- Sam Coll reads an extract from Grace
- A Mysterious and Unparalleled Vision: Joy Williams on Her New and Collected Stories
- Let Grace Paley Inspire Your Creativity and Activism in 2017
- The Collected Stories by Grace Paley
Free association is just right for psychology. But these Jews are made of history, and they talk in long sentences, especially to themselves. Do you have the feeling that you are working this way with dialogues? That has to be happening, you have to have, if not two people speaking to each other, one head speaking to the other, I mean from one side to the other.
It has a job to do. I think people, in a lot of my stories, really think in whole sentences, they do not just smear the paper up. But it is an argument, almost every story is an argument of some kind. You write it because you do not know something, you write what you do not know about, otherwise you would not bother to write. Question: A lot of your work is based upon dialogues.
Did you reject the idea of drama?
I mean theater is a whole different subject, and it is one that I think I have no gift or patience for, because all I can do is to sit in a room and try to write a few words of a story, and do all the other things I wanted to do. I never had an urge particularly to do it. I mean, it is not a solitary business. I think the people who write for the theater should be in the theater, and not just sit in some place and write it.
Sam Coll reads an extract from Grace
I do not understand how they could do it without whatever it is that makes a dramatic event. Question: What do you think of one of your stories being performed before you today? I like seeing things, I am just not good at doing them. Question: One thing that readers remark about your fiction is some sense of optimism that comes for instance with the character Faith — the humor and an optimistic view of life. Some critics locate this in your experience as a Jew, some locate it in your experience as a woman, or as an immigrant, or in an immigrant family.
These are all positions of alterity, and so I want to ask two questions: Do you have a sense of your optimistic spirit being located in any particular position, or any combination of positions? And could you say something about the relationship between alterity and optimism? I am specifically optimistic but not generally optimistic. I think a lot of it comes from the position of my family and their attitude.
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Talking about being Jewish and all that; when I was a kid, my father had certain kinds of different attitudes with some people. I remember we used to travel, we tried and go to see New England. My parents wanted to see all of America, which they were in love with already. They wanted to see everything, and they never did. So there was very little rage about it, or whatever it was. I just grew up thinking these other people were quite crazy and stupid, not to like a wonderful little family like ours. I think, things like that really affect your character more than what you read in newspapers.
I do not even have to think about it, that is who I am, and that is the way it is. In Vermont, I have to enhance myself, I have to find my sisters and brothers [ I attend to it by being a member of the community which means money, and attending services sometimes, not too much. My parents were totally agnostic; my father was enragedly anti-religious; he would not even step into a synagogue. But on the other hand, he allowed me to take my grand-mother there. But the self-hating Jew business that was brought up in New York by many people was not something to think about because there was nothing like that in my family.
It was just a simple young couple about nineteen, twenty years old who left Russia and who ran away from the orthodoxy of the Jews and who were very anti-religious and very Jewish. That is who they were and that is the way it was. Question: Talking about your parents, I was wondering whether your parents were Zionists? I want to be the woman who brings these two books back in two weeks.
I want to be the effective citizen who changes the school system and addresses the Board of Estimate on the troubles of this dear urban center. I wanted to have been married forever to one person, my ex-husband or my present one. Either has enough character for a whole life, which as it turns out is really not such a long time. Just this morning I looked out the window to watch the street for a while and saw that the little sycamores the city had dreamily planted a couple of years before the kids were born had come that day to the prime of their lives.
I decided to bring those two books back to the library.
A Mysterious and Unparalleled Vision: Joy Williams on Her New and Collected Stories
Which proves that when a person or an event comes along to jolt or appraise me I can take some appropriate action, although I am better known for my hospitable remarks. View all posts by Biblioklept. Like Like. Smart, odd, often sharp, scathing, precise, etc. I love this story! It is so witty, tender, sad and funny all rolled into one. Plus admirably concise. This is one of my favorite short stories ever. I need to react. We had an interesting discussion about the differences between the two during our online class. A […]. You are commenting using your WordPress.
You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. As a matter of fact, my reports following my journey through North Vietnam in were mostly poems.
Let Grace Paley Inspire Your Creativity and Activism in 2017
A lot of other writers were involved too. There were lots of readings. Poets rode around the city reading from trucks. No egotism allowed, no, Oh how bad I feel about all of this. Irene Fornes presented a Vietnamese wedding. Wally Zuckerman, who used to build harpsichords, created the wind instruments used in the windy forest of Indochina.
How important do you think it is for the writer to rise up at moments like that? Is it good? You have to make music of it somehow.
The Collected Stories by Grace Paley
Do you think political statements belong in literature? Would you write a novel that was a political tract? The word tract is such a bad word by itself obviously one would have to say, No, nobody should write a tract, nobody should do that. But I think that a love of language, truthfulness, and a sense of form is justification enough.
Anyway characters in fiction can say anything they want. I advocate plumbers should also do something, everybody should do something.