Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Why I read

Again, I have been thinking a lot about why I read, and in particular why I read short stories and looking even deeper into that question, why I have chosen to read the “Best American Short Stories”.

I found the answer in an interview that I was reading this morning. A piece of reading that – surprise – is not what I should be reading. But please look forward to a post sometime in the future with me complaining that I am not making any headway in my efforts to plow through the BASS.

Tobias Wolff in The Paris Review Fall 2004 issue no. 171.

That’s the way we view our lives, by way of stories. Jesus taught mostly in stories—in parables: the good Samaritan, the woman at the well, the prodigal son. The teachings of that ancient Taoist text the Chuang Tzu are essentially a series of parables that force the mind into unexpected avenues of consideration and intuition. That’s what story can do that statement can’t do, axiom can’t do, rules and commandments can’t do. And that’s why Chekhov with his freedom from programs and vulgar designs continues to have this power over us.

Full interview can be found here.

So – there it is. Simply.

No let me go read something other than what I should be reading. – ugh -

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