Monday, February 2, 2009

Borges, The Bet and A Piece of Steak


In a departure from the usual fictions I share here on Mondays, I thought I'd share a couple of my favorite short stories and one of my favorite authors.

Fourteen years ago, when I built my first website, I included a page of lists of my favorite things, including favorite movies, favorite writers, favorite music... and favorite short stories.

Because tastes change and we change, I am sure that any list of favorite things will develop new contours as it morphs with our own personal evolutions. And I am certain that were I to assemble a new list from scratch, it would probably include some alternates to these here.

Nevertheless, for the sake of this Short Story Monday I will leave the original list unaltered. And, a special feature of this list is that now, fourteen years hence, the first two stories on the list are also available in total on the web. So, instead of my own story today, please take a few minutes to visit with these masters.

The Hemingway story made this list because I had to tip the hat to Mr. Hemingway for his impact on modern literature. I chose The Doctor and the Doctor's Wife because of the incredible tension he was able to create with such spare use of language. It's mystifying how deftly he works emotional wonders with such simple words. Pow! Slam.

You will also see three stories here by Borges, who influenced me mightily as a younger writer. Click on his name to find a website of labyrinthine wonderment devoted to these remarkable creative genius. Or click here for a fascinating essay which originally appeared in Christianity Today on this Argentine luminary.

1. The Bet by Anton Chekhov
2. A Piece of Steak by Jack London
3. The Lagoon by Joseph Conrad
4. The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad
5. The Book of Sand by Jorge Luis Borges
6. The Aleph by Jorge Luis Borges
7. There Are More Things, again by Borges
8. The Harness, by John Steinbeck
9. Here We Are, by Dorothy Parker
10. The Doctor & the Doctor's Wife, by Ernest Hemingway

The End


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