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A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: From the Man Booker Prize-winning, New York Times-bestselling author of Lincoln in the Bardo

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Pero lo que vino después fue uno de los periodos más sangrientos de la Historia, así que es razonable concluir que no importan las cimas que la creación artística y el pensamiento puedan alcanzar, nunca es suficiente para evitar la barbarie. It is about knowing that life is full of tragedy, but feeling that a person cannot do much but live in full swing. The poet proves that language is inadequate by throwing herself at the fence of language and being bound by it. En ambos casos, puede que sea un tema de salud pública; poca gente sería capaz de digerir mis escritos o mis guisos. NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the Booker Prize–winning author of Lincoln in the Bardo and Tenth of December comes a literary master class on what makes great stories work and what they can tell us about ourselves—and our world today.

This is a resistance literature, written by progressive reformers in a repressive culture, under constant threat of censorship… The resistance in the stories is quiet, at a slant, and comes from perhaps the most radical idea of all: that every human being is worthy of attention and that the origins of every good and evil capability of the universe may be found by observing a single, even very humble, person and the turnings of his or her mind. Un efecto íntimo, probablemente diferente para cada uno de nosotros, escritores y lectores, que nos ayuda a ser un poquito mejores después de cada lectura. If you’ve never had the pleasure of taking a course in creative writing from George Saunders, this is your chance to take advantage of what he has to share without spending a semester in Syracuse, New York. I want to thank you for allowing me to guide you rather bossily through these stories, for letting me show you how I read them, why I love them. He has to find out what movement there is, and what freedom, inside the story’s particular conditions – but without cheaply magicking them away.It is so even if it has made the story more interesting for the interpretation on vampiristic and egoistic transformation of love.

It is obvious the happy person feels this way only because the unhappy ones carry their burden in silence, and without this silence the happiness would be impossible. But like a novel, it also has some space to breathe, to digress, even if only for a brief moment, to let us mull in the mud of the mundane, in the numbers of the tax man, in the slow time it takes to cut an apple into slices. I come away from this book delighted with having had this time spent with close reading of this brilliant text, shared with a magnificent mind that is Saunders. It’s just a matter of: (1) noticing ourselves responding to a work of art, moment by moment, and (2) getting better at articulating that response.Algunos de los relatos son extraordinarios pese a sus defectos (hablando desde un punto de vista académico); otros los son precisamente por sus defectos. A Swim in a Pond in the Rain is a deep exploration not just of how great writing works but of how the mind itself works while reading, and of how the reading and writing of stories make genuine connection possible. Saunders’s “A Swim in a Pond in the Rain” offers a close reading of some of the best short stories ever written. I’m moved by this clumsy work of art that seems to want to make the case that art may be clumsy if only it moves us.

In the case of “The Darling”, the English version got him quite derailed from the original in my opinion. Quieter instruments are allowed to come to the fore; our usual blaring beliefs are asked to sit quietly, horns in their laps. The Darling' proceeds faster, but along similar analysis, showing a more dialed-out view of the rhythm of a story.Based upon my Russian reading, Olenka came across as the kind, slightly unfortunate and absolutely selfless person. Not so sure anymore, of my views, and reminded that my view-maker is always a little bit off: it’s limited, it’s too easily satisfied, with too little data. And here's Saunders giving clear and matter-of-fact lessons on seven incredible short stories and explaining exactly why they are so great without diminishing the inexplicable aspects of story.

He talks about how inserting that truly beautiful thing into a story is so much more difficult than mere technical skill, and that this beauty is what truly wins over the reader in the end. I’ve sometimes wondered if this effect was intentional: a sort of apologia from Turgenev for his own lack of craft. Son como los hijos: antes de que nazcan uno sabe exactamente cómo van a ser —perfectos, adorables, inteligentes, ¿cómo podrían ser de otra forma? There is so much here that teaches us about the art of the short story form, the marvel of the Russian literary tradition (and Saunders' unquestionable love for it), as well as about living with a genuinely generous heart and open mind.I thought I was only going to be reading a critique of 7 Russian short stories, but there is so much more depth and personality in this book.

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