quinta-feira, maio 31, 2012

Ninguém é tão ofensivo como um escritor a falar de outro escritor






«This fellow has a problem . . . he considers boredom an Art.»


Bukowski on Thomas Mann

Ninguém é tão ofensivo como um escritor a falar de outro escritor






«Jane Austen makes me detest all her people, without reserve. Is that her intention? It is not believable. Then is it her purpose to make the reader detest her people up to the middle of the book and like them in the rest of the chapters? That could be. That would be high art. It would be worth while, too. Some day I will examine the other end of her books and see.»

«I haven’t any right to criticize books, and I don’t do it except when I hate them. I often want to criticize Jane Austen, but her books madden me so that I can’t conceal my frenzy from the reader; and therefore I have to stop every time I begin. Every time I read ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ I want to dig her up and hit her over the skull with her own shin-bone.»


Mark Twain
- Só considero cultura aquilo que aproxima o homem do outro homem. A apologia da desumanidade ou do racismo, a estética só em função da estética, enquanto valor final é vácua culturalmente. Claro está que a estética pela estética pode ... A beleza tem o poder de nos fazer sentir mais próximos de coisas elevadas.
- Vou nicotinar. Até já.

combat primer
they called Celine a Nazi
they called Pound a fascist
they called Hamsun a Nazi and a fascist.
they put Dostoevsky in front of a firing
squad.
and they shot Lorca
gave Hemingway electric shock treatments
(and you know he shot himself)
and they ran Villon out of town (Paris)
and Mayakovsky
disillusioned with the regime
and after a lovers’ quarrel,
well,
he shot himself too.
Chatterton took rat poison
and it worked.
and some say Malcolm Lowry died
choking on his own vomit
while drunk.
Crane went the way of the boat
propellor or the sharks.

Harry Crosby’s sun was black.
Berryman preferred the bridge.
Plath didn’t light the oven.

Seneca cut his wrists in the
bathtub (it’s best that way:
in warm water).
Thomas and Behan drank themselves
to death and
there are many others.

and you want to be a
writer?

it’s that kind of war:
creation kills,
many go mad,
some lose their way and
can’t do it
anymore.
a few make it to old age.
a few make money.
some starve (like Vallejo),
it’s that kind of war:
casualties everywhere.

all right, go ahead
do it
but when they sandbag you
from the blind side
don’t come to me with your
regrets.

now I’m going to smoke a cigarette
in the bathtub
and then I’m going to
sleep.
CHARLES BUKOWSKI


- O peso do invisível no amor é tão grande, que eu acho bizarro que alguém consiga utilizar argumentação coerente para responder aos «porquês». «Porque é simpática, me lava a roupa, me deixa ver futebol sem chatear, tem uma gargalhada amorável.» E depois? Se algum dia uma ou todas estas «qualidades» se transformarem noutra coisa, evoluírem ou desaparecerem, deixa-se automaticamente de amar?


Imagination Does Not Exist

You should come close to me tonight wayfarer
For I will be celebrating you.

Your beauty still causes me madness,
Keeps the neighbours complaining
When I start shouting in the middle of the night
Because I can't bear all this joy.

I will be giving birth to suns.
I will be holding forests upside down
Gently shaking soft animals from trees and burrows
Into my lap.

What you conceive as imagination
Does not exist for me.

Whatever you can do in a dream
Or on your mind-canvas

My hands can pull - alive - from my coat pocket.

But let's not talk about my divine world.

For what I most want to know
Tonight is:

All about
You.


Hafiz of Shiraz 

quarta-feira, maio 30, 2012

«Aceite o leitor: há privilégios habitualmente pequenos e duráveis, no reino dos olhos quietos e das horas de espanto, da música, da prata que mora nas salinas, ou que cintila em mares surpreendentes, nas árvores outonais, com folhas que voam na direcção do Inverno, ficando naturalmente pelo caminho, o frio e a lareira dos antepassados, parados numa gravura de parede, os dedos nos cabelos, a palavra no ouvido, a água pesada da mágoa do mundo, depois a dos teus olhos - inocente.»


Dinis Machado, Reduto quase Final

terça-feira, maio 29, 2012

Uma lista (não é difícil qual a lista do board e a do leitor) interessante se consideramos que está lá Koestler, Orwell, Huxley (o fascínio das distopias, até o Bradbury lá está), Fitzgerald mais do que uma vez. Claro está que o livro de Steinbeck é datado e que A Leste do Paraíso é intemporal e bíblico. Há coragem na escolha de certos nomes, mas há a habitual sobreestimação de Joyce e ainda um excesso de contemporâneos. Da Modern Library



  1. ULYSSESby James Joyce
  2. THE GREAT GATSBYby F. Scott Fitzgerald
  3. A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MANby James Joyce
  4. LOLITAby Vladimir Nabokov
  5. BRAVE NEW WORLDby Aldous Huxley
  6. THE SOUND AND THE FURYby William Faulkner
  7. CATCH-22by Joseph Heller
  8. DARKNESS AT NOONby Arthur Koestler
  9. SONS AND LOVERSby D.H. Lawrence
  10. THE GRAPES OF WRATHby John Steinbeck
  11. UNDER THE VOLCANOby Malcolm Lowry
  12. THE WAY OF ALL FLESHby Samuel Butler
  13. 1984by George Orwell
  14. I, CLAUDIUSby Robert Graves
  15. TO THE LIGHTHOUSEby Virginia Woolf
  16. AN AMERICAN TRAGEDYby Theodore Dreiser
  17. THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTERby Carson McCullers
  18. SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVEby Kurt Vonnegut
  19. INVISIBLE MANby Ralph Ellison
  20. NATIVE SONby Richard Wright
  21. HENDERSON THE RAIN KINGby Saul Bellow
  22. APPOINTMENT IN SAMARRAby John O’Hara
  23. U.S.A.(trilogy)by John Dos Passos
  24. WINESBURG, OHIOby Sherwood Anderson
  25. A PASSAGE TO INDIAby E.M. Forster
  26. THE WINGS OF THE DOVEby Henry James
  27. THE AMBASSADORSby Henry James
  28. TENDER IS THE NIGHTby F. Scott Fitzgerald
  29. THE STUDS LONIGAN TRILOGYby James T. Farrell
  30. THE GOOD SOLDIERby Ford Madox Ford
  31. ANIMAL FARMby George Orwell
  32. THE GOLDEN BOWLby Henry James
  33. SISTER CARRIEby Theodore Dreiser
  34. A HANDFUL OF DUSTby Evelyn Waugh
  35. AS I LAY DYINGby William Faulkner
  36. ALL THE KING’S MENby Robert Penn Warren
  37. THE BRIDGE OF SAN LUIS REYby Thornton Wilder
  38. HOWARDS ENDby E.M. Forster
  39. GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAINby James Baldwin
  40. THE HEART OF THE MATTERby Graham Greene
  41. LORD OF THE FLIESby William Golding
  42. DELIVERANCEby James Dickey
  43. A DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF TIME (series)by Anthony Powell
  44. POINT COUNTER POINTby Aldous Huxley
  45. THE SUN ALSO RISESby Ernest Hemingway
  46. THE SECRET AGENTby Joseph Conrad
  47. NOSTROMOby Joseph Conrad
  48. THE RAINBOWby D.H. Lawrence
  49. WOMEN IN LOVEby D.H. Lawrence
  50. TROPIC OF CANCERby Henry Miller
  51. THE NAKED AND THE DEADby Norman Mailer
  52. PORTNOY’S COMPLAINTby Philip Roth
  53. PALE FIREby Vladimir Nabokov
  54. LIGHT IN AUGUSTby William Faulkner
  55. ON THE ROADby Jack Kerouac
  56. THE MALTESE FALCONby Dashiell Hammett
  57. PARADE’S ENDby Ford Madox Ford
  58. THE AGE OF INNOCENCEby Edith Wharton
  59. ZULEIKA DOBSONby Max Beerbohm
  60. THE MOVIEGOERby Walker Percy
  61. DEATH COMES FOR THE ARCHBISHOPby Willa Cather
  62. FROM HERE TO ETERNITYby James Jones
  63. THE WAPSHOT CHRONICLESby John Cheever
  64. THE CATCHER IN THE RYEby J.D. Salinger
  65. A CLOCKWORK ORANGEby Anthony Burgess
  66. OF HUMAN BONDAGEby W. Somerset Maugham
  67. HEART OF DARKNESSby Joseph Conrad
  68. MAIN STREETby Sinclair Lewis
  69. THE HOUSE OF MIRTHby Edith Wharton
  70. THE ALEXANDRIA QUARTETby Lawrence Durell
  71. A HIGH WIND IN JAMAICAby Richard Hughes
  72. A HOUSE FOR MR BISWASby V.S. Naipaul
  73. THE DAY OF THE LOCUSTby Nathanael West
  74. A FAREWELL TO ARMSby Ernest Hemingway
  75. SCOOPby Evelyn Waugh
  76. THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIEby Muriel Spark
  77. FINNEGANS WAKEby James Joyce
  78. KIMby Rudyard Kipling
  79. A ROOM WITH A VIEWby E.M. Forster
  80. BRIDESHEAD REVISITEDby Evelyn Waugh
  81. THE ADVENTURES OF AUGIE MARCHby Saul Bellow
  82. ANGLE OF REPOSEby Wallace Stegner
  83. A BEND IN THE RIVERby V.S. Naipaul
  84. THE DEATH OF THE HEARTby Elizabeth Bowen
  85. LORD JIMby Joseph Conrad
  86. RAGTIMEby E.L. Doctorow
  87. THE OLD WIVES’ TALEby Arnold Bennett
  88. THE CALL OF THE WILDby Jack London
  89. LOVINGby Henry Green
  90. MIDNIGHT’S CHILDRENby Salman Rushdie
  91. TOBACCO ROADby Erskine Caldwell
  92. IRONWEEDby William Kennedy
  93. THE MAGUSby John Fowles
  94. WIDE SARGASSO SEAby Jean Rhys
  95. UNDER THE NETby Iris Murdoch
  96. SOPHIE’S CHOICEby William Styron
  97. THE SHELTERING SKYby Paul Bowles
  98. THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICEby James M. Cain
  99. THE GINGER MANby J.P. Donleavy
  100. THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONSby Booth Tarkington

  1. ATLAS SHRUGGEDby Ayn Rand
  2. THE FOUNTAINHEADby Ayn Rand
  3. BATTLEFIELD EARTHby L. Ron Hubbard
  4. THE LORD OF THE RINGSby J.R.R. Tolkien
  5. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRDby Harper Lee
  6. 1984by George Orwell
  7. ANTHEMby Ayn Rand
  8. WE THE LIVINGby Ayn Rand
  9. MISSION EARTHby L. Ron Hubbard
  10. FEARby L. Ron Hubbard
  11. ULYSSESby James Joyce
  12. CATCH-22by Joseph Heller
  13. THE GREAT GATSBYby F. Scott Fitzgerald
  14. DUNEby Frank Herbert
  15. THE MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESSby Robert Heinlein
  16. STRANGER IN A STRANGE LANDby Robert Heinlein
  17. A TOWN LIKE ALICEby Nevil Shute
  18. BRAVE NEW WORLDby Aldous Huxley
  19. THE CATCHER IN THE RYEby J.D. Salinger
  20. ANIMAL FARMby George Orwell
  21. GRAVITY’S RAINBOWby Thomas Pynchon
  22. THE GRAPES OF WRATHby John Steinbeck
  23. SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVEby Kurt Vonnegut
  24. GONE WITH THE WINDby Margaret Mitchell
  25. LORD OF THE FLIESby William Golding
  26. SHANEby Jack Schaefer
  27. TRUSTEE FROM THE TOOLROOMby Nevil Shute
  28. A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANYby John Irving
  29. THE STANDby Stephen King
  30. THE FRENCH LIEUTENANT’S WOMANby John Fowles
  31. BELOVEDby Toni Morrison
  32. THE WORM OUROBOROSby E.R. Eddison
  33. THE SOUND AND THE FURYby William Faulkner
  34. LOLITAby Vladimir Nabokov
  35. MOONHEARTby Charles de Lint
  36. ABSALOM, ABSALOM!by William Faulkner
  37. OF HUMAN BONDAGEby W. Somerset Maugham
  38. WISE BLOODby Flannery O’Connor
  39. UNDER THE VOLCANOby Malcolm Lowry
  40. FIFTH BUSINESSby Robertson Davies
  41. SOMEPLACE TO BE FLYINGby Charles de Lint
  42. ON THE ROADby Jack Kerouac
  43. HEART OF DARKNESSby Joseph Conrad
  44. YARROWby Charles de Lint
  45. AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESSby H.P. Lovecraft
  46. ONE LONELY NIGHTby Mickey Spillane
  47. MEMORY AND DREAMby Charles de Lint
  48. TO THE LIGHTHOUSEby Virginia Woolf
  49. THE MOVIEGOERby Walker Percy
  50. TRADERby Charles de Lint
  51. THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXYby Douglas Adams
  52. THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTERby Carson McCullers
  53. THE HANDMAID’S TALEby Margaret Atwood
  54. BLOOD MERIDIANby Cormac McCarthy
  55. A CLOCKWORK ORANGEby Anthony Burgess
  56. ON THE BEACHby Nevil Shute
  57. A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MANby James Joyce
  58. GREENMANTLEby Charles de Lint
  59. ENDER’S GAMEby Orson Scott Card
  60. THE LITTLE COUNTRYby Charles de Lint
  61. THE RECOGNITIONSby William Gaddis
  62. STARSHIP TROOPERSby Robert Heinlein
  63. THE SUN ALSO RISESby Ernest Hemingway
  64. THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARPby John Irving
  65. SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMESby Ray Bradbury
  66. THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSEby Shirley Jackson
  67. AS I LAY DYINGby William Faulkner
  68. TROPIC OF CANCERby Henry Miller
  69. INVISIBLE MANby Ralph Ellison
  70. THE WOOD WIFEby Terri Windling
  71. THE MAGUSby John Fowles
  72. THE DOOR INTO SUMMERby Robert Heinlein
  73. ZEN AND THE ART OF MOTORCYCLE MAINTENANCEby Robert Pirsig
  74. I, CLAUDIUSby Robert Graves
  75. THE CALL OF THE WILDby Jack London
  76. AT SWIM-TWO-BIRDSby Flann O’Brien
  77. FARENHEIT 451by Ray Bradbury
  78. ARROWSMITHby Sinclair Lewis
  79. WATERSHIP DOWNby Richard Adams
  80. NAKED LUNCHby William S. Burroughs
  81. THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBERby Tom Clancy
  82. GUILTY PLEASURESby Laurell K. Hamilton
  83. THE PUPPET MASTERSby Robert Heinlein
  84. ITby Stephen King
  85. V.by Thomas Pynchon
  86. DOUBLE STARby Robert Heinlein
  87. CITIZEN OF THE GALAXYby Robert Heinlein
  88. BRIDESHEAD REVISITEDby Evelyn Waugh
  89. LIGHT IN AUGUSTby William Faulkner
  90. ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NESTby Ken Kesey
  91. A FAREWELL TO ARMSby Ernest Hemingway
  92. THE SHELTERING SKYby Paul Bowles
  93. SOMETIMES A GREAT NOTIONby Ken Kesey
  94. MY ANTONIAby Willa Cather
  95. MULENGROby Charles de Lint
  96. SUTTREEby Cormac McCarthy
  97. MYTHAGO WOODby Robert Holdstock
  98. ILLUSIONSby Richard Bach
  99. THE CUNNING MANby Robertson Davies
  100. THE SATANIC VERSESby Salman Rushdie

«"You owe
Me."

Look
What happens
With a love like that,
It lights the
Whole
Sky.»

Hafiz of Shiraz 

Do Real

Ele perdeu o emprego de empregado de mesa. Passou a frequentar dois cafés assiduamente em Benfica, ao mesmo tempo que ninguém lhe respondia a anúncios. Era muito velho, diziam-lhe no País em Que Ter Quarenta Anos é Obsoletissímo. Os cafés eram a segunda casa, mais ordeira e bem cheirosa do que o seu bairro social. Tentou as obras. Os trabalhos na construção tornaram-se cada vez mais esporádicos. O rendimento mínimo não chegava para comer e beber. Deixou de comer parcialmente. Caíram-lhe dentes, mas ele não tinha dinheiro para os arranjar.  Passou a cravar cigarros nos cafés. O seu aspecto e a sua aura de crava afastava cada vez mais pessoas. Apaixonou-se por uma rapariga que ia ao café, uma amiga minha. Declarou-lhe o amor infinitas vezes. Uma amiga dessa minha amiga conheceu-o, uma alternativa com o indispensável  charme de esquerda bloquista, disse-lhe que lhe metia nojo cumprimentá-lo e que nunca mais queria passar pelo processo dos dois beijinhos. Certo dia, falei com ele, e mal lhe perguntei «Tudo bem?», ele respondeu: «Enquanto não tiver trabalho, está tudo mal.» A minha amiga conhece o melhor amigo dele e começou a namorá-lo. Porquê? Porquê? Ela tentou manter a amizade, mas a a convivência a três dilacerava-o. Ontem, ela disse-lhe: «O Nuno [o namorado, melhor amigo dele] vai para os Açores.» Ele respondeu-lhe: «E eu na quinta vou para [apontou para o Céu]». Ela procura agarrar-se à ideia de que quem o anuncia não o concretiza.
- É impressionante, Angel. Mais uma vez aconteceu. As pessoas que decidem afastar-me de mim... cai-lhes um karma terrível.
- Angel, eu ou sou odiado, invejado, imitado ou idolatrado e amado para lá da minha compreensão. Só os vagamente conhecidos têm pontos intermédios.

Os cinquenta contos (a tasca destaca dois, ambos traduzidos em português de Portugal)















  1. "Signs and Symbols" by Vladimir Nabokov: First published in The New Yorker, this short story tells the sad tale of an elderly couple and their mentally ill son.
  2. "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" by Flannery O’Connor: A manipulative grandmother is at the center of this tragic and shocking story about coming to terms with who you really are.
  3. "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" by Ernest Hemingway: A writer on safari in Africa is close to death and looks back on his life regrettably in this short tale.
  4. "The Fly" by Katherine Mansfield: This short story deals with some heavy themes, like death, truth and the horrors of war.
  5. "In the Penal Colony" by Franz Kafka: An elaborate torture and execution device that carves a sentence into a prisoner’s skin before death is at the center of this famous short story by Kafka.
  6. "A Hunger Artist" by Franz Kafka: Exploring themes like death, art, isolation and personal failure, this work is one of Kafka’s best and, sadly, most autobiographical.
  7. "The Lame Shall Enter First" by Flannery O’Connor: In this tragic story, a man’s idealism and self-interest cause him to ignore the needs of his grieving son– with sad consequences.
  8. "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson: First published in 1948, this short has been ranked as one of the most famous short stories in American literature– despite its negative reception in some places.
  9. "The Use of Force" by William Carlos Williams: This story asks readers to consider whether or not it is ethical to hurt someone for their own good and, more importantly, whether one should be ashamed to enjoy the experience.
  10. "The Rockinghorse Winner" by D.H. Lawrence: This twisted tale will stick with you long after you’ve read it, documenting the strange relationship between a spendthrift mother and her son, who only longs to make her happy.
  11. "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman: An early work of feminist literature, this story follows a young woman as she descends into psychosis, becoming obsessed with the pattern and color of the wallpaper.
  12. Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? By Joyce Carol Oates:This short story was inspired by the murders committed in Tucson, Arizona, by serial killer Charles Schmid.
Collections
If you’re looking for more than just one great short story, check out these must-reads.
  1. I, Robot by Issac Asimov: Made into a variety of movies and inspiring many other writers, this collection is an essential read for any sci-fi fan.
  2. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout: Containing 13 short stories, this Pulitzer Prize-winning work details the lives of Olive and those inhabiting the small Maine town she calls home.
  3. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien: Nominated for and winning numerous literary awards, this collection of stories about the Vietnam War is moving– perhaps even more so because many of them are based on the author’s own experiences.
  4. Dubliners by James Joyce: Over the course of fifteen short stories, readers will gain insights into Irish middle-class life at the beginning of the 20th century.
  5. Nine Stories by JD Salinger: Containing some of Salinger’s most famous short works like "For Esme– with Love and Squalor," this collection is a great way to connect with the well-known author.
  6. Steps by Jerzy Kosinski: In a series of short vignettes, Kosinski will shock, disgust and creep you out. Whether you like the book or not, you won’t walk away unmoved.
  7. Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri: This Pulitzer-winning collection captures the difficulties of Indian-Americans caught between one culture and another.
  8. Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? by Raymond Carver: Themes of segregation and unhappiness are the center of this collection of short stories on American life.
Pop Culture Classics
You’ve more than likely heard of these famous short tales– even if you’ve never read them.
  1. "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" by Mark Twain: This colorful tale about a man and his famous jumping frog earned Twain fame and acclaim and is well worth a read.
  2. "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi " by Rudyard Kipling: If you never enjoyed the tale of this dedicated mongoose as a child, pick it up today.
  3. "The Body" by Stephen King: Adapted into the movie Stand By Me, this short tale documents both the depth of friendship and the horrors of misfortune.
  4. "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving: You’ve more than likely seen one of the film adaptations of this famous tale, but see how they compare with the original for the full experience.
  5. "The Telltale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe: There are few out there who haven’t read or at least heard of this classic tale. Over a few short pages, Poe builds the suspense as a murderer begins to feel the guilt of his crime.
  6. "A Sound of Thunder" by Ray Bradbury: This work is the most re-published sci-fi short story of all time, documenting with great aplomb the devastating consequences of the "butterfly effect."
  7. "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" by James Thurber: The most famous of Thurber’s stories, inspiring the term "Mittyesque," focuses on a man who is bored with his mundane life and escapes through a series of grand, heroic fantasies inspired by his surroundings.
  8. "The Most Dangerous Game" by Richard Connell: Adapted into a movie starring Ice-T, the literary version of this story is perhaps more serious and compelling than the pop culture it has inspired.
Well-Known Authors
These classic authors may have gotten famous for their longer works, but their short stories can often be just as compelling.
  1. "Three Questions" by Leo Tolstoy: While Tolstoy may be better known for his epic novels, this short story in the form of a parable about a king searching for the most important questions in life shows he mastered the medium of the short story as well.
  2. "The Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez:This magical realist story focuses on a couple who have found what they believe to be an angel in their front yard– for better or for worse.
  3. "Fall of the House of Usher" by Edgar Allan Poe: This classic tale of gothic horror will have you hanging on to every last detail.
  4. "Harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.: In this satirical, dystopian story society has finally achieved equality by handicapping the most intelligent, athletic or beautiful members of society.
  5. "The Nose" by Nikolai Gogol: This short satirical work tells the tale of a St. Petersburg official whose nose decides it’s had enough and leaves his face to start a life of its own.
  6. "The Diamond As Big as the Ritz" by F. Scott Fitzgerald: Included in a short story collection and published on its own, this story documents the lengths one family will go to in order to keep their secret source of wealth a hidden.
  7. "The Looking Glass" by Anton Chekhov: A marriage-obsessed young woman begins to see her future life being played out in her looking glass in this short tale.
  8. "The South" by Jorge Luis Borges: Considered by Borges to be one of his best short stories, this story centers on a man who is on his way home after a near death experience.
  9. "The Swimmer" by John Cheever: This story may have been originally conceived as a novel, but it holds up well as a short story, blending realism and surrealism as it explores life in suburban American.
  10. "To Build a Fire" by Jack London: Known for his epic tales about man in nature, this short story doesn’t disappoint as a man and dog are pitted against the wilderness in a battle for survival.
  11. "The Nightingale and the Rose" by Oscar Wilde: This story uses the form of a fairy tale to look at love, sacrifice and relationships.
Modern Writers
Great short stories are still being written today. Here are a few from the past 20 years that may are well worth a read.
  1. "Meneseteung" by Alice Munro: While the narrative devices used in telling the story might be confusing at first, readers who persevere will be rewarded with a rich tale spanning several decades.
  2. "The Happy Man" by Jonathan Lethem: In this story, a man has the ability to make visits to hell despite still being alive, something that confuses and frustrates both he and his family.
  3. "The Second Bakery Attack" by Haruki Murakami: Bizarre and almost dreamlike, this story seems simple but will have you thinking back to it after you’ve finished.
  4. "Brokeback Mountain" by Annie Proulx: You’d have to be living in a cave not to have heard of this cowboy love story. This narrative is just as moving as the Oscar-winning movie it inspired.
  5. "The Story" by Amy Bloom: Like metafiction? Pick up this self-reflective, playful story that takes a look at the idea of storytelling itself.
Twist Endings
Short stories are often the perfect format for setting up shocking twist endings. Here are some of the best twisty short stories ever written.
  1. "The Necklace" by Guy de Maupassant: Popular for its twist ending and the inspiration for many other writers, this short story is a must-read for anyone interested in the genre.
  2. "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" by Ambrose Beirce: Made into aTwilight Zone episode, this classic short story is set during the Civil War, where a man is about to hang for being a Confederate sympathizer.
  3. "The Monkey’s Paw" by W. W. Jacobs: In this terrifying tale, readers will learn to be careful what they wish for– it might not always be what they want.
  4. "Pastoralia" by George Saunders: Winning Saunders an O. Henry Award in 2001, this story focuses on a man who is stuck in a life he hates in a dystopian future.
  5. "Man from the South" by Roald Dahl: In this short story, a mysterious man offers a bargain for lighting a lighter on the first try. Win, you get a new car. Lose, he gets to take your finger.
  6. "The Gift of the Magi" by O. Henry: This sentimental story has a twist with a lesson about the true meaning of gift giving.