Sasha & The Short Story — Again

Hello, September. As I mentioned in my previous post, I’d been planning on devoting a chunk of this month, and most probably the month after, to reading short stories. Because, well, because I want to. Also, to control the towering stack of “Currently Reading” collections and anthologies: Given that I rarely read collections in a single sitting, books pile up, I lose track, the OC in me itches like hell.

Oh, I like the form. Is mah favorite. I’ve gone on and on about how I like short fiction, and I’m sure you’ll get more of that if you’re sticking with me in the next several weeks. Last May, I joined a little corner of the intarwebz for Short Story Month 2010, and as much as I loved doing that, I really really want more of it. And so here we are.

Does this come with hidden agenda? By George, of course it does! Aherm. I’ve bleated here and there re my disappointment of how the form’s received — two weeks ago, Teresa posted about her experiences with short stories, and I did my thang in the comments. Up until I started this blog, I had no idea there was such a dislike — shudder, even an indifference — towards short stories. And though it’s easier to be at peace with the diversity of people’s reading, their likes, and dislikes, I tend to always go back to that initial feeling of discovering that not everyone likes something you essentially live for. Kind of like vanilla ice cream. But I digress. I don’t think it’s conceit, though it could be stubbornness. I suppose I just really like short stories, ya know? And by sharing the love, maybe, quite incidentally, people who’ve scorned a twenty-five pager will pick one up and let it throw glitter over them. Who knows?

It’s a mad, mama bear love. Alan Bennett [The History Boys] approximates this feeling I get when I read damned good pieces:

The best moments in reading are when you come across something — a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things — which you had thought special and particular to you. Now here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out and taken yours.

I know this feeling transcends form, does not discriminate between genres. I know I’ve felt this way with longer work, with poetry, with letters. But it’s September. I’m turning 21 tomorrow, but that’s not relevant. Aherm. I’m cuddling close to what I love best. I’m going to read me a lot of short stories. I’ll still be reading novels, of course, but I want to focus on short fiction. I’ll be reading collections, anthologies, novellas, books that have been moping in my shelves for too long, books that caught my eye just a few weeks ago, books by authors long dead, books by authors just gearing up to conquer the world.

And so. Let’s get it on. Cheers.

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10 comments

  1. Sasha, I am one of those people who don’t like to indulge in short stories. I think it has something to do with the fact that I am keenly aware of the reality that short stories are much harder to write and therefore I feel grossly intimidated by anyone who can pull one off.

    I don’t begrudge the short story writer, nor the short story reader so I’ll happily follow along with you this month as you digress into the genre. Maybe I’ll be inspired to pick up something short!

    1. Dayum. Now I’m looking at you as a challenge, haha. I kid, I kid. But I’ve never come across that reason as to why someone would shy away from short fiction. That’s wonderful, really. I sometimes feel, reviewing, that I overlook the value of the singular story over the collective, and that makes me kind of sad. So we’ll see how this month goes!

      Thanks for sticking with me. :]

  2. I love short stories, I’ve been reading a ton of them lately (Moore, Willis, Meloy) and I have some others lined up. It’s an interesting idea to have a month dedicated to them, and I am excited to read what you have to say, but I think I prefer alternating between short stories and other forms of writing.

    1. I know what you mean with the alternating bit. I know that as much as I want to devote the next several weeks to short fiction, I’d need a break — novels, longer form. The same way I can’t read novels all the time and wander to short stories. [There’s a big void re nonfiction in my reading, though. Sigh.]

  3. Happy birthday! I can’t wait to see what you decide to read for September.

  4. I never really used to read short stories until I started following your blog. =) So I have you to thank for my newfound interest in it, as well as all the recommendations. Now if only I can also find the books you’ve been reading at Fully Booked or Powerbooks. D: It’s just so hard sometimes, haha.

    1. Aw, thank you. You know, you can have special orders from Fully Booked, and at no additional cost. I know it sounds like a plug, but I’ve done that with them, and my world just shifted, haha.

  5. it was actually your blog that made me decide to add short stories to my reading list! So cheers to that and have a happy birthday!

    1. Thank you! And I hope you’re enjoying the short stories you’ve been reading. :]

  6. The best moments in reading are when you come across something — a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things — which you had thought special and particular to you. Now here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out and taken yours.

    HELL YEAH this is my favorite quote from Th e History Boys. Also:

    – There’s a vacancy in History.
    – (nods) That is true.
    – No, I mean in the department.

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