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“Fashion is an expression of boredom, of restlessness. The successful designer understands the ferocity of that boredom and provides it with new places in which to calmits rage for a while.” In “A Change in Fashion,” vanishing, exaggeration, and boredom is a continuous theme that brings out the human experience of infatuation with what appears […]

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Precursors

     

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A Response to “Deer Season”

Every day here is like deer season.  We are allowed to flourish in this space free of men our age, only seeing them when we choose, allowed to be more genuine relaxed versions of ourselves.  Do we appreciate it enough?  For us, it’s more than just one day a year, so the novelty wears off. […]

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The other town, when we enter, suddenly casts over our town a therness, an otherness, which we find pleasing, if a little confusing. It’s almost as if we can’t feel our town, cannot know about it, until we’re there, in the other town, imagining our town on the other side of the woods. So perhaps […]

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“I felt like a damn fool whenever I actually said anything about this kind of feeling and she looked at me like she could start hating me real easy and so I was working on saying nothing, even if it meant locking myself up.” Butler chooses to have us read this story from first person point […]

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“But now she appears from the hallway and I look at her and she is still slim and she is beautiful, I think—at least I clearly remember that as her husband I found her beautiful in this state. Now, though, she seems too naked. Plucked. I find that a sad thing. I am sorry for […]

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“The Dome” by Millhauser

For the dome, but you say, how to transform the entire country into a gigantic mall, whose sole purpose is to encourage feverish consumption.” (p. 118)   Millhauser’s short story, “The Dome,” has an extremely fantastic world in which these domes are invented that are able to cover, protect, and isolate a house. Then the […]

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Millhauser’s “The Dome”

  Indeed, one might argue that under the regime of the Dome, the country has become not a mall but an immense hall of entertainment, in which every citizen is a player. Certain unpleasant facts of life—rundown neighborhoods, traffic accidents, robberies, drive-by shootings—are in this view taken less seriously, since they are felt to be […]

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The Pard

Read this article and then compose a short short story that makes use of the fantastic. Your story should be entitled “The Pard.” You will then read it to the class.

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[T]hat single word, “love,” was trying to compress within itself a multitude of meanings, was trying to take many precise and separate feelings and crush them into a single mushy mass, which I was being asked to hold in m y hands like a big sticky ball. We’ve talked a lot about the choices a […]

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You turned slowly to me. I remember the lazy roll of your head, your cheek against the vinyl strips, your hair flattened on one side, your eyelids sleepy. You said, “Do you love me?” Your voice was flirtatious, easy—you weren’t asking me to put a doubt to rest. I smiled, opened my mouth to answer, […]

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I’ve seen krill accelerate toward the maw of Team Whale, streaming bubbles, a mute shrimp battle cry.” (p.140) In Russell’s short story, “Dougbert Shackleton’s Rules for Antarctic Tailgating,” the narrator goes into detail about these Food Chain Games in the Antarctic between whales and krill. This story is very fantastical because it takes this wild, […]

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Characters that Inhabit Fantastical Elements  There are a couple of confusing elements in this story.  First, the characters have the same names.  Secondly, the characters have the same personality traits as the person they are named after. Though this is confusing it brings forth an interesting idea that there is no individual identity and that […]

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Karin Tidbeck’s “Beatrice”

“‘I learned from falling in love with that Koenig & Bauer. Infatuation is worth nothing. It has nothing to do with the real world.’ She nodded at the steam engine looming in the corner by her bed. ‘Me and Hercules, we have an understanding. We take care of each other. It’s a better kind of […]

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Although the laugh parlors existed in fact, for we all attended them and even began to form clubs of our own, they also continued to lead a separate and in a sense higher existence in the realm of rumor, which had the effect of lifting them into the inaccessible and mythical.” p. 78 In this […]

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Link, “The Faery Handbag”

It was hard to pick a good quote from this story because there were so many that could be discussed. I know that no one is going to believe any of this. That’s okay. If I thought you would, then I couldn’t tell you. Promise me that you won’t believe a word. This story is […]

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“Faery Handbag”

Zofia has never seen such a place. There were trains and electric lights and movie theaters, and there were people shooting each other. Bombs were falling. A war going on. Most of the villagers decided to climb right back inside the handbag, but Zofia volunteered to stay in the world and look after the handbag. […]

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It’s kind of like if you went through the wardrobe in the Narnia books, only instead of finding Aslan and the White Witch and horrible Eustace, you found this magic clothing world–instead of talking animals, there were feather boas and wedding dresses and bowling shoes, and paisley shirts and Doc Martens and everything hung up […]

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No, the real division was between the visible world and that other world, where Isabel waited for me like a dark dream. (p.63) The story “The Room in the Attic” by Millhauser becomes extremely fantastical when Isabel is introduced. From the beginning of their friendship, David doesn’t even know if she is real, or if […]

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“He said that the purpose of books was to permit us to exercise that faculty. Art, he said, was a controlled madness, which was why the people who selected books for high school English classes were careful to choose only false books that were discussable, boring, and sane, or else, if they chose a real […]

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