Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Favorite short stories available online and suitable for reading at one's tedious job

1. Anton Chekhov, The Bishop (This entire website is wonderful, by the way.)

2. Henry James, The Figure in the Carpet (It's hard to get enthusiastic about starting a James novel, but the short stories are almost always fun to read, particularly the ones about art and artists.)

3. Vladimir Nabokov, Signs and Symbols (I'm not a huge Nabokov fan, but this story is incredible.)

4. D.H. Lawrence, Odour of Chrysanthemums (As I mentioned in an earlier list, he was 24 when he wrote this. Man.)

5. Thomas Hardy, The Withered Arm (My favorite supernatural story, although I'm not too well-read in the genre.)

6. Frank O'Connor, My Oedipus Complex (My favorite short story writer in English. His very best aren't available online, I don't think, but this is a good one.)

7. James Joyce, Araby (There are probably better stories in Dubliners, but I like this one the best.)

8. Flannery O'Connor, Everything That Rises Must Converge (She's always struck me as a rather nasty writer, but this story is undeniably great.)

9. Leo Tolstoy, How Much Land Does a Man Need? (Joyce called this the greatest story in the history of Western literature. I think he might have been being facetious, since it is not even close to the best story Tolstoy wrote, but I still like it. It is a page turner, or in this case a screen scroller.)

10. William Carlos Williams, The Use of Force (This whole website is a good resource for people stuck for long periods in front of a computer.)

Suggest your own, as my job is unlikely to get more interesting in the one month I have left.


Paul Morton said...

"Tapka" by David Bezmozgis. It's a heartbreaking little piece, probably not as good as any of the stories Akshay has mentioned, but worth a look nonetheless.

Drew said...

Graham Greene, The Destructors.

If your only knowledge of it is from "Donnie Darko," it's worth checking out.