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Tag Archives: James Joyce

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 »

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:

An Act of Sustained Attention Implying Eventual Mercy

image of author steve almond

Today is theft day here at 317am, but it’ll be theft with a warm acknowledgement, so I make no apologies.  When I was wrapping up my short-story class last month, Laura, who’s been a student and a friend for awhile, … Read more »

Three Things Your Short Story Must Do

metro assorted passengers

My short story class resumes this week, and once again I’m going to have to fish or cut bait. Some new writer is going to ask me, “What is a short story, anyway?” and I’m going to have to define it. I’ll cite the usual short-story rules, but then—this happens every time—I’ll start to get queasy about it, remembering all the short stories I’ve read that ignored them. So I’ll try to rephrase the question. It’s not a matter of what a short story is, but of what it does. It does three things. Read more »