Monthly Archives: September 2010

Ambient Unease of “Down Through the Valley”

In “Down Through the Valley,” a man, Ed, is forced to take a long car ride with his young daughter, Marie, and his wife Jane’s new lover, Barry. “The sky was going dark,” writes Tower, “when Marie bent over in … Continue reading

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Exercise 4

Your final exercise before we turn to full-length stories is to use as your narrator a female character from one of the stories we’ve read. The exercise should begin with an epigraph, which should be a quotation from the story … Continue reading

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Down Through The Valley

This Tower story reminded me of Johnson’s writing because of the vagueness and in-and- out of the character. Relationships in this story are different from what you would expect.  The daughter, Marie, and her father, Ed the narrator, are not … Continue reading

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The Horror of “Two Men”

I found Johnson’s “Two Men” to be a thoroughly frightening story.  As readers, we are not at first aware that there is something ‘off’ about the narrator.  He seems like a decent guy, if perhaps not the master of good … Continue reading

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Contrasting “Executors” and “The Trip Back”

Although the stories “The Trip Back” by Robert Olen Butler and “Executors” by Wells Tower are both about the relationship between a man and a relative with dementia, it is there the similarities end.  “The Trip Back” I found was … Continue reading

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Past and Future in “Rock Springs”

In “Rock Springs”, there was a great sense of hopelessness for the main character, Earl.  He’s a man with a very long past, and not much of a future.  The idea of what the future holds is what is really … Continue reading

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Influence and the Fiction Writer

Reading over a few more samples of the latest exercise, I’m thinking a bit more about the ways in which the writers we’re reading this semester have influenced your work. If you’re worried about it — and I’m not — … Continue reading

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Bobby in “Sweethearts”

The character of Bobby really baffles me in the beginning.  The idea that two divorced people could still be civil and friends after the fact is just strange, different even, from what I know.  Bobby is tied to the three … Continue reading

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Sweethearts

This might be my favorite story that we have encountered so far but I couldn’t tell you why.  It felt so average to me, not like an earth shattering significant moment in these peoples lives.  Poor Bobby goes to jail … Continue reading

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Raymond Carver & Richard Ford

I’m interested in our considering the similarities and differences between Richard Ford’s stories and those of Raymond Carver, so I’ve posted two of Carver’s stories — “Fat” and “Cathedral” — in the class folder on Google docs. The two men … Continue reading

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