Everything in just seven pages
Thank you for the lesson. It makes me think of new things that I want to try.
¡ooʇ sǝıɹoʇs pooɥplıɥɔ ǝsoɥʇ ssıɯ I
Really enjoyed this story and the rest of the collection as well. Thanks for picking it apart here - love to step back and see the layers of meaning in language. And the recent Deep Dives have jolted me back into writing and I'm absolutely loving it so thank you for all the time you're putting into this substack.
I got about 100 pages deep and completely forgot about this, but I did enjoy the stories. Will make time to read the rest between reading and writing tasks all day everyday forever.
Can you elaborate on the "Soren Kierkegaard's man of business" reference? Googled this exact phrase but didn't find what I wanted to read. Is the one line there your metaphor for Kierkegaard's "stay busy so as not to be aware of a lack of self" observation? Or is there an actual story there to be read? (If so, I'd love to read it
Isn’t Mark Richards the author of ‘Fish Boy’? I recall you talking about how everyone liked the short story but when it got turned into a novel, it didn’t really work to the same effect.
amazon -> through the safety net -> "Customers who bought this item also bought..." (surprise surprise) "... Chuck Palahniuk: The Invention of Sound" and that's it. The customers who bought that item didn't buy anything else.
Thanks for the analysis and also literature tip.
I’ve got the Mark Richards book you recommended--and am looking forward to your dissection of the story. Just ordered the Baxter one though... just saw it available.
Thanks! I enjoy your deep dives. Now, I’m going to wonder about the meaning of every gnarled tree I read/see!
Thank you for the deep dive on this one. The stories in that book have been quite enjoyable.
Love the gems you put in this post.
"To me a perfect short story ends at the threshold of a powerful new beginning, for good or bad." Does that mean the ending is kind of like a transition that prompts a final question within the reader?
“Characters talk in clever tennis match dialog, and Baxter can do this because it’s not supposed to be vital and fresh.”￼
Thanks for this insight! It would be really cool to see a list (or series) of examples of more of these types of situational outliers for breaking the minimalist rules. How they work, why they work, and most importantly how/why they can be ruined if you don’t pull it off effectively. That would be very helpful!
Jordan Peterson talks about Hank Williams. An absolutely supreme description of what to aim for in general and writing as well I think. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMyB_8eWfak
Not related. I'm wondering about the use of cards when writing a story. Considering main chapters as short stories i will have to put all in order at some point. Are cards, or post it a good way to go ?
Baxter's abstract characters but intentional language, down to the "crystal" wine glass that Dinah raises to Jake at dinner. Like a crystal ball. The abstract way these characters are allows the impending apocalypse to strike so shockingly, because the unserious becomes serious. It would've totally changed the ending, to have fully unpacked, well-rounded characters. Gatsby starts out giant, and ends tiny. Through the Safety Net starts in the mundane and ends in the woo-woo. Gah. I love this story.