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Monthly Archive for February, 2013

“No, we’ve never met. The hazards of fate…But I’m eager to meet her at last.” “The Gulf of the Years” marks the first instance of true time travel we’ve read about this semester. Throughout this story, Chateaureynaud maintains a sense of linear cohesion despite its temporal complexity and sprinkles in doses of irony. Although Manoir’s […]

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Dangerous Laughter

The thing I admire most about Millhauser is his ability to convert the ordinary elements of life such as laughter into something terribly dangerous or obscure. “Slowly she brought me to a pitch of wild laughter that seemed to scald my throat as sweat trickled down my neck and the bed creaked to the rhythm of […]

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“Dangerous Laughter” was one of my favorite short stories that we have read this semester.  Millhauser took a common behavior, laughter, and turned it into something deviant and bizarre.  The teenagers from the story used laughter to subside their boredom, but it became an unsafe game that eventually became tiresome.  His language and descriptions throughout […]

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He’d always been too sensitive; it was one of his countless tragedies.  On his too-tender soul, everything immediately left a mark. He urged himself to be tougher. All women were mortal. Upon reading Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud’s “The Dolceola Player,” I was struck by the manner in which he is able to transform the archetype or caricature […]

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Laughter is the Best Medicine

Deep in our inner dark, we had discovered a startling power. We became fanatics of laughter, devotees of eruption, as if these upheavals were something we hadn’t known before, something that would take us where we needed to go. The story from which the book takes its name is an odd but intense one. Throughout […]

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One night after my parents were asleep I left the house and walked across town to Bernice Alderson’s neighborhood. The drawn shade of her third-floor window was aglow with dim yellow light. On the bed in her room Mary Chapman gripped me firmly while Bernice bent over me with a serious but not unkind look. […]

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Purists

The erotic was never absent from these rumors– a fact that hardly surprised us, since those of us who were purists of laughter and disdained any crude crossing over into the sexual recognized the kinship between the two worlds. For even then we understood that our laughter, as it erupted from us in unseemly spasms, was part of the kingdom […]

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C’est la Vie

 “He saw the gaping rift, its lips half-hidden by a mess of roots, vines, and tiny trees clinging to the walls; heartened, defying the vertiginous jungle, he saw them all again, Xenia in ankle socks and ponytail, Javier already pale and jaded, Bordenave the brave, and all the rest, even himself, awkward as though he’d […]

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Beatrice

“Franz couldn’t stop looking at her. Her body was a voluptuous oblong, matte skin wrapped tightly over a gently rounded skeleton. The little gondola was made of dark wood (finest mahogany!) and embellished with brass details (every part hand-wrought!), with thick glass windows that rounded at the edges. Inside, the plush seat was embroidered with […]

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“The Faery Handbag”

Kelly Link does a beautiful job playing with belief and disbelief in this story. She lets us know that to do so is her aim by repeating “promise you won’t believe me” from the mouths of different characters. Then she introduces the idea of Baldeziwurlekistan in a way that makes possible the interpretation that Zofia […]

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Reincarnated

-‘Twas my own fault, said she when her spleen was spent:-Father wanted me to wait to wed, but I was too eager: –as indeed she was, demonstrating in our early months of matrimony so high a level of ardour that my health suffered as under unsavoury siege: though after a time I had often been […]

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“Poor thing! No one needs your dolceola; you can’t even dance to it! But Xenia needs you—down there.” I choose this quote because it is the pivotal moment in the story when reality and fantasy meet. Châteaureynaud’s story up until this point is about a man returning home after failure, which is rather normal and […]

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This is Art

“I’m a wonderful liar,” she’d say, “I’m the best liar in the world. Promise me you won’t believe a single word.” When you’re writing, it’s easy to drift hopelessly downstream from where you began. The synergy of “The Faery Handbag” by Kelly Link makes the story truly extraordinary. It causes the reader to feel engaged; like […]

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A Dreamy Relationship

What can be more fantastic than a dream? Dreams are one of the most symbolic, interesting functions of the human’s creative mind. Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s story “Eyes of a Blue Dog” shows the relationship between two people within the narrator’s head. The thing I love most about this story is that Garcia Marquez created two […]

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“Eyes of A Blue Dog”

I think that one of the reasons why this story is so compelling to me is that the fantastic element is not overwhelming factor in the story. That is not so suggest that, somehow, the other works of Chateaureynaud, Johnson, and Millhauser are overly blunt in how they approach the fantastic. Instead, it’s just particularly […]

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Accommodations obsess me. I have what you might call a housing neurosis. Most of my childhood was spent in cramped quarters (my mother sublet the cellar to me and my father), leaving me with a tendency toward claustrophobia no less crippling than the legacy of agoraphobia bequeathed me on visits to my grandparents (father’s side), […]

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Then I saw her lower her eyes again and remain with her eyes always on her brassiere, not talking. And I said to her again: “I see you.” And she raised her eyes from her brassiere again. “That’s impossible,” she said. I asked her why. And she, with her eyes quiet and on her brassiere […]

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“Eyes of a Blue Dog”

From the beginning, Garcia Marquez lets us know that something fantastic is happening in this story. The way he describes the manner in which the woman moves around the room makes her seem like she could be a ghost appearing to the man in the middle of the night, but then the way the man […]

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In the Dark

I pulled open the door and did not look back. In “The Room in the Attic” Steven Millhauser writes a coming-of-age story about a boy and his imagination. In past classes we discussed how fantastic stories often center around odd or intelligent children, most notably because they’re imaginative enough to let it happen and odd […]

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“Eyes of a Blue Dog”

            She left the orbit, sighing: “Eyes of a blue dog. I’ve written it everywhere.” “Eyes of a Blue Dog” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez was a story set within the narrator’s dream.  Despite the narrator’s longing for the woman in his dream, he was unable to remember her when he […]

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