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Advice for New Writers

The Short Story According to Joyce Carol Oates and Edgar Allan Poe

Photo of Joyce Carol Oates

I’m teaching a course in “Contemporary American Short Stories” this spring, and, in effort to understand what makes a good short story from the ground up, I’ve been reading quite a lot written by writers who are acknowledged masters of … Read more »

Donald Antrim and the Case of the Vanishing Epiphany

Photo of author Donald Antrim.

Faithful readers of 317am know I’ve been on an epiphany kick lately. What got me started was reading a story in the New Yorker a month or so back (“Ever Since” by Donald Antrim), a story in which that essential … Read more »

“The Dead”: James Joyce on a Roll

photo of James Joyce.

When a meme morphs across intellectual boundaries, the results can be unpredictable and extraordinarily powerful. In my previous post, “How James Joyce Reinvented the Epiphany and Saved the Short Story,” I told how the great Irish modernist borrowed a concept … Read more »

How James Joyce Reinvented the Epiphany and Saved the Short Story

Photo of James Joyce.

I’ve been working up a new course this spring in the contemporary short story. To get a sense of what makes for a good short story, I’ve gone back to ground zero – that is, I’ve been reading various acknowledged … Read more »

How To Blog About Books You Haven’t Read

Photo of Pierre Bayard.

Regulars at 317am may have noticed that I’ve been pushing the envelope lately – blogging about movies I haven’t seen one day and about romance novels I haven’t read another. Ordinarily, I’d would feel uneasy about this sort of chutzpah, … Read more »

A Perfect Sentence or Two

Photo of novelist Jhumpa Lahiri.

In a beautifully written essay in last Sunday’s New York Times, the novelist and short story Jhumpa Lahiri cites an unforgettable sentence from a story by James Joyce titled “Araby.” Here it is: