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Posts tagged "Storytelling"

Short Story Wednesdays: "Where I'm Calling From" by Raymond Carver

Short Story Wednesdays: “Where I’m Calling From” by Raymond Carver

If Alcoholics Anonymous really is a model for the Church, then Raymond Carver has some of the best ecclesiology around! This time we turn to a story from his Cathedral collection about addiction, love, empathy, and (just maybe!) redemption. To read along, go here.

The next morning Frank Martin got me aside and said, ‘We can help you. If you want help and want to listen to what we say.’ But I didn’t know if they could help me or not. Part of me wanted help. But there was another part. All said, it was a very big if.

The story opens…

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The End Is the Beginning Is the End, Part IV: Living Backwards

The End Is the Beginning Is the End, Part IV: Living Backwards

To read the previous installment, go here. For part one, here.

Silent in the Still Waters of Mystery

Here’s an example of the reflexivity of my own self-interested, predetermined fiction-making. Recently, I sauntered into the elevator at the end of a day at the courthouse. Like every elevator, this one has an “emergency” button. After I pushed the button to take me to the first floor, I eyed that emergency button, and I wondered silently to myself. I remember some kind of gesture of flinging by my right arm and the sound of a “ding!” Straight away I recalled what a well-behaved,…

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The End Is the Beginning Is the End, Part III: The Trellis of the Mind

The End Is the Beginning Is the End, Part III: The Trellis of the Mind

The End Is the Beginning

Tony Romo, Misjudged

We are all familiar with fictions in which the desire for consolation puts the beginning and middle “under the shadow of the end.”  In fact, we all write numerous such fictions, many of them daily: think of every argument that takes place in your mind, how the end is determined, and the way that the plot elements are arranged reflexively to lead concordantly, plausibly, to that end.

Among the more unjust, unfair, and tragic end-determined fictions that come to my mind is the Misjudgment of Tony Romo.  The fiction about Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Tony…

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The End Is the Beginning Is the End, Part II: Writing Backwards

The End Is the Beginning Is the End, Part II: Writing Backwards

Where the Imperfections of Memory Meet the Inadequacies of Documentation

Julian Barnes

The story of Adrian’s suicide begins with a girl.  In college, Tony dates a sharp and judgmental girl named Veronica, who will not allow Tony to “go all the way.”  The relationship includes a weekend trip home to Veronica’s condescending family, where Tony hears, and then sloughs off, a mysterious comment from Veronica’s mother about her daughter.  Soon enough, Veronica begins dating Adrian.  The ever-dutiful Adrian writes Tony asking for “permission” to date Veronica.  Tony tries to be, well, flippant, but he writes a nasty, vengeful letter accusing Veronica…

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The End Is the Beginning Is the End, Part I: A Review of Julian Barnes' "The Sense of an Ending"

The End Is the Beginning Is the End, Part I: A Review of Julian Barnes’ “The Sense of an Ending”

There are a million reasons to read Julian Barnes’ novella The Sense of an Ending, but I can think of only one reason not to: you have special disdain for the delicacy of language struck by a fine author operating with prodigious grace at the height of his powers.  Yes, that annoys me, too.  And, as I think about it, there may be another reason: you like your plots linear and single-layered, formulated by the author as he goes along, rather than the tight, polished narrative sculpture of The Sense of an Ending, a lump of coal conceived when the…

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