Deal Me In – Week 45 Wrap Up

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New posts this week from the DMI crew:

Coincidentally, with me also reading The Martian Chronicles this week, two of us drew a Ray Bradbury story from their Deal Me In deck.

Dale read “Some Live Like Lazarushttp://mirrorwithclouds.wordpress.com/2014/11/06/ray-bradbury-some-live-like-lazarus/

And Randall read “Let’s Play Poisonhttp://timeenuf.blogspot.com/2014/11/lets-play-poison-by-ray-bradbury.html

The avalanche of stories from Returning Reader continues:
1) Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “Eva is Inside Her Cathttp://returningreader.wordpress.com/2014/11/03/short-story-30-eva-is-inside-her-cat-gabriel-garcia-marquez/
2) the Ernest Hemingway classic “The Snows of Kilimanjarohttp://returningreader.wordpress.com/2014/11/05/short-story-31-the-snows-of-kilimanjaro-ernest-hemingway/
3) Anton Chekhov’s “Gooseberrieshttp://returningreader.wordpress.com/2014/11/06/short-story-32-gooseberries-anton-chekhov/
4) Dylan Thomas’s “A Child’s Christmas in Wales
http://returningreader.wordpress.com/2014/11/09/short-story-33-a-childs-christmas-in-wales-dylan-thomas/
5) Ungulani Ba Ka Khosa’s “An Unexpected Deathhttp://returningreader.wordpress.com/2014/11/09/short-story-34-an-unexpected-death-ungulani-ba-ka-khosa/

Katherine has exhausted her hearts suit after reading Robyn Carr’s “Natasha’s Bedroomhttp://katenread.wordpress.com/2014/11/08/deal-me-in-week-45-natashas-bedroom/ There’s also a magic trick video featuring her card 🙂

I missed Halloween by one day in drawing Ambrose Bierce’s ghost story, “Beyond the Wall” (I got goosebumps) https://bibliophilica.wordpress.com/2014/11/08/beyond-the-wall-a-ghost-story-by-ambrose-Bierce/

Candiss posted about Margaret Atwood’s “Happy Endinghttp://readthegamut.wordpress.com/2014/11/09/deal-me-in-challenge-story-45-happy-endings-by-margaret-atwood/

Some other short story content from the week that I found interesting:

Have you heard of author Ron Rash before? I hadn’t, but this collection sounds like it would be at home on my bookshelf http://www.thedailynewsonline.com/entertainment/article_6fa4c738-66d1-11e4-9fcb-dfce161211a2.html

Great article about an event in NY where some of the authors featured in The Best American Short Stories (2014 edition) read their work at a Barnes and Noble. I’ve included some stories from The BASS series the past couple Deal Me In challenges. Looks like I may want to do so again. 🙂 http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/nov/07/jennifer-egan-writing-technologies-short-stories

I follow a couple Irish literary accounts n Twitter and they appear to have a thriving short story culture over there. The Davy Byrnes award is one of their prestigious writing prizes. (I’ve read one story from this source in a previous DMI, Claire Keegan’s “Foster”. https://bibliophilica.wordpress.com/2013/04/15/a-perfect-opportunity-to-say-nothing/)
Here’s a collection of the cream of that crop.
http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/six-of-the-best-davy-byrnes-stories-2014-1.1988889

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Deal Me In – Week 40 Wrap Up

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A lot of great stories and posts this week. Check out the links below.

Candiss is back, and with a “doubleheader” covering Ursula K. LeGuin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” and Anton Chekhov’s “Gooseberries” http://readthegamut.wordpress.com/2014/10/05/deal-me-in-challenge-stories-39-40-an-unexpected-relationship-between-chekhov-and-le-guin/

Dale brings us Dorothy Parker’s “The Waltz” http://mirrorwithclouds.wordpress.com/2014/10/02/dorothy-parker-the-waltz/

It’s the Ace of Spades at Time Enough at Last which means Randall shares with us “February 1999: Ylla” by Ray Bradbury http://timeenuf.blogspot.com/2014/10/february-1999-ylla-by-ray-bradbury.html

Katherine drew the King of Clubs and reviews “A Cascade of Lies” by Steve Rasnic Tem http://katenread.wordpress.com/2014/10/04/deal-me-in-week-40-a-cascade-of-lies/

At two stories a “pop”, James is down to just four cards in his deck after reading Grace Paley’s “In Time Which Made a Monkey of us All” and “A Prince of Thirteen Days” by Ayala Dawn Johnson http://jamesreadsbooks.com/2014/10/05/grace-paley-vs-alaya-dawn-johnson/

My story was so short, I almost felt like I had the week off, but Kate Chopin’s “Story of an Hour” was, pound for pound, one of the best I’ve read recently. https://bibliophilica.wordpress.com/2014/10/04/kate-chopins-story-of-an-hour/

Deal Me In – Week 30 Wrap Up

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Below are this week’s links to new posts since the last wrap up and a couple “extras.” 🙂

On the good news front, the New Yorker has recently opened part of their short story archive for free reading for a limited time. For more info, see the following link http://www.newyorker.com/books/double-take/summer-archive This is an exciting source of FREE stories.

I also found the following, which may be of interest to some short story readers, what with the news headlines of the day: http://arablit.wordpress.com/2014/07/26/the-book-of-gaza-short-stories-from-four-decades/

Among this weeks posts, we welcome the “return” of The Returning Reader, who shares some thoughts on Laila Lalami’s “Homecoming” at http://returningreader.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/short-story-25-homecoming-laila-lalami/

Dale reads Henryk Sienkiewicz’s “The Lighthouse Keeper of Aspinwall” at http://mirrorwithclouds.wordpress.com/2014/07/24/henryk-sienkiewicz-the-lighthouse-keeper-of-aspinwall/

Randall posts about Anne Battie’s “Solid Wood” at http://timeenuf.blogspot.com/2014/07/solid-wood-by-ann-beattie.html

Katherine draws Steven Millhauser’s “Rain” from her bag of tricks, which also includes a video link featuring the seven of diamonds: http://katenread.wordpress.com/2014/07/26/deal-me-in-week-30-rain/

Deal Me In has its fourth “twin” of the year as I become the second participant to read Anton Chekhov’s “The Bet.” Just scroll down or click https://bibliophilica.wordpress.com/2014/07/27/anton-chekhovs-the-bet/

I think that’s everybody. If I missed anyone, leave a link in the comments. Until next week, happy reading!

Anton Chekhov’s “The Bet”

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In the nearly four years that I’ve been doing my one short story per week reading project, a handful of authors have emerged who can always be counted on to deliver the goods. I would count Anton Chekhov (above) among these select few, so I was happy to see that, when I drew the three of clubs, I had assigned it to his famous story, “The Bet.” (My roster of stories may be found here ) I also found it amusing that, after blogging last week about the concept of “Chekhov’s Gun,” the author immediately presented himself as my next “luck of the draw” selection.

During a party at the house of a banker, in a drawing room conversation, a debate arises regarding capital punishment. One argues that it is immoral and has no place in a Christian Nation, the host disagrees, however, saying “…in my opinion capital punishment is more moral and more humane than imprisonment. Execution kills instantly, life-imprisonment kills by degree. Who is the more humane executioner, one who kills you in a few seconds or one who draws the life out of you incessantly for years?”

A brash young lawyer in attendance argues that life-imprisonment is by far more preferable, saying “Capital punishment and life-imprisonment are equally immoral; but if I were offered the choice between them, I would certainly choose the second. It’s better to live somehow than not to live at all.”

Much debate takes place, and an outrageous bet is the fallout. The banker puts up “two millions” against the young lawyer’s boast that he could stay willingly imprisoned for fifteen years. Terms and rules are set and the clock begins ticking on November 14, 1870…

The story is so short, I’ll leave it for you to read yourself if interested. It may be found online at http://www.eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/UBooks/Bet.shtml

The premise for this story may seem familiar to some readers. If so, it might be because of a “classic” episode of the TV series, “The Twilight Zone.” Rod Serling shifts the location and changes some of the characters, the purpose for the bet, and many of the details, but it’s still an effective treatment and does, I believe, capture the “spirit” of Chekhov’s story. It’s actually available on YouTube. Here’s a link to part 1:

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Dale at Mirror with Clouds has also posted about this story as part of Deal Me In 2014, making it the fourth “twin” our group has spawned this year. His post may be found here

Deal Me In – Week 20 Wrap Up

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I trust everyone is enjoying Short Story Reading Month? Below are links to new posts I’ve found since last week’s wrap-up. As always, please try to visit your fellow DMI-ers’ posts, leaving a comment or ’liking’ them if you can. 🙂

James at Jamesreadsbooks.com read two stories: Henry James’ “The Private Life” and Tobias Wolff’s “Bullet in the Brain.” I hadn’t heard of the second story before, but the premise is fascinating. Check out his post at http://jamesreadsbooks.com/2014/05/13/henry-james-vs-tobias-wolff-a-deal-me-in-short-story-chalenge/

Dale of Mirror With Clouds read Anton Chekhov’s “The Bet”http://mirrorwithclouds.wordpress.com/2014/05/15/anton-chekhov-the-bet/

Candiss at Read the Gamut is in the midst of the Bout of Books Readathon. She found time to read Ted Chiang’s ” The Truth of Fact, The Truth of Feeling.” Her post will be forthcoming after the BoBR has been completed.

Katherine at The Writerly Reader drew a winner with her ten of hearts (same card I drew this week!) and read George Guthridge’s “Chin Oil.” Read her post at http://katenread.wordpress.com/2014/05/17/deal-me-in-week-20-chin-oil/ to find out more about this story

Returning Reader rejoins us with two stories: James Joyce’s “Araby” http://returningreader.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/short-story-16-araby-james-joyce/ and Maaza Mengiste’s “A Good Soldier” http://returningreader.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/short-story-17-a-good-soldier-maaza-mengiste

Susan at Avid Series Reader add a couple more reviews on Shelfari scroll down to the bottom to see her thoughts on Doran Larson’s “Morphine” and Bliss Broyard’s “Mr. Sweetly Indecent” at http://www.shelfari.com/books/16334/The-Best-American-Short-Stories-1998/reviews/4410861

I read a new-to-me author Roxane Gay and thoroughly enjoyed her story “North Country.” I hope to have my post up later tonight or tomorrow morning. 🙂

That’s it for now. See you next Sunday with another wrap up. In the meantime, keep those cards flying!

Anton Chekhov’s short story, “The Darling”

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This Saturday I drew the eight of clubs from the handful of cards remaining in my deck from my 2011 project, “Deal me in!”. This card was assigned to a Chekhov story I and read once before many years ago as part of another spate of short story reading. I hadn’t marked the story as one that I found particularly good, but it WAS Chekhov, after all, so it possibly made my 2011 short story reading list on that merit.

The story deals with a woman, Olga Semyonovna – a stereotype of the woman who possesses little or no identity of her own unless she is attached to a man. In this story, Olga “goes through” a couple husbands and a married lover until at the end her devotion settles on the little boy, Sasha, who is the son of her last lover, a veterinary surgeon.

Chekhov has some great descriptions of how she comes to think of the men she loves. One of them, who ran kind of a town theater, was away during the evenings and Olga would lament his absence and when she heard the town’s frequent crackling and banging of fireworks, “…it seemed to her that it was Kukin struggling with his destiny, storming the entrenchments of his chief foe, the indifferent public.” Later, in a key paragraph, Chekhov describes her as wanting “a love that would absorb her whole being, her whole soul and reason – that would give her ideas and an object I life, and would warm her old blood.” It’s funny that, though it seems Chekhov intends her character to be a pitiable one, many (including the great Tolstoy, apparently) saw Olga as a personification of the feminine ideal. It seems to me that a woman with a mind and ideas of her own would be a treasure much more to be preferred…

The story left me sad, and not without some sympathy for Olga, the darling. What a life it must be to have no opinions or identity of one’s own!

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