April 11th, 2010 / 2:46 pm
Snippets

But why do the individual stories in a collection have to be connected in any way (tone, character, subject matter, etc)?

218 Comments

  1. Sean

      Fog

  2. Sean

      Fog

  3. stephen

      is there literally fog or are you voicing your vague disapproval in an obscure way?

  4. stephen

      is there literally fog or are you voicing your vague disapproval in an obscure way?

  5. Sean
  6. Sean
  7. Donald

      Huh, how odd. I just looked through my bookshelves and only a couple of them have that on the cover. Then again, I charityshopped a lot of my old books recently so my collection is relatively small now — around 150 or so. Also, many of the books on my shelves are ‘classics’ (or at least established books, to use your phrase) and published pre-1960, so I guess the publishers might not think it necessary, assuming that everyone will know about the titles anyway.

  8. Donald

      Huh, how odd. I just looked through my bookshelves and only a couple of them have that on the cover. Then again, I charityshopped a lot of my old books recently so my collection is relatively small now — around 150 or so. Also, many of the books on my shelves are ‘classics’ (or at least established books, to use your phrase) and published pre-1960, so I guess the publishers might not think it necessary, assuming that everyone will know about the titles anyway.

  9. Lincoln

      Ah, the classics might be the key. once a book is famous enough that anyone buying it knows what it is, they probably stop putting “a novel” on the cover. But for new releases I think it is pretty universal, at least today.

  10. Lincoln

      Ah, the classics might be the key. once a book is famous enough that anyone buying it knows what it is, they probably stop putting “a novel” on the cover. But for new releases I think it is pretty universal, at least today.

  11. mimi

      @Donald-
      It took me about two months to read “Ulysses”. I was determined to get through it, and I made an academic exercise of reading it. (I was working 40 hours a week at the time; I was otherwise unencumbered.) Every evening I would read for an hour or two, with “Ulysses Annotated: Notes for James Joyce’s Ulysses by Don Gifford” and a good dictionary by my side. I read very methodically, I read every note, in order, as I read the text, and I looked up every word I didn’t know (which was a lot of ’em). This is the only time I’ve ever made such an academic exercise out of reading something outside of being enrolled in a class. I am glad I did it, and I am a better reader now for it. Also, it was not so difficult once I got into it. I developed a “rhythm” and “momentum”. I started to “get” Joyce.

      So I say “Go for it!”

      PS – I read Ulysses before I read “Dubliners” and “Portrait….” (!!!)
      I have yet to read Finnegan’s Wake.

  12. mimi

      @Donald-
      It took me about two months to read “Ulysses”. I was determined to get through it, and I made an academic exercise of reading it. (I was working 40 hours a week at the time; I was otherwise unencumbered.) Every evening I would read for an hour or two, with “Ulysses Annotated: Notes for James Joyce’s Ulysses by Don Gifford” and a good dictionary by my side. I read very methodically, I read every note, in order, as I read the text, and I looked up every word I didn’t know (which was a lot of ’em). This is the only time I’ve ever made such an academic exercise out of reading something outside of being enrolled in a class. I am glad I did it, and I am a better reader now for it. Also, it was not so difficult once I got into it. I developed a “rhythm” and “momentum”. I started to “get” Joyce.

      So I say “Go for it!”

      PS – I read Ulysses before I read “Dubliners” and “Portrait….” (!!!)
      I have yet to read Finnegan’s Wake.

  13. stephen

      “Publishing Genius is excited to announce that Fog Gorgeous Stag, by Sean Lovelace, will be published in the first part of 2011. Lovelace describes the book as “micro-fiction/poetry/hybrid/whatever/plop/lovely pancakes/celebrities/corn chips/thing.” The collection furthers Publishing Genius’s mission of killing literature.”

      hehe…

  14. stephen

      “Publishing Genius is excited to announce that Fog Gorgeous Stag, by Sean Lovelace, will be published in the first part of 2011. Lovelace describes the book as “micro-fiction/poetry/hybrid/whatever/plop/lovely pancakes/celebrities/corn chips/thing.” The collection furthers Publishing Genius’s mission of killing literature.”

      hehe…

  15. mykle

      Being “about” something may or may not be what makes a book good. But it’s what makes someone pick up the book and try to care about it.

      And “about” is such a potentially broad, interesting mess … you could unpack it into a bunch of other words and put quotes around all of them, and go on and on. It could be the intent, the style, the mood. It doesn’t have to be the plot points.

      In fact probably every short story collection is about something, although that thing might be a secret.

      Being about nothing strikes me as really boring and depressing. Does that make me an old fart?

      I was at a PowerPoint party in Sam Korman’s garage, where two articulate young women got up and defined a new art movement: Postconceptualism, Not to be confused with anybody else’s use of that word, but basically saying that some of today’s painters are taking heavily loaded symbols (stag! unicorn! rainbow! crystal! owl!) and doing intentionally meaningless things with them, to unburden them of their symbolism and return them to the world of pure form. It made perfect sense, but I wasn’t sure if they were joking. Some of the slides would make nice postcards, tho.

  16. mykle

      Being “about” something may or may not be what makes a book good. But it’s what makes someone pick up the book and try to care about it.

      And “about” is such a potentially broad, interesting mess … you could unpack it into a bunch of other words and put quotes around all of them, and go on and on. It could be the intent, the style, the mood. It doesn’t have to be the plot points.

      In fact probably every short story collection is about something, although that thing might be a secret.

      Being about nothing strikes me as really boring and depressing. Does that make me an old fart?

      I was at a PowerPoint party in Sam Korman’s garage, where two articulate young women got up and defined a new art movement: Postconceptualism, Not to be confused with anybody else’s use of that word, but basically saying that some of today’s painters are taking heavily loaded symbols (stag! unicorn! rainbow! crystal! owl!) and doing intentionally meaningless things with them, to unburden them of their symbolism and return them to the world of pure form. It made perfect sense, but I wasn’t sure if they were joking. Some of the slides would make nice postcards, tho.

  17. stephen

      i don’t think it makes you an old fart at all, mykle. seems like people have been writing books that are arguably about nothing for more than a century, and some people have preferred that books not be about nothing or at least seem that way for just as long. so it’s probably just preference.

      for me, i don’t even want to read about a plot on the back of a book. if it seems like there’s a lot of conventional plot from the description on the back i start to wonder if i will like it.

      i think i go more on the recommendation of critics and other people and the reputations of the authors as far as style and such, and i flip through the book to sample it.

      for me it’s hard to take an earnest plot summary seriously, or something. i’d rather there was nothing on the back of the book, or some nonsense, or a quote from the text, or blurbs. tao’s last book has a non sequitur quoted from the text on the back. that works well for me (although i was confused when i realized it seems the words from the actual text have been flipped in the quote on the back cover; not sure if that was an error or not).

  18. stephen

      i don’t think it makes you an old fart at all, mykle. seems like people have been writing books that are arguably about nothing for more than a century, and some people have preferred that books not be about nothing or at least seem that way for just as long. so it’s probably just preference.

      for me, i don’t even want to read about a plot on the back of a book. if it seems like there’s a lot of conventional plot from the description on the back i start to wonder if i will like it.

      i think i go more on the recommendation of critics and other people and the reputations of the authors as far as style and such, and i flip through the book to sample it.

      for me it’s hard to take an earnest plot summary seriously, or something. i’d rather there was nothing on the back of the book, or some nonsense, or a quote from the text, or blurbs. tao’s last book has a non sequitur quoted from the text on the back. that works well for me (although i was confused when i realized it seems the words from the actual text have been flipped in the quote on the back cover; not sure if that was an error or not).