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Harrison Bergeron - Wikipedia
""Harrison Bergeron" is a satirical and dystopian science-fiction short story written by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. and first published in October 1961. Originally published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, the story was republished in the author's Welcome to the Monkey House collection in 1968. The satire raises a serious question concerning desirability of social equality and the extent to which society is prepared to achieve it.

It is the year 2081. Because of Amendments to the Constitution, every American is fully equal, meaning that no one is smarter, better-looking, stronger, or faster than anyone else. The Handicapper General and a team of agents ensure that the laws of equality are enforced. The government forces citizens to wear "handicaps" (a mask if they are too handsome or beautiful, earphones with deafening radio signals to make intelligent people unable to concentrate and form thoughts, and heavy weights to slow down those who are too strong or fast).

One April, 14 year old Harrison Bergeron, an extremely handsome teenage genius, is taken away from his parents, George and Hazel, by the government. George and Hazel are not fully aware of the tragedy. Hazel's lack of awareness is due to "average" intelligence, which in 2081, is the politically correct way of referring to someone of well-below-average intelligence. George does not comprehend the tragedy since the law requires him to wear the radio ear piece for twenty-four hours a day because he is of above-average intelligence."
kurtvonnegut  shortstories  classideas  dystopia  equality  books  toread  srg  scifi  vonnegut 
january 2014 by robertogreco
César Aira: My ideal is the fairy tale - YouTube
"Interview with Argentinian César Aira who has been called the Marcel Duchamp of Latin America because of his experimental and unpredictable books, heralded by e.g. Roberto Bolaño and Patti Smith. Here Aira talks about his writing and why his books end up like they do.

"You will have to travel to the south of Argentina to find the most original, the most shocking, the most exciting and subversive Spanish-speaking author of our time: César Aira" as put by Spanish newspaper El País. Carlos Fuentes has said that he thinks César Aira will be the first Argentinian to receive the Nobel Prize.

In this interview the Argentine writer César Aira talks about literature in general and his own writing in particular. Specifically he talks of the stories "Ghosts" (1990) and "An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter" (2000).

César Aira (b.1949) has published over eighty books of stories, novels and essays, half of which contain less than twenty pages. Since 1993 Aira has written two to four books each year. In this video Aira talks about his writing techniques and opinions and why he prefers writing shorter books. Writing should be story telling in an old fashioned way, much like a fairy tale, a story of something which happened once, to someone else, i.e. not told in the first person or present tense. Airas books may be short, but they are full of layers, he explains, starting perhaps with an experiment or some philosophical idea.

Aira has taught at the University of Buenos Aires (about Copi and Rimbaud) and at the University of Rosario (Constructivism and Mallarmé), and has translated and edited books from France, England, Italy, Brazil, Spain, Mexico, and Venezuela.

César Aira was interviewed by the Danish writer Peter Adolphsen at the Louisiana Literature festival 2012. Adolphsen also translated Aira's words into English in this video."
césaraira  argentina  literature  art  books  robertobolaño  pattismith  writing  carlosfuentes  mallarmé  constructivism  rimbaud  copi  fairytales  firstperson  layering  experimentalbooks  thisisnotabook  presenttense  howwewrite  storytelling  novels  shortstories  everyday  buenosaires  argenchino 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Neven Mrgan's tumbl: Franz Kafka, ‘The Next Village’
“My grandfather used to say: “Life is astonishingly short. Now, in my memory, it is so compressed that I can hardly understand, for example, how a young person can decide to ride to the next village without being afraid that—apart from accidents—even the time allotted to a normal, happy life is far too short for such a journey.”

Caption to the above quotation: "Franz Kafka, ‘The Next Village’. This is the entire text of the story. It’s really a fragment rescued by his friend Max Brod, but like many of these it’s usually published on its own. As a paragraph in a larger work it could be funny; as a standalone piece it is haunting."
kafka  shortstories  veryshortstories  life  perspective  travel 
december 2011 by robertogreco
In Don DeLillo's 'Angel,' Stories Of America Alone : NPR
"DeLillo also explains that the concepts of solitude or loneliness lend themselves particularly well to the abbreviated form of the short story. "One or two characters are usually quite sufficient for the demands of a particular idea"…

The novel-writing process is lengthy & daunting…Underworld, took him 5 years to write…But crafting short fiction is just as much of a challenge…Short stories are structured differently than novels—while his novels follow a certain symmetry…stories rarely develop a pattern.

"It's one episode, usually, [with] one or two characters. The idea in most cases is to get to the end as quickly as possible."

Even when he's writing long novels, DeLillo says he never works from outlines. "Whatever I know may be in notes [or] pieces of paper that I scribble on in a subway car"…

DeLillo collects these scribbles & records them in a larger notebook that he later refers to as he writes. But sometimes when an idea strikes, he goes straight home & gets working."
dondelillo  2011  interviews  writing  howwewrite  storytelling  shortstories  books 
november 2011 by robertogreco
826 on 8/26 | Be an 826 student for a day!
"In honor of 8/26 Week and National Youth Literacy Day, we invite you to try your hand at writing projects like those we might offer to students at our eight nonprofit writing and tutoring centers. Go ahead, dip your pen in some ink and give it a go! We’ll be publishing our favorite entries daily, so check back shortly to look for your name in print, and share it with the world. And, as further enticement, authors of our favorite entries of the week will receive a totebag full of 826 goodies. On your mark… Get set… Write!"
writing  creativewriting  classideas  826  haiku  poetry  shortstories  veryshortstories  news 
august 2011 by robertogreco
SpeEdChange: Hulu in the Classroom: Building Literacy
""I've never understood our classroom commitment to "the book," but, I've really never understood our classroom commitment to "the chapter book."

What skills are learned from reading a book which are not learned from watching a film? I'm not saying books are "bad," just asking, "why are they 'better'?"

And why is longer 'better'?

[Short stories discussion]

But then I thought, why do we start with text on a page. I thought back to discovering books of those Twilight Zonestories after years of watching the show, and how much I loved "reading" them (or really, listening to them via audiobook, but I think that's the same).

And I thought that, as part of our effort to make kids want to read, want to write, we must first get them interested in stories, in wanting to know stories, and in how stories are told, and why.

And one great way to do that is to use short fiction in another medium - the short fiction of Hulu and other free sources of video - film and television."
irasocol  classideas  shortstories  reading  writing  hulu  youtube  film  learning  stories  storytelling  narrative  dialogue  2011  lists  video  tv  television  twiliightzone  huma8  literature  dialog 
august 2011 by robertogreco Palm-of-the-Hand Stories (9780865474123): Yasunari Kawabata, Lane Dunlop, J. Martin Holman: Books
"Nobel laureate Kawabata is best known in the West for such novels as Snow Country and Thousand Cranes, yet his short stories, written over 50 years, seem to contain his essence as a writer. Here sensitively translated are 70 of them, most written in Kawabata's youth and usually no more than a page or two in length, though the last one, "Gleanings from Snow Country," is somewhat longer and was written just before Kawabata's suicide in 1972; it is a miniaturization of the highly praised novel of the same name. The tales are variously realistic, allegorical and fantastic; and, as in the novels, the principal themes are love, loneliness, social change, man's relation with nature and death. Each story exhibits some sharp and often subtle perception of life (in Kawabata's world, stillness can "resound" and men listening to a woman's laugh can experience "a strange kind of aural jealousy"); and each, like a haiku or classic Zen painting, suggests far more than it states."
books  via:maryannreilly  literature  shortstories  japan  japanese  yasunarikawabata  toread  haiku  loneliness  death  socialchange  nature  love 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Paris Review - The Art of Fiction No. 108, William Trevor
"INTERVIEWER: What is your def­i­n­i­tion of a short story?<br />
TREVOR: I think it is the art of the glimpse. If the novel is like an intri­cate Renais­sance paint­ing, the short story is an impres­sion­ist paint­ing. It should be an explo­sion of truth. Its strength lies in what it leaves out just as much as what it puts in, if not more. It is con­cerned with the total exclu­sion of mean­ing­less­ness. Life, on the other hand, is mean­ing­less most of the time. The novel imi­tates life, where the short story is bony, and can­not wan­der. It is essen­tial art."<br />
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[via: ]
books  writing  williamtrevor  via:robinsloan  fiction  shortstories  novels  art 
march 2011 by robertogreco
El baúl de Israel Centeno: Las Manos que crecen
"Miró hacia abajo y vio que los dedos de sus manos arrastraban por el suelo.

Los dedos de sus manos arrastraban por el suelo. Diez sensaciones incidían en el cerebro de Plack con la colérica enunciación de las novedades repentinas. Él no lo quería creer pero era cierto. Sus manos parecían orejas de elefante africano. Gigantescas pantallas de carne arrastrando por el suelo.

A pesar del horror le dio una risa histérica. Sentía cosquillas en el dorso de los dedos; cada juntura de las baldosas le pasaba como un papel de esmeril por la piel. Quiso levantar una mano pero no pudo con ella."
juliocortázar  hands  literature  stories  shortstories  classideas 
august 2010 by robertogreco
cityofsound: 14 Cities
"In the previous entry I wrote about an unsuccessful submission for the Venice Architecture Biennale Australian pavilion. As I noted, it grew out of an earlier internal ideas competition at Arup Sydney, in which I produced a set of 14 super-short stories, each pertaining to describe a particular Australian city of the future. In reality, each is a facet of almost any contemporary Australian city, extrapolated to bring into sharp relief, as per Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities (albeit with a lot less craft). Regular readers will recognise many of my prejudices and predilections surfacing here, which is perhaps why I found it so enjoyable to put together."
danhill  cityofsound  fiction  stories  shortstories  italocalvino  australia  future 
april 2010 by robertogreco
The iTunes-ization of short fiction is here | Books |
"As short stories are released for individual download, impress a potential partner with your mix-tape of love literature – by putting a Haruki Murakami, say, next to a Stefan Zweig" [via:]
readinglists  readlists  shortstories  tcsnmy  harukimurakami  ebooks  kindle  downloads  literature  fiction  writing  editing  itunes 
december 2009 by robertogreco
hitotoki : A Narrative Map of Tokyo, New York, London, Paris, Shanghai, Sofia...
"Hitotoki is an online literary project collecting stories of singular experiences tied to locations in cities worldwide."

[Update 17 July 2013: Link now redirects to Hi [ ], so here's the Wayback link: ]
tokyo  shortstories  geography  cities  mapping  location  literature  travel  nyc  paris  sofia  shanghai  london  japan  writing  stories  maps  ethnography  storytelling  place  community  magazines  narrative  hyperlocal  street  urban  hitotoki 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Abyss & Apex : Fourth Quarter 2007: Wikihistory - International Association of Time Travelers: Members' Forum Subforum: Europe – Twentieth Century – Second World War - Page 263
"14:57:44, SilverFox316: Back from 1936 Berlin; incapacitated FreedomFighter69 before he could pull his little stunt...please read IATT Bulletin 1147 regarding the killing of Hitler before your next excursion. Failure to do so may result in your expulsion
humor  scifi  sciencefiction  timetravel  time  shortstories  stories  storytelling  fiction  history  ww2 
march 2008 by robertogreco
hitotoki : A Narrative Map of Tokyo
"We’re looking for short narratives describing pivotal moments of elation, confusion, absurdity, love or grief — or anything in between — inseparably tied to a specific place in Tokyo or New York."

[Update 17 July 2013: Link now redirects to Hi [], so here's the Wayback link: ]
tokyo  japan  shortstories  stories  geography  cities  mapping  maps  location  literature  travel  nyc  paris  sofia  shanghai  london  ethnography  storytelling  place  community  magazines  writing  narrative  hitotoki 
october 2007 by robertogreco
"Urbis is a creative community with three types of users: creative people, those who love and support creative people, and those who have opportunities for creative people."
advice  art  writing  poetry  shortstories  community  authors  collaborative  english  critique  networking 
august 2007 by robertogreco
Coudal Partners: "Hot Ice" by Stuart Dybek field-tested by George Saunders
"I was sweating, my face was red, I kept putting the book down, going: This can't be this good this can't be this good. But it was, and to my credit, I saw it, and didn't deny it.
books  experience  literature  reading  georgesaunders  stories  shortstories 
may 2007 by robertogreco

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