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

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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He links each story to a specific aspect of writing and this gives structural reality to his ideas in a way that I've never seen a writing book do before. A medida que empiezan a crecer se revelan… un poquito menos perfectos, pero no importa, los quieres igual, así, con sus defectillos que a fin de cuenta han heredado de ti. En ambos casos, puede que sea un tema de salud pública; poca gente sería capaz de digerir mis escritos o mis guisos. Turgenev spent a good part of his life in the household of Pauline Viardot, one of the greatest opera singers at the time, and her husband. There is no strengths to continue living, but in any case one needs to live and one really wants to live!

A master class in reading great short stories by Russian masters, we first actually read a Saunders-chosen story. The world is full of people with agendas, trying to persuade us to act on their behalf (spend on their behalf, fight and die on their behalf, oppress others on their behalf). Una gran historia cumple con las expectativas creadas, pero nunca de la manera más directa y previsible; eso defraudaría al lector. What I appreciated is how Turgenev showed that the passion for vocal art is universal and that these two schools of thought about vocalism can be instinctively felt by anyone, including the impoverished peasants in the remote and isolated lands. Es lo que él llama escalar los acontecimientos: cada frase añade algo más a lo anterior, el relato nunca se está quieto.

Those two best versions of us, in a moment of reading, exit our usual selves and, at a location created by mutual respect, become one. After each, he steps us through how he reads them and how to feel them (not what to feel but what to think about), figure out what the authors are doing, what they might have done differently, and why the stories work just as they are. 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.

He continues that it should be someone with a little hammer standing behind and knocking to remind the happy people about this fact. Yes, it sounds like it would be tedious, banal, tiresome, irksome, but, no, it's the complete opposite of that. The servant girl is, in Saunders’s view, “a reminder that beauty is an unavoidable, essential part of life; it keeps showing up and we keep responding to it, our theoretical positions notwithstanding, and if we ever stop responding to it, we have become more corpse than person. It is so even if it has made the story more interesting for the interpretation on vampiristic and egoistic transformation of love.

It seems to me that Saunders thinks that Ivan is a bit of a hypocrite on the basis that he enjoys his swim and is content while preaching the impossibility of happiness. In the last story, “Alesha the Pot”, he talks about a young lad who subdued his personality to the desires of his superiors. Their passion for literature (evident in their questions from the floor, our talks at the signing table, the conversations I've had with book clubs) has convinced me that there's a vast underground network for goodness at work in the world---a web of people who've put reading at the center of their lives because they know from experience that reading makes them more expansive, generous people and makes their lives more interesting. In reading, though, don’t we feel it the other way round: as if the story were only there so that for a moment we can contemplate the truth of the detail, of the experience?

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