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A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: From the Man Booker Prize-winning, New York Times-bestselling author of Lincoln in the Bardo

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Asya and Faust are good, for example, if someone wants to taste how deep Turgenev could go beyond the sketches. Also what seeming digressions can add to the story--sometimes the digression is where the story really is. How are we supposed to live with joy in a world that seems to want us to love other people but then roughly separates us from them in the end, no matter what?

What I appreciated is how Turgenev showed that the passion for vocal art is universal and that these two schools of thought about vocalism can be instinctively felt by anyone, including the impoverished peasants in the remote and isolated lands.It turns out, there is such a list of prime virtues, one we've been casually compiling as we've worked our way through these Russian stories: Be specific and efficient. If we are moved, Turgenev has, via this story that claims that emotional power is the highest aim of art and can be obtained even in the face of clumsy craft, demonstrated that very thing. Chekhov’s “Gooseberries” is also a story about beauty, about the importance of beauty in life, and its nature.

He has to find out what movement there is, and what freedom, inside the story’s particular conditions – but without cheaply magicking them away. I love that Saunders’ approach to teaching is to highlight this imperative; that’s where art gets made. From the New York Times- bestselling, Booker Prize-winning author of Lincoln in the Bardo and Tenth of December comes a literary master class on what makes great stories work and what they can tell us about ourselves - and our world today. Son como los hijos: antes de que nazcan uno sabe exactamente cómo van a ser —perfectos, adorables, inteligentes, ¿cómo podrían ser de otra forma? There is no strengths to continue living, but in any case one needs to live and one really wants to live!Each story becomes an exemplar of a certain issue that Saunders feels is essential in short story writing--looking at patterns in storytelling, finding the 'heart of the story', and so on. No longer do you need to be worried or stressed about participating/taking notes/preparing for an exam; all you are doing is listening and enjoying. Still, there is sufficient ambivalence in Turgenev’s construction of the story to be open to his approach as perfectly valid too. Earlier, but I think after forming his judgement about the ending he goes on mocking her for trying to identify the cat as her love interest.

That defining human transaction, teaching and learning through imitation, the master’s hand closed over the apprentice’s to guide it. George Saunders has been teaching a class at Syracuse University about the Russian short story, and this book, this very unique book, is his class.

If we want to make good structure, we just have to be aware of what question we are causing reader to ask, then answer that question. For the last twenty years, George Saunders has been teaching a class on the Russian short story to his MFA students at Syracuse University.

Nonetheless, as he points out, “even in English, shorn of those delights, they have worlds to teach us. Their passion for literature (evident in their questions from the floor, our talks at the signing table, the conversations I've had with book clubs) has convinced me that there's a vast underground network for goodness at work in the world---a web of people who've put reading at the center of their lives because they know from experience that reading makes them more expansive, generous people and makes their lives more interesting. The servant girl is, in Saunders’s view, “a reminder that beauty is an unavoidable, essential part of life; it keeps showing up and we keep responding to it, our theoretical positions notwithstanding, and if we ever stop responding to it, we have become more corpse than person. What does it mean in a story about the meaning of life that the characters are (more or less) happy in the end? The title essay, “A Swim in a Pond in the Rain” is a study of Anton Chekhov’s transcendent story, “Gooseberries.

This is not Saunders’ fault by any means but rather indicates how translations can sometimes grossly diverge from the original, fundamentally changing its meaning. In Saunders’s delightful new book of essays, “A Swim in a Pond in the Rain” Saunders tries to articulate just how Chekhov makes the mysterious, luminous, numinous, and magical happen. For he does just the opposite of what many students feel teachers and professors do when they perform an analysis (or a "close reading") of a text: rather than "kill it", or "kill the enjoyment" of the work, he brings it to life, perhaps makes it even better than the author himself intended. For another, he goes into detail about his own writing process, which was probably my favourite part to read. En estos días, en los que a pesar de estar tan interconectados gracias a la tecnología es tan fácil sentir que perdemos el vínculo con lo que realmente importa, la lectura ayuda a conectar de nuevo o, al menos, a creer que esa conexión sigue siendo posible.

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