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2013 Nobel Prize in Literature Laureate Alice Munro : Paris Review's 1994 interview "the Secret of a Great Story"

2013 Nobel Prize in Literature Laureate Alice Munro : Paris Review's 1994 interview "the Secret of a Great Story" | Interesting Reading to learn English -intermediate - advanced (B1, B2, C1,) | Scoop.it
The Paris Review is a literary magazine featuring original writing, art, and in-depth interviews with famous writers.

And also:

2013 Nobel Prize in Literature Laureate Alice Munro on the Secret of a Great Story

http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/10/11/alice-munro-on-stories/

 

what, then, makes a story great?

 

The question ... has occupied the minds of some of our most celebrated storytellers. Kurt Vonnegut had his eight tips and Barnaby Conrad his six, Ken Burns devised a formula, and John Steinbeck defied the very notion of such formulas. 

 

In the introduction to her 1996 anthology Selected Stories (public library), 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature laureate Alice Munro (b. 1931) adds to the collected wisdom of great writers and builds a beautiful metaphor ...

 

"A story is not like a road to follow … it’s more like a house. You go inside and stay there for a while, wandering back and forth and settling where you like and discovering how the room and corridors relate to each other, how the world outside is altered by being viewed from these windows. And you, the visitor, the reader, are altered as well by being in this enclosed space, whether it is ample and easy or full of crooked turns, or sparsely or opulently furnished. You can go back again and again, and the house, the story, always contains more than you saw the last time. It also has a sturdy sense of itself of being built out of its own necessity, not just to shelter or beguile you."

 

 

In a 1994 Paris Review interview, she offers a curious counterpoint to the notion that the reading experience of a story is ever-evolving, by observing that so is its writing experience.....

 

” Munro notes that whenever she begins writing a story, she doesn’t fully know what it will be or where it will go — which is exactly as it should be:

 

"Any story that’s going to be any good is usually going to change."

 

And that, perhaps, is the gift of great literature: The invitation to continually discover and rediscover ourselves, both as readers and as writers, in the perpetually evolving experience of a good story.

 

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La clé des langues Rebelling as a female in the 18th and 19th century literature. From Pamela to Jane Eyre: a path to equality? B2 C1

This article intends to study and compare the way Pamela, Richardson's early heroine of the novel genre, and Charlotte Brontë's romantic Jane, rebel.

A very interesting article Level  B2, C1  Advanced

 

 "  The two famous novels under consideration in this article, Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded and Jane Eyre, an Autobiography are linked by the theme of rebellion, that is to say by their heroines' strong incentive to oppose authority or domination.

 

Not only does this theme demonstrate the importance of the novel as a vehicle for social protest, but it also underlines the fact that both Pamela and Jane are placed, at one point at least, in opposition to an established authority.

 

This opposition that we term rebellion is to be distinguished both from mere resistance and from an act of aggression - a condition both heroines fall into when they become harmful to themselves or to their male counterparts. While rebellion posits itself as a sensible, organised, and open manoeuvre, aggression might be associated with a loss of control. The open aspect of rebellion seems particularly telling in the context of fictional writing because, as protagonists' rebellions, they are widely exposed, which does not mean that the writers were clear about the exact nature of their claims......

 

 

.   Almost a century later, a woman, Charlotte Brontë, gave voice to Jane Eyre, whose attitude towards life and narrative challenged the norms of society. Set in the middle of the 19th century, her novel both partakes of the same tradition as Richardson's and differs from it. Lucy Hughes-Hallet rightly claims that Jane Eyre is simultaneously a "wish-fulfillment fantasy", "a romantic melodrama" and a "revolutionary text" (1991, introduction, vii). The text is romantic in the sense that it incorporates themes from romantic poetry. Jane and Rochester, that stereotypical Byronic hero, are driven by a desire to overcome their own limitations and that of society. This commitment might even result in welcoming death as a way of escape. Interestingly however, when Jane thinks about lying and letting herself die, she experiences a remembrance of God that saves her from despair. The novel thus appears as only partly and ambiguously romantic...........

 

The fusing of the routine and the romantic but also of the prosaic elements in women's ordinary, dull lives and the Gothic nightmare is revealing as far as the subversive dimension of romantic novels is concerned.

The romance genre is in fact encouraging women to be dissatisfied with inequality because it serves as an inducer for greater self-knowledge. While the genre used to be considered as dangerous mainly because of the way it distorted reality, it is the presentation of events itself which is subversive in Jane Eyre

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Paris Review -A long interview of, Norman Rush , an unconventional writer “some of the most extraordinary pages written by a contemporary American novelist.”...

Paris Review -A long interview of, Norman Rush ,  an unconventional writer “some of the most extraordinary pages written by a contemporary American novelist.”... | Interesting Reading to learn English -intermediate - advanced (B1, B2, C1,) | Scoop.it
The Paris Review is a literary magazine featuring original writing, art, and in-depth interviews with famous writers.

 

I couldn' stop reading this long, & so interesting interview of Norman Rush & his wife Elsa,  very creative & unconventional people who had an unusual life.. Never heard of him before, but I am sure going to read his books very soon....

 

" Rush has written three books in this attic (a4th is almost complete).The three are all set in Botswana, where he and Elsa worked as Peace Corps co-directors from 1978 to 1983. Rush’s first, Whites, a story collection, appeared in 1986...

 

The 2d, "Mating ".. which won the National Book Award, is charged by the voice of its narrator, an antically observant and linguistically stellar female graduate student (she never tells us her name), who crosses the Kalahari alone to find a secretive utopian village—all in pursuit of the village’s founder, the seductive polymath Nelson Denoon.

 

Both an adventure story and a “novel of ideas,” Mating is also a microscopic, Lawrentian examination of an embattled courtship. In a recent poll sponsored by

 

The New York Times Book Review, Rush’s fellow writers voted Matingone of the best American novels of the last quarter century. The votes came entirely from novelists younger than forty....

 

Although Mating remains his most widely-known work, Rush’s third book, Mortals (2003), has generated an even more fervid evangelism. Mortals is another hybrid giant, its many moving parts observed and gauged by Ray Finch, an amusingly imperfect forty-seven-year-old CIA operative (and Milton scholar) forced into crisis by the end of the Cold War. Ray is so rigidly and fearfully in love with his wife, Iris, that he ......

 

a succession of tour de force scenes—interrogations, imprisonment, paramilitary battles, and break-up sex—that the critic James Wood has called “some of the most extraordinary pages written by a contemporary American novelist.”...

 

Any account of Rush’s working life should acknowledge Elsa’s role, or roles. She is his most significant editor, and character model, as well as his daily muse and companion.

 

She was born Elsa Scheidt, to an FBI special agent, whose career took his family from North Carolina to New York City but did not prevent him from blessing her marriage to the professed radical she had met at Swarthmore College. Along with her Peace Corps directorship, she has worked as a handweaver, designer, and teacher of design, and as the director of a program for “dependent and neglected” children. She is slightly taller than Norman and looks younger, with striking blue eyes.

 

....In the comically Rushian gestation of this interview—three years, over 500 transcript pages—among the most addictive pleasures were the days-long e-mail chains with Elsa..& Norman...

 

Elsa’s involvement in Norman’s writing was a running topic in our conversations. .... it seemed natural to include her in the interview. The final revisions of the edited transcripts were, just as naturally, a three-way effort........

 

...................

 

INTERVIEWER How did you end up in prison?

RUSH That was earlier, during the Korean War. I was in college, and had committed myself to what was then called absolutist pacifism. When I got my draft notice, I wrote a letter to Eisenhower saying I wasn’t going to go.

 

INTERVIEWER Did you apply for conscientious-objector status?

 

RUSH To be a CO at the time you had to stipulate a belief in a supreme being. I wasn’t going to do that. I was seriously committed, and anyway it all happened very quickly. The FBI came and got me at school in Los Angeles. I had a trial, pleaded no contest, was sentenced to two years. Directly from the courthouse to L.A. County jail for two weeks. Then they drove me to San Diego, then Tucson.  

 

INTERVIEWER Were you in with the general population?  

 

RUSH Sure, but it was a minimum-security prison. There were a few other draft resisters, mostly Quakers, and also these fascinating people who had committed lewd acts on federal properties. And what we called “uniform fruits”: people caught impersonating federal officers. Some Mexicans, too, who had been caught crossing the border once too often. I made some good friends in there, including a few of the Mexicans, though I haven’t seen them in years.

 

INTERVIEWER How were you able to write in prison?......."

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