Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Masterpieces of Short Fiction

Masterpieces of Short Fiction had a longer than normal introduction of the lecturer. In addition to teaching at San Francisco State, Michael Krasny also hosts an NPR radio program. Alas, these lectures are far from a radio program. It often felt like he was reading verbatim from his notes. It was distracting, but would have been acceptable if the content were great. Alas, it felt like too much effort was made at digging up lesser-known works from past eras. It probably feels good to bring up more female and minority authors. And I'm sure that some of these stories have merits of their own. However, part of being a masterpiece is the initial reception and impact of the stories. Retroactive "masterpieces" don't have the same history. They have not had the same influence on people of the time or later authors. The selection of stories makes these lectures "masterpieces and other things the lecturer wishes were masterpieces."

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