Object Lessons: The Paris Review Presents the Art of the Short Story

Object Lessons The Paris Review Presents the Art of the Short Story Twenty contemporary authors introduce twenty sterling examples of the short story from the pages of The Paris Review What does it take to write a great short story In Object Lessons twenty contempora
  • Title: Object Lessons: The Paris Review Presents the Art of the Short Story
  • Author: The Paris Review
  • ISBN: 9781250005984
  • Page: 481
  • Format: Paperback
  • Object Lessons: The Paris Review Presents the Art of the Short Story
    Twenty contemporary authors introduce twenty sterling examples of the short story from the pages of The Paris Review What does it take to write a great short story In Object Lessons, twenty contemporary masters of the genre answer that question, sharing favorite stories from the pages of The Paris Review Over the course of the last half century, the Review has launchedTwenty contemporary authors introduce twenty sterling examples of the short story from the pages of The Paris Review What does it take to write a great short story In Object Lessons, twenty contemporary masters of the genre answer that question, sharing favorite stories from the pages of The Paris Review Over the course of the last half century, the Review has launched hundreds of careers while publishing some of the most inventive and best loved stories of our time This anthology the first of its kind is than a treasury it is an indispensable resource for writers, students, and anyone else who wants to understand fiction from a writer s point of view Some chose classics Some chose stories that were new even to us Our hope is that this collection will be useful to young writers, and to others interested in literary technique Most of all, it is intended for readers who are not or are no longer in the habit of reading short stories We hope these object lessons will remind them how varied the form can be, how vital it remains, and how much pleasure it can give from the Editors Note WITH SELECTIONS BYDaniel Alarc n Donald Barthelme Ann Beattie David Bezmozgis Jorge Luis Borges Jane Bowles Ethan Canin Raymond Carver Evan S Connell Bernard Cooper Guy Davenport Lydia Davis Dave Eggers Jeffrey Eugenides Mary Gaitskill Thomas Glynn Aleksandar Hemon Amy Hempel Mary Beth Hughes Denis Johnson Jonathan Lethem Sam Lipsyte Ben Marcus David Means Leonard Michaels Steven Millhauser Lorrie Moore Craig Nova Daniel Orozco Mary Robison Norman Rush James Salter Mona Simpson Ali Smith Wells Tower Dallas Wiebe Joy Williams
    Object Lessons: The Paris Review Presents the Art of the Short Story By The Paris Review,
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    About " The Paris Review "

  • The Paris Review

    Founded in Paris by Harold L Humes, Peter Matthiessen, and George Plimpton in 1953, The Paris Review began with a simple editorial mission Dear reader, William Styron wrote in a letter in the inaugural issue, The Paris Review hopes to emphasize creative work fiction and poetry not to the exclusion of criticism, but with the aim in mind of merely removing criticism from the dominating place it holds in most literary magazines and putting it pretty much where it belongs, i.e somewhere near the back of the book I think The Paris Review should welcome these people into its pages the good writers and good poets, the non drumbeaters and non axe grinders So long as they re good Decade after decade, the Review has introduced the important writers of the day Adrienne Rich was first published in its pages, as were Philip Roth, V S Naipaul, T Coraghessan Boyle, Mona Simpson, Edward P Jones, and Rick Moody Selections from Samuel Beckett s novel Molloy appeared in the fifth issue, one of his first publications in English The magazine was also among the first to recognize the work of Jack Kerouac, with the publication of his short story, The Mexican Girl, in 1955 Other milestones of contemporary literature, now widely anthologized, also first made their appearance in The Paris Review Italo Calvino s Last Comes the Raven, Philip Roth s Goodbye Columbus, Donald Barthelme s Alice, Jim Carroll s Basketball Diaries, Peter Matthiessen s Far Tortuga, Jeffrey Eugenides s Virgin Suicides, and Jonathan Franzen s The Corrections.In addition to the focus on original creative work, the founding editors found another alternative to criticism letting the authors talk about their work themselves The Review s Writers at Work interview series offers authors a rare opportunity to discuss their life and art at length they have responded with some of the most revealing self portraits in literature Among the interviewees are William Faulkner, Vladimir Nabokov, Joan Didion, Seamus Heaney, Ian McEwan, and Lorrie Moore In the words of one critic, it is one of the single most persistent acts of cultural conservation in the history of the world.


  • Why do I even bother pretending to try to read short story anthologies Almost four months after starting the first story I have conquered this three hundred and fifty page book Look at me go And now do I write a review for it The premise of this book is that one accomplished writer introduces a story that appeared in the pages of The Paris Review from another accomplished writer Some of the introductions are interesting Some of them are unremarkable A couple of them add to the reading experience [...]

  • I ve had a subscription to The Paris Review for longer than I ve been married Back when I got my first few issues, my beard was barely there and sometimes I d let the fuzz grow out for a few weeks Now I shave every day because two thirds of my beard is white Why have I subscribed to this magazine for close to 40 years There s one reason its former and original editor, George Plimpton He had unique taste for an editor of a literary magazine He tended to stay away from the pretentious and precious [...]

  • The idea sounds appealing, whether to the writerly types or sheer literary minded The Paris Review corrals a few contemporary giants of literary fiction into a single collection to talk about the art of the short story a la the collection s tagline Only two authors both comment on and appear within the collection otherwise, it s a fairly heterogeneous mix of the fairly canonical Borges, Carver, Barthelme to the relatively obscure Salter, Hughes, etc Each story is preceded by a short introduction [...]

  • I was a Lit major, so my tastes are not everyone s I like a lot of fairly unknown dead authors not that these authors are all dead It seems to me that there was a certain kind of writing popular in the 50 s and 60 s which people fancied as having a psychological bent 50 some years later, these woo woo subtexts, despite their attempts at subtlety just seem very outdated, as does the practice of inserting lots of dialogue to sustain some flow of tension and to make you wonder what the heck is goin [...]

  • There are twenty stories in this collection I rated each story individually, added up the ratings for all the stories, divided by twenty, and got 2.92 So three stars it is for the lot The Palace Thief by Ethan Canin is the only five star story in the collection There is depth and gravitas and food for discussion in its 50 pages than there is in most full length novels This piece was made into a film called The Emperor s Club, which is superb and stays surprisingly true to the original story Kev [...]

  • As you d expect from an anthology, it s a mixed bag It s quite a doomy collection, with little in the way of the humorous or farcical It s in the nature of anthologies that they are always going to feel uneven to everyone but the compiler When you put a load of different styles together, no matter how thematically linked they are, you re alway going to have ones that shine and others you flick through after the first page I liked the stories by the people I already liked Denis Johnson, Craig Nov [...]

  • This book advertises itself as a must read for the student of the short story form The concept is that each story was selected by a modern writer, and each writer also provides an introduction about that story All the stories were previously published in the Paris Review.I love this concept like the New Yorker Fiction Podcast the idea of hearing what other writers think is good about a story is very appealing, and while I mostly picked up the book for the stories themselves, I was really interes [...]

  • Found its way on my radar when I searched the catalog at the library in the city I just moved to that is searched it for Guy Davenport Pleasantly, the only other of his they have is Charles Burchfield s Seasons.The story included is Dinner at the Bank of England a playful, sometimes prodding, other times deeply searching, but never plodding, imagined retelling conjectural restoration of a meeting between George Santayana, the gay Harvard professor of philosophy then an old man and a young Englis [...]

  • The Editor s Note at the beginning of Object Lessons and the short description on the back cover claims that the collection, made up of well known writers choosing stories they admire for technical skill, is meant to be read by young writers and people who don t regularly read short stories, in order to remind them how varied the form can be, how vital it remains, and how much pleasure it can give While some of the stories here are among my favorites of all time particularly, David Means selecti [...]

  • I got about a third of the way through this collection before quitting This isn t a terrible collection by any means There s a nice variety of stories, but the choices are mostly obvious ones If you re familiar with contemporary fiction at all, you ll recognize a lot of these There are some great standouts, like Bangkok and Pelican Song , but most of the selections are dutifully canonical After all, what undergraduate writing workshop is complete without a Denis Johnson story Denis Johnson is fa [...]

  • So I ve been reading Object Lessons the Paris Review for nearly the entire day it s a collection of short stories and as you know, the rule of short stories is that you can never read one only once I m halfway through the 14th one and suffering because as with most short stories it makes no sense The Palace Thief by Ethan Canin nonetheless, this book is definitely living up to the editor s claim that it is useful to young writers, and to others interested in literary technique All 13.5 of the st [...]

  • I truly enjoyed the format of this anthology and it exposed me to some writers I had never encountered before such as Jane Bowles and Mary Beth Hughes, who I believe have some of the strongest stories in this anthology The introductions are at times helpful to an interpretation or at least expectation of the stories to follow but they are wildly variant Dave Eggers outlines a couple key points about the strengths of James Salter s story Bangkok that serves as a benchmark, at least to me, at what [...]

  • The stories themselves were marvelously written definitely masters of the genre The introductory remarks by the contemporary writers ranged from genuine and insightful to pompous and showy 500 words of introduction ought not be a chance to show off your own supposed mastery of fiction As with many, if not most, compilations of this nature, queer authors and authors of color were underrepresented This doesn t diminish the stories that were included, which I enjoyed very, very much But of course, [...]

  • While I enjoyed a few of these stories immensely and some moderately so, there were several misses that were very hard to follow and I didn t enjoy reading very much The introductions were also hit or miss Some directly stated This is what makes this story awesome , while others just rambled about the author I often found that I would read the introduction, read the story, and then go back to the introduction to attempt to make sense of what it was meaning to say about the story I liked the conc [...]

  • I bought this book in the hopes that I could learn a thing or two in improving my fiction writing But as it turns out, the essays which accompanies the short stories within this collection were but brief one or two page essays about what made that story particularly good and fitting for the aesthetics if any is asserted by the editors through the years of the Paris Review I had to adjust my lenses a little bit and battle with the id This fine collection is for the fiction connoisseur or, at leas [...]

  • This book is outstanding The introductions for each story are invaluable I didn t love every story but it was a great learning experience one of the best I ve enjoyed from a single book Dimmer by Joy Williams is easily one of the most incredible short stories I ve ever read, and I discovered the hilarity of Norman Rush Worthwhile for any writer or reader.

  • I like short stories Just not most of the ones in this book After reading Ben Ryder Howe s account of working with George Plimpton in My Korean Deli Risking It All for a Convenience Store , I should have guessed I probably was not going to like them And unworldly types please take note George Plimpton did not work in a Korean deli he worked at The Paris Review All of the 20 stories in this book were first published in The Paris Review, where Mr Plimpton was the editor, and where quirkiness was o [...]

  • Unevenness is an inevitable characteristic of short story anthologies, not necessarily because the quality of story varies across the collection, but rather because among such variety there s bound to be certain styles that please one s individual taste or less than others It s not something you can really hold against the anthology, however, because it s simply part of its nature If you don t like the variety, you should read something different You can blame this particular anthology, however [...]

  • 2 I struggled with this collection I feel inadequate when I don t like or get stories by authors highly praised by everyone Twenty masters of the short story genre were asked to choose a story from the PR archives and write an intro to the story which describes the key to that story s success as a work of fiction This would be of particular help to writers and students who want to understand fiction from a writer s point of view and is the reason I picked up the book Unfortunately, only a couple [...]

  • By far the best anthology of short stories I have ever read The Paris Review requested some of their best writers to pick a favorite short story by someone else from the magazines archive and write a short introduction on why they chose it The result is extraordinary a collection that I read cover to cover, wherein not one story failed to impress For me, this is indeed rare I often find only a fraction of the stories in a collection to be enjoyable, or else I skip altogether the ones that don t [...]

  • This book is not what it set out to be, a book discussing examples of what makes for a well written story There are merely two or three introductions to stories where we are provided some insight about the selected story from the reviewing author Otherwise, the brilliant but unsubstantial introductions will not provide a reader with any insight on how to write or read other stories The best thing about this compellation is that it plunges the reader right into a story without any context as soon [...]

  • I m not the right type of reader for story collections like that I liked some stories, not so much others None of them will stay with me Ok, maybe the Carver story I will enjoy story collections by one author, because it lets you immerse yourself in the writing style and favourite themes of that author Good collections can have or less the emotional power of a novel I will also enjoy reading a single short story once in a while, like in a magazine.But a whole collection of disparate short stori [...]

  • Having read most of the stories in this collection, I was particularly interested in the accompanying essays for each story The premise of this book was extremely intriguing and exciting to me Most of the essays did not disappoint, but several did Without being specific, as I recently traded the book, I was hoping for a little in depth analysis and insight into the short story rather than some of the gushing and obvious blurbs that instead occupied the spaces I was expecting to fit the bill of [...]

  • Imagine you re thirsty and the only place you can find is a hipster coffee shop where everything s gluten free or soya and they won t give you a hot coffee because apparently if it s at a proper temperature it disturbs the delicate balance and artistic joie de vivre of the free range Narnian coffee beans They play free trade music because the barista once went and helped build a shed in Africa so some poor kiddies could receive a sub standard education The coffee is five quid There s a poetry re [...]

  • 2 5 would be harsher but how I feel er The biggest takeaway I wanted to subscribe to The Paris Review before I don t want to subscribe to The Paris Review now The stories here span the decades, and they re 60 40 dull delish And the delish aren t even delish delish My inner editor went wild on those pages And typos Really In pieces from up to 50 years ago Shambolic, Lorin, Sadie To really rub a dub it too, each story was chosen by a known author contributor to TPR, and each author introduces each [...]

  • I like discovering authors I ve never read before and some of the authors here were new to me A mixed bag of stories with some hits and some misses I particularly enjoyed in order of appearance Leonard Michaels City Boys James Salter Bangkok Bernard Cooper Old Birds Raymond Carver Why Don t You Dance Ethan Canin The Palace Thief Evan S Connell The Beau Monde of Mrs Bridge Dallas Wiebe Night Flight to StockholmThe Borges and Barthelme stories seemed to be weak choices considering the authors wrot [...]

  • David Means on Raymond Carer s Why Don t You Dance, effectively encapsulating what a short story means, I think Her voice is distinctly bright, lively, and sharp with judgment She has passed on to the green pastures and, presumably what she feels is an enlightened grip on reality Her comments pass retroactively through the previous slice of narrative, casting light on the scene in the yard while, again paradoxically, throwing everything forward into the the infinite silence and open just ahead, [...]

  • I m not much of a short story fan, but I wanted to force myself I am glad I did There is a wide range of excellent, compelling stories here from the realistic to the fantastic to the absurd The introductions are of some value, causing the reader to focus on certain elements of each story, but the stories themselves make this a great, almost indispensable, anthology of contemporary short fiction Of course, if you have already read these stories, then you probably don t need this anthology.

  • To be honest, I was a bit disappointed with this collection Not because of the qaulity of the stories which were all fine even if not all my taste But because I thought the introductions of these stories would be indepth on why these stories worked so well Instead, the introductions worked like extended blurbs, with authors just being enthusiastic about something they read without giving much interesting new perspective on the story that followed Missed opportunity.

  • Excellent stories selected albeit two not to my taste insightful, and not pompous lead in discussions A huge fan of short stories, I have read hundreds, hundreds, including a couple dozen editions of The Paris Review, and am very glad to have been given this collection as a birthday present For instance, I generally find Lydia Davis difficult to read, but her Flaubert tales here held And Steven Millhauser s Flying carpets I soared.

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