The Story about the Story II: Great Writers Explore Great Literature

The Story about the Story II: Great Writers Explore Great Literature

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Overview

The Story about the Story II: Great Writers Explore Great Literature by J. C. Hallman, David Foster Wallace, Zadie Smith, Margaret Atwood

The essays in The Story About the Story Vol. II chart a trajectory that digs deep into the past and aims toward a future in which literature can play a new and more profound role in how we think, read, live, and write.
In the second volume of The Story About the Story, editor J. C. Hallman continues to argue for an alternative to the staid five-paragraph-essay writing that has inoculated so many against the effects of good books. Writers have long approached writing about reading from an intensely personal perspective, incorporating their pasts and their passions into their process of interpretation. Never before collected in a single volume, the many essays Hallman has compiled build on the idea of a "creative criticism," and offers new possibilities for how to write about reading. The Story About the Story Vol. II documents not only an identifiable trend in writing about books that can and should be emulated, it also offers lessons from a remarkable range of celebrated authors that amount to an invaluable course on both how to write and how to read well. Whether they discuss a staple of the canon (Thomas Mann on Leo Tolstoy), the merits of a contemporary (Vivian Gornick on Grace Paley), a pillar of genre-writing (Jane Tompkins on Louis L’Amour), or, arguably, the funniest man on the planet (David Shields on Bill Murray), these essays are by turns poignant, smart, suggestive, intellectual, humorous, sassy, scathing, laudatory, wistful, and hopeful—and above all deeply engaged in a process of careful reading. The essays in The Story About the Story Vol. II chart a trajectory that digs deep into the past and aims toward a future in which literature can play a new and more profound role in how we think, read, live, and write.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781935639688
Publisher: Tin House Books
Publication date: 09/24/2013
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

J. C. Hallman is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. In addition to editing The Story About the Story, he is also the author of several books, including The Chess Artist, In Utopia, Wm & H'ry, and B & Me: A True Story of Literary Arousal.

Table of Contents


Ecstatically: How to Write About Reading – J.C. Hallman
Criticism – Henry James
1) The First Novel – Wendy Lesser
2) Portrait Inside My Head – Phillip Lopate
3) The Development of Anne Frank – John Berryman
4) The Only Solution to the Soul is the Senses: A Mediation on Bil Murray and Myself – David Shields
5) Their Eyes Were Watching God: What Does Soulful Mean? – Zadie Smith Hurston
6) Sonya’s Last Speech, or, Double-Voicing: An Essay in Sixteen Sections – Charles Baxter
7) Thomas Mann on Leo Tolstoy – Thomas Mann
8) The Last of the Breed: Homage to Louis L’Amour – Jane Tompkins
9) Frankenstein’s Fallen Angel – Joyce Carol Oates
10) Philip Larkin 1922 – 1985 – Martin Amis
11) Ten Ways of Looking at The Island of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells ¬– Margaret Atwood
12) Sir Gawain and the Green Knight – Michael Dirda
13) The Storyteller: Reflections on the Works of Nikolai Leskov – Walter Benjamin
14) Defoe, Truthteller – Nicholson Baker
15) The Wings of Henry James – James Thurber
16) Billy Budd – Elizabeth Hardwick
17) Certainly the End of Something or Other, One Would Sort of Have to Think – David Foster Wallace
18) Lincoln the Writer – Jacque Barzun
19) Grace Paley – Vivian Gornick
20) Theodore Dreiser – H.L. Mencken
21) Little Women – Susan Cheever
22) Stephen Crane and the Mainstream of American Fiction – Ralph Ellison
23) Joseph Conrad on Stephen Crane – Joseph Conrad
24) Brick – Francisco Goldman
25) Reflections on Willa Cather – Katherine Anne Porter
26) Trust the Tale, Not the Teller: Hans Christian Andersen – Harold Bloom

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