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

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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I thought I was only going to be reading a critique of 7 Russian short stories, but there is so much more depth and personality in this book. Paired with iconic short stories by Chekhov, Turgenev, Tolstoy, and Gogol, the seven essays in this book are intended for anyone interested in how fiction works and why it's more relevant than ever in these turbulent times. On the basis of this ending and one more phrase before that, Saunders seems to be reevaluating the whole story. I've taken several literature courses through the year, but never one just centering on the short story.

There is one exception, though, when the validity of interpretation can be questioned because it’s based on the utterly inadequate translation of one of the crucial sentences in the story.I’ll be honest and admit that I didn’t always enjoy the homework, but Saunders’ breakdown and analysis of the stories more than made up for that. When he talks about it, about the act of writing, as opposed to the art, you get the sense that he's given himself to it. That defining human transaction, teaching and learning through imitation, the master’s hand closed over the apprentice’s to guide it. Saunders’s concentration is often on the forward dynamic of the stories, their “tight, escalatory pattern”.

There’s the host who looks a little like an artist and a little like a professor, and whose dirt rolls off him in the pond the color of paint and ink. I have sometimes wished to be like those who could live their lives by a creed; those who decided to give their lives to a single religious precept and live every day under that credo; those who marry one person and live together for the rest of their lives.Saunders compara el comienzo de un relato con un malabarista lanzando pelotas en el aire; el resto del relato es cómo las va recogiendo. Nor did it make Hitler and his boys--murders of millions as well, and lovers of literature and music and art--more humane.

Saunders’s insights into what makes them work and why they are considered great pieces of art were also interesting—and often very funny. But nothing doing: the landowner’s a bit useless and ineffective, and anyway Marya’s preoccupied by her problems with the janitor at school, who is rude to her and hits the boys.Tienen muchas cosas en común: son historias sencillas, claras, domésticas, con un propósito —que no es otro que plantear las grandes preguntas: ¿Cómo se supone que debemos vivir la vida?

I come away from this book delighted with having had this time spent with close reading of this brilliant text, shared with a magnificent mind that is Saunders.

The tone is knowledgeable but casual — Saunders invites his students and readers to disagree with him (to employ their own “shit detectors” and trust their own tastes) — and I ended this book feeling both educated and entertained; it receives my highest recommendation. It allowed for a great range of interpretations and, while mine were not always the same as those by Saunders, I found his approach and angles fascinating. A Swim in a Pond in the Rain is a deep exploration not just of how great writing works but of how the mind itself works while reading, and of how the reading and writing of stories make genuine connection possible.



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