagines all the things he could do and get with the prize money, but then he reads the numbers.

Sonny's Blues by James Baldwin: I read this for a class, but I still think it counts. Sonny's Blues is about two brothers. The narrator has not seen his brother Sonny in years. Sonny has had a rough life and was involved with drugs. Later on, in the last scene of the story, the brothers reunite and the narrator sees the impact music has had in getting Sonny's life back on track. Sonny's Blues has some interesting symbolism that I am not used to, which was a unique experience altogether.

Most of the short stories I have read have a lot of irony in them, and those are the stories I like the most. I loved Guy de Maupassant's The Necklace and How Much Land Does a Man Need? by Tolstoy. Do you know of any ironic short stories that I can read for this challenge?


Michele said...

Gosh, I had forgotten all about Sonny's Blues until you mentioned it here....I loved that story.

I'm becoming a short story fanatic these days and love reading posts like this one!

Dorte H said...

I haven´t read any of the three, but I like Roald Dahl. I also enjoy using Kate Chopin´s very short story "The Story of an Hour" in one of my classes or for exams. The funny thing is that some of my students do not quite get why the main character doesn´t just get a divorce.