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Re: Reading short stories challenge 2019

Posted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 2:52 pm
by Serpent

I finally finished a weird/creepy story in Italian that I remember trying to read in 2015 :shock: It's about a serial killer with a ridiculous motivation for his crimes.
Serpent wrote:Also just curious, has anyone read/counted a story thar you read within more than one week?
As for this, I've decided that it's okay to read a story in more than one week, but you can only count it for the week you finished it, and you have to read at least one full page within that week. (if you struggle to read a page in one week you need an easier story!) Reread the last page(s) if necessary.

Re: Reading short stories challenge 2019

Posted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:32 pm
by kanewai
Ahh, I had already decided to start reading more short stories in between the longer novels, so count me in for the final stretch. My plan for the end of the year is to have one or two longer books going, and to read short stories in the other languages.

Languages and levels: Italian, French, and Spanish. Decent reading ability in all, better in French. Speaking ability fluctuates wildly.

Goal: One per week.

Books you plan to read: I'll pick from collections I already have:
Marcovaldo, Italo Calvino.
Trois contes, Gustave Flaubert
selections from the oeuvres complètes of Guy de Maupassant.
Artifices, Jorge Luis Borges (second half of Ficciones)
I also have a collection of Latin American short stories on my shelf. A lot of them look older, so I'm not sure how hard they are, or how archaic the language will be.

A link to your profile/shelf on Goodreads: Goodreads

Re: Reading short stories challenge 2019

Posted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:39 pm
by kanewai
Story 1: L'aria buono (Primavera), from Marcovaldo, ovvero Le stagioni in città

Questi bambini, – disse il dottore della Mutua, – avrebbero bisogno di respirare un po' d'aria buona, a una certa altezza, di correre sui prati... Era tra i letti del seminterrato dove abitava la famigliola, e premeva lo stetoscopio sulla schiena della piccola Teresa, tra le scapole fragili come le ali d'un uccelletto implume. I letti erano due e i quattro bambini, tutti ammalati, facevano capolino a testa e a piedi dei letti, con le gote accaldate e gli occhi lucidi.

These children, said the doctor, need fresh air, at a certain altitude, to run on the meadows ... He was in between the beds in the basement where the family lived, and pressed the stethoscope against the back of little Teresa, between her shoulder blades which were fragile like the wings of a plucked bird. There were two beds and four kids, all sick, lined up head to head in the bed, with hot cheeks and shining eyes.

Marcovaldo says the only beautiful place he can afford to send them is the streets. Domitilla says they'll all sleep under the stars once they're evicted. But the next day the two start out on an adventure to try and find their children some fresh air in the city.

- I'm really enjoying these stories. They're simple on the surface, and easy to read, but there's an underlying complexity. There seem to be a lot of websites that have the stories on them, in Italian or in translation. I'm not sure how copyright law works in Italy ... if anyone knows if these stories are public domain I'll post the links.

Re: Reading short stories challenge 2019

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 2:24 am
by kanewai
Story 2: Un coeur simple, by Gustave Flaubert. From Trois contes.

Pendant un demi-siècle, les bourgeoises de Pont-l'Évêque envièrent à Mme Aubain sa servante Félicité.

For half a century the bourgeois of Pont-l'Eveque were envious of Madame Aubain for her servant, Felicite. For the bourgeois Felicity is a perfect, dutiful, servant girl. But we soon learn that she, too, has her history of love. Elle avait eu, comme une autre, son histoire d'amour.

This is a beautiful, sad story about one quiet life. I'm not sure what to make of it. There's no real action or drama. Most of the major events happen off the page. But Flaubert has a magic about him, and writes about a servant girl with the same care that other writers would give to kings and queens.