‘The Ode Less Travelled / The Bed Potato / Interview with Philip Deaver / Interview with Stephen King / Cohen Awards

September 29, 2006

“The Ode Less Travelled”
In his review of Stephen Fry’s The Ode Less Travelled, David Orr takes on Robin Williams’ version of the English teacher John Keating in the movie Dead Poets Society, as well as Dr. J. Evans Pritchard. “As Samuel Johnson put it more than 250 years ago, anyone attempting to discuss ‘the minuter parts of literature’ usually ends up either ‘frighting us with rugged science, or amusing us with empty sound.'” Then Orr tells how Fry does neither.

The Bed Potato
Attempting never to leave his bed, Gary Shteyngart reviews the new translation of Oblomov by Ivan Goncharov. Goncharov’s hero lays in bed all day. On the third day, Shteyngart writes: “Today I will tackle Oblomov, the famous 19th-century Russian slacker novel.”

Interview with Philip Deaver
Nancy Zafris, the Kenyon Review’s fiction editor, conducts an intriguing interview with Philip Deaver, who wrote Silent Retreats, which won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. Deaver talks about craft. Read him talking about the influences on his writing: “Have you ever read John Updike’s “A Constellation of Events,” a little story buried down in his Trust Me collecdtion? The last lines kill me. Then there’s the Morrisons’ accident in Dan Chon’s “Among the Missing.” And Ann Beattie’s second swing past her mother’s house in “Find and Replace,” and her delicious little story “Waiting,” when the dog lazily comes out onto the front porch. Alice Dark’s “In the Gloaming”–those who’ve read it will remember the father saying to the mother, ‘Tell me about my son.’ Tobias Wolff’s “Powder,” Richard Ford’s “Reunion,” Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried.” Carver’s “Cathedral” and “Errand.” I like these stories for the amazing moments they gave me. There are hundreds of others.” You also can read his story “Lowell and the Rolling Thunder.”

PR Interview Stephen King
In the fall issue of the Paris Review, Stephen King talks about fiction and his approaches: “I don’t think there’s anything that I’m not afraid of, on some level. But if you mean, What are we afraid of as humans? Chaos. the outsider. We’re afraid of change. We’re afraid of disruption, and that’s what I’m interested in. I mean: There are a lot of people whose writing I really love–one fo them is the American poet Philip Booth–who writes about ordinary life straight up, but I just can’t do that.”

Cohen Awards
The 2006 Cohen Awards for the best poem and short story in the previous year’s issues of Ploughshares were given to Laura Kasischke for story “If a Stranger Approaches You about Carrying a Foreign Object with You onto the Plane…” and R.T. Smith for his poem “Dar He.”

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17 Responses to “‘The Ode Less Travelled / The Bed Potato / Interview with Philip Deaver / Interview with Stephen King / Cohen Awards”

  1. MoreNarodyNaSait Says:

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  2. I used to love Stephen King, but his more recent writings have been bland at most.

  3. Cecil Says:

    Hey!!!! Happy Thanksgiving! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
    Thanksgiving is 1 of my favorite holidays, and each yr I like to get into the mood-extend the holiday, when it were-by reading “Thanksgiving novels.” For example, these stories are mostly about family and friends, about coming together to heal old hurts and showing thanks for the gift of love. .. . ===
    Have You Been Much better Off These days Than You Had been six Yrs Ago?


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