Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Crazy: A Meme

Tagged by Waveflux, I’m doing this little book meme, but I’m not sure how cool my response is. And what's a meme -- nay, what's a blog? -- if it's uncool. Nevertheless, here I go. Here are the instructions:

1. Grab the nearest book (that is at least 123 pages long).
2. Open to p. 123.
3. Go down to the 5th sentence.
4. Type in the following 3 sentences.
5. Tag five people.

The genuinely nearest book is one I love, The Pocket Muse: Endless Inspiration, by Monica Wood. However, since it is an inspirational book, many of its pages contain only a sentence or two. This is true of page 123. It has no fifth sentence, nor does it have a sixth, seventh, or eighth. It has only one. Here it is:

Write about an immigrant who refuses to be noble, humble, or dignified – from the point of view of her husband.

Cool -- and I need to get right on that -- but not really fitting the rules.

So I reached for the next nearest book, The Vintage Anthology of Contemporary American Short Stories, edited by The Genius Tobias Wolff. My offering this time is short and, well, short:
Crazy.

“Swell,” he said. “Terrific.”

It’s from a classic short story, but I won’t say which one right now. I dare the two and a half readers of this blog to throw out a guess without Googling it.

(Hints: Contemporary American Short Stories. Short, terse, sentences. Edited by Tobias Wolff, who has friends in the bid-ness.)

Without the dare, I don’t know how interesting my part of the meme is. Even with the dare…eh.

Since I’ve already flunked the meme once and eh’d it a second time, why start worrying about the rules now? I’ll just tag one person: kaat.

6 comments:

Philip Barron said...

Without Googling, and without really knowing Toby Wolff's posse (aside from Dubus)...urgh. Gordon Lish, maybe?

I didn't mention this on my blog, but my first choice for the meme was, like yours, not appropriate: Pocket Garden Herbs by Lesley Bremness (Dorling Kindersley, 1997). So I started over and was terribly scrupulous in my choice...which was the Godzilla book.

So the second choice doesn't mean you flunked. Unless I flunked too. :-D

Brave Sir Robin said...

Short, terse sentences SCREAMS Hemingway to me.

I'm not sure he's still contemporary.

Brave Sir Robin said...

Ok, I looked it up.

Hmm, In my mind I don't really associate that person with short, terse, but I guess it does make sense.

When i think of that person, I think genre.

Bitty said...

BSR, you're right. I should have said "perceived as writing short, terse sentences." People think he's all minimalist, and then there's a whole other movement led by his widow that argues the opposite for reasons that I won't go into yet, except to say that it relates to Phil's guess.

Phil, you are closer than you think without hitting the actual person in question.

Isn't that cryptic? Maybe I'll blog about that later. When I have time. You see how much blogging I'v done lately.

Sarah Sometimes said...

isn't it funny, that just knowing the tiniest bit about how you feel about that writer and his widow (from previous exchanges that we've had), plus the hint about the guess from first commenter, I can figure out who this was? But I won't spoil it for the rest of the class. :)

Bitty said...

Time enough has passed for me to reveal the Final Jeopardy question, in case anyone even still cares:

What is Raymond Carver's "Cathedral"?

And as a bonus question, some of the best of (relatively) recent literature is tied up in the answer to this question: who were Raymond Carver's friends?

At least that's my opinion.