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Short Stories

Posted: 2015-06-08, 20:09
by IpseDixit
Personally I find short stories one of the best things you can read to practice a language. They're usually more interesting than newspaper articles (yeah, I know, this is a very personal and arguable opinion, but still) and don't require as much energy as novels do, in spite of that, alas I don't know many of them, so I've created this thread to be recommended some good short stories.

Thanks in advance to any of you who will help me with this.

Re: Short Stories

Posted: 2015-06-08, 20:10
by vijayjohn
In what language(s)?

Re: Short Stories

Posted: 2015-06-08, 20:13
by IpseDixit
vijayjohn wrote:In what language(s)?


English, French, Spanish and Portuguese, but also stuff in other languages is ok as long as there is a translation in at least one of the four above-mentioned languages.

---

My favourite genres are sci-fi, dystopian, fantasy and horror, but I accept also other genres.

Re: Short Stories

Posted: 2015-06-08, 20:36
by linguoboy
IpseDixit wrote:My favourite genres are sci-fi, dystopian, fantasy and horror, but I accept also other genres.

Have you read any Arthur Machen?

Re: Short Stories

Posted: 2015-06-08, 20:39
by IpseDixit
linguoboy wrote:
IpseDixit wrote:My favourite genres are sci-fi, dystopian, fantasy and horror, but I accept also other genres.

Have you read any Arthur Machen?

No, I haven't, in fact I've never heard of him. :\ I'll check him out.

Re: Short Stories

Posted: 2015-06-09, 1:57
by vijayjohn
IpseDixit wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:In what language(s)?


English, French, Spanish and Portuguese, but also stuff in other languages is ok as long as there is a translation in at least one of the four above-mentioned languages.

---

My favourite genres are sci-fi, dystopian, fantasy and horror, but I accept also other genres.

Well, for French, there's always Jules Verne. For Spanish, there's Jorge Luis Borges and Julio Cortázar. There's also a Peruvian folklorist named Ricardo Palma who IIRC included some rather unrealistic stories, although my memory of that is very hazy now. I don't think I've ever read anything by Horacio Quiroga, but you might find his stories interesting, too, if you're not already more familiar with him than I am. :lol: I'm not sure what to recommend for Portuguese since I haven't read anything in it really. :para:

And then for English, I can recommend at least Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, Joan Aiden, and Stephen Vincent Benét. (That's all that I can think of right now, but I'll let you know if I think of anything else and you want any other recommendations).

For other languages (with translations into English), I'd like to mention Zhang Jie and Hwang Sunwon, who have both written great short stories even though I'm not sure any of them are really up your alley. :P There's also a great short story by R. K. Narayan called "Like the Sun," which is in English originally. That's probably not really what you're interested in, either, but I thought I'd mention it because out of the many short stories he's written, this is the only one I've read that's actually good. :lol:

Re: Short Stories

Posted: 2015-06-20, 17:19
by Tenebrarum
IpseDixit wrote:My favourite genres are […] and horror

Have you read any Montague Rhodes James? Really good if you want to imitate the style of a meticulous turn-of-the-century Oxbridge scholar.

Re: Short Stories

Posted: 2015-06-20, 17:28
by linguoboy
M.R. James is sort of the epitome to me of that genteel school of Victorian ghost story writing. Very elegant, but good for a slight shudder at most.

But this reminds me of one of my favourite American horror writers, Manly Wade Wellman. He makes really effective use of American folklore and rural settings in his short fiction. He also wrote science fiction, but I haven't read any of it, so I can speak to it at all.

Re: Short Stories

Posted: 2015-06-20, 20:40
by Tenebrarum
linguoboy wrote:Very elegant, but good for a slight shudder at most.

Of all the horror writers I've read, he scares me the most actually. He doesn't try to create a heavy or spooky air right from the start, but instead a civil and yes, genteel atmosphere. But then the horror elements start creeping in in a most casual of ways, so when it finally hits you, it's really a rude awakening. Civility, humanity, knowledge, the comforts of an 'enlightened' age... all suddenly prove fragile in the face of an ancient and supernatural threat. To me James edges out American counterparts like Ambrose Bierce thanks to that trademark learned-man, antiquarian style of his, a niche that no one on the other side of the pond seems to be interested in occupying. But I realise that isn't a fair comparison, since it's only convincing to make believable connnections and allusions to myths and figures that date back to the Antiquity and beyond when you live in the Old World.

Re: Short Stories

Posted: 2015-06-21, 18:41
by IpseDixit
Thanks for all suggestions, I'll check them out.

Re: Short Stories

Posted: 2015-06-21, 18:57
by vijayjohn
Just one more short story writer I'd like to recommend for French because he's considered one of the fathers of the modern short story and his stories are classic, even though they're realist rather than examples of fantasy and such: Guy de Maupassant.

Re: Short Stories

Posted: 2015-06-21, 20:54
by linguoboy
vijayjohn wrote:Just one more short story writer I'd like to recommend for French because he's considered one of the fathers of the modern short story and his stories are classic, even though they're realist rather than examples of fantasy and such: Guy de Maupassant.

Maupassant wrote fantastic stories as well. "Le horla", for instance, which prefigured the horror of H.P. Lovecraft, among others.

Re: Short Stories

Posted: 2015-11-30, 15:45
by linguoboy
IpseDixit wrote:Thanks for all suggestions, I'll check them out.

So, any feedback? Who did you enjoy, who bored you, and who haven't you gotten around to reading yet?

Re: Short Stories

Posted: 2015-12-09, 14:07
by IpseDixit
linguoboy wrote:
IpseDixit wrote:Thanks for all suggestions, I'll check them out.

So, any feedback? Who did you enjoy, who bored you, and who haven't you gotten around to reading yet?


Well, the library I usually go to doesn't have any of them (not in my target languages at least) and for now I don't feel like purchasing them because I already have a heap of unread books in my personal library so new ones would be unncessary. I only read two collections of short stories in Spanish on ebook which I bought on Amazon for something like 1 euro each, but they were quite bland.