“When you are a latecomer, outsider, immigrant, exile, there are fractures in your life that you can’t heal… I have a lot of respect for people that have stayed behind and have to deal with the wounds every day.” Elif Shafak
Posts tagged "Herman Melville"
What are you playing at?

What are you playing at?

What is the opposite of a game? Work? Reality? Real life? Read the books on this list and you’ll be even less certain. From a teacher lured into a game of make-believe (or is it?) on a Greek island, to the S&M mind games of The Image, to Professor Johan Huizinga’s seminal Homo Ludens, the...
Very like a whaler

Very like a whaler

Among the great books of the sea, Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick; or, The Whale of 1851, has few peers. Around the simple narrative of Captain Ahab’s obsessive pursuit of the great white whale that had taken his leg, the whale’s deliberate destruction of his ship, and the loss of all but one member of the crew,...
Rereadability unbound

Rereadability unbound

I’d like to think there’s something more essential about the short story than just its being, well, short. Are short stories inherently tidier, messier, more dramatic, voicier, paradoxically slower, better with beer and pretzels than neighboring forms? We could adjectival-phrase away for days on this, following up with maybe yesses and maybe nos, but I...
Herman Melville: ‘Bartleby, the Scrivener’

Herman Melville: ‘Bartleby, the Scrivener’

I’m not sure if Herman Melville’s ‘Bartleby, the Scrivener’ is a very long short story or a very short novella, but I’ve always thought of it as a story and, ever since I first read it for my English and American Literature degree in 1991, it has been my favourite short story. It contains three...
Which would you choose?

Which would you choose?

In the December 2013 issue we launched our ‘Favourite Stories’ feature, with seven writers each introducing a short story which they feel stands out as a shining example of the form. Suzanne Berne picks out a perfect sketch from recent Nobel Prize winner and short-story stylist Alice Munro, Sophie Hannah weighs up Herman Melville’s ever-popular...