Saturday, December 01, 2007

Stories and essays

I love to read. I'll read just about anything, with few exceptions. I have little patience for erotica that disguises itself as romance. I'm not terribly fond of futuristic fiction. Technical works (computers, engineering . . . ) put me to sleep. Other than those, I'm game for almost anything.

Even though I love most types of books, two of my favorite types of writing are short stories and essays. I love the economy of words that those styles require. It's the type of writing that I attempted, despite my mostly insipid style. :)

My favorite short story is Maxine Hong Kingston's "On Discovery." It's one of the shortest I've ever read -- just 661 words -- but it speaks to me so powerfully. "Articulate silence" was a phrase that was used liberally when I was in graduate school, but it feel right when describing this work. I wish that it was in the public domain so that I could link to it, but alas, it is not. I have it in this book. There are several other excellent stories as well, but "On Discovery" is my favorite.

I can, however, link to the full text of one of my favorite essays, "Regrets for my Old Dressing Gown" by Denis Diderot. I can't say why I like it so much. It's not a particularly touching essay, but I find it so amusing that I find myself smiling and nodding and laughing each time I read it.

1 comment:

Fresh Girl said...

We're so different in our reading tastes! There are some short stories and essays I've loved, but by and large I much prefer immersing myself in a novel so that it swallows me whole. I like a long journey through fiction (or non-fiction, even). I suppose this is mirrored in my own writing style, in that I'm not exactly the soul of brevity. ;)