in alphabetical order
‘La femme adultère’, Albert Camus, 1957
‘So Much Water So Close to Home’, Raymond Carver, 19??
‘Draupadi’, Mahaswetha Devi, 1997
‘The Yellow Wallpaper’, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 1892
‘Diary of a Mad, Old Man’, Nikolai Gogol, 1835
‘The Metamorphosis’, Franz Kafka, 1915
‘The Basque and Bijou’, Anaïs Nin, 1978
‘A Perfect Day for Bananafish’, JD Salinger, 1948
‘The Tattooer’, Jun’ichirō Tanizaki, 1910
1. These are some of my favourites, not all of them. I can’t remember half the stuff I’ve read. Too bad, huh?
2. The Nin is a surprising choice considering my waning interest in her work. However, ‘The Basque and Bijou’ is probably the best story from Delta of Venus. It’s one of those rare erotic stories I like re-reading. It also fits remarkably well into the short story genre. And like a good erotic story, it is erotic.
3. I resisted the Kafka. He is one of my favourite writers, but the only short story I’ve read is ‘The Metamorphosis’. For the moment, it shall be a placeholder for what may possibly be my favourite short story of his.
4. I don’t seem to have read much contemporary short fiction. Two names I remember: Gordimer (powerful, but not great, I don’t think) and Marquez (better novelist, unlike Gordimer).
5. I should read more contemporary short fiction.
6. If I were to shorten this list to five, it would read: Camus, Carver, Gilman, Gogol, Tanizaki.
7. The Gogol was a difficult choice.
8. I am very iffy about the Devi. It’s too experimental, too -isty for my taste. But it did make a big impression.
9. I haven’t read any of Dostoevsky‘s short stories!
10. I was very tempted to have nine points to be “even.” Then I laughed at myself.
11. Shouldn’t I have some Chekhov in there? For some reason I only remember his plays.
12. I refuse to include Maupassant in this list. (I was recently accused of liking Maupassant. Screw you, bitch!)
13. Oh yes, the list was originally ‘Ten short stories,’ but I couldn’t think of a tenth. And yay, thirteen!