Monday, November 7, 2011

Saturday, October 8, 2011

"Bullet in the Brain," by Tobias Wolff.


Think about how Wolff uses exposition in this story...  Trace the "now" back to the "then," and back again.
What are the differences between the voice of the story and the main character of the story?
What work does the "bullet" do narratively?

"The Shawl" by Cynthia Ozick

"The Shawl" by Cynthia Ozick.


How does the voice of this story convey such intense emotion?
How does Ozick characterize these characters without re-victimizing them?
Point out some "objective-corellatives" Ozick uses...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

My Story, "The Wedding of Tom to Tom"

I know, I know.  Arrogant.  But this story is pretty good and I think we can learn some stuff from it...

"The Wedding of Tom to Tom."

How are two stories in this story combined into one?
How are the main characters revealed? 
What's at stake, both for the narrator and for the main characters?

Alice Munro's "The Bear Came over the Mountain"

"The Bear Came over the Mountain."

What's the narratibve strategy?  How does Munro "frame" this story?
How does the voice of the story reveal what the story is about?
How does Munro flesh out her characters (both major and minor)?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Donald Barthelme's "The School"

"The School"

How does the voice in this story dictate the structure of the narrative?
How do the scenes come at you?  Where do scenes begin and scenes end?
What's the rhetroical strategy of this story?

Franz Kafka's "A Hunger Artist"

"A Hunger Artist"

A few questions:
Compare the narrative style Kafka uses with the one O'Connor uses in "Good Man."  Similarities and differences and why.
Who is this "Hunder Artist"?  How is he revealed to us?
What's the major crisis moment of the story?

Katherine Anne Porter's "The Jilting of Granny Weatherall"

"The Jilting of Granny Weatherall"

How is this story framed?
Explain the voice of the story...  How does Porter reveal character through language?
How does exposition work in this story?  What's happening in the now, and what's happening in the past?  How do they come together in Porter's narrative?

John Updike's "A&P"


A few questions:
Why this narrator?
How many scenes?
Let me know about how the actualities develop into theme...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man Is Hard to Find"

Here's a link to your first assignment.  Please read and take notes about how this story works, what makes it tick:

Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man Is Hard to Find."

A few questions:
How does O'Connor provide momentum in her narrative? 
How do the scenes work?  (Break the story into movements/scenes, and figure out exactly how many scenes, and how O'Connor manipulates characters in these scenes to provide the meaning that is manifested in the finale.)
What if the family had NOT been killed?  What would the story be?