Add news
March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010
August 2010
September 2010 October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018 August 2018 September 2018 October 2018 November 2018 December 2018 January 2019 February 2019 March 2019 April 2019 May 2019 June 2019 July 2019 August 2019 September 2019 October 2019 November 2019 December 2019 January 2020 February 2020 March 2020 April 2020 May 2020 June 2020 July 2020 August 2020 September 2020 October 2020 November 2020 December 2020 January 2021 February 2021 March 2021 April 2021 May 2021 June 2021 July 2021 August 2021 September 2021 October 2021 November 2021 December 2021 January 2022 February 2022 March 2022 April 2022 May 2022 June 2022 July 2022 August 2022 September 2022 October 2022 November 2022 December 2022 January 2023 February 2023 March 2023 April 2023 May 2023 June 2023 July 2023 August 2023 September 2023 October 2023 November 2023 December 2023 January 2024 February 2024 March 2024 April 2024 May 2024 June 2024
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25
26
27
28
29
30
News Every Day |

The art of writing a great short story

One of the most wonderful things about books is the way they fit into various book-sized holes in our lives. There are so many little gaps, nooks and crannies in our lives where we have small amounts of time to kill. 

Increasingly, in the age of the Information Superhighway, where enduring five minutes of shiftless silence is like waiting for the executioner’s blade to fall, people seem to be horrified with having time on their hands and nothing to do with it. 

And while it is easier and easier to just pop open some app these days and bear witness to whatever idiocy is trending in the news, on social media or on one of the countless content websites, books will always be unique. 

They are a special and wonderful way to focus the mind on one single thing and allow us to extract value from the spare seconds and minutes modern life seems to randomly intersperse among what feels like an endlessly blind rush through our day.

I remember reading Philip Roth’s Portnoy’s Complaint in between university lectures and standing up to face the day secure in the knowledge someone else knew what it was like to grow up in an ethnic household.

I remember finishing Stephen King’s Dark Tower Saga after having been “volunteered” for work on a corporate help desk over the Christmas break, closing the last book and saying, “What a perfect ending …” to a roomful of empty desks.

I remember while being stuck in city traffic so dense that it did not move, Michael Crichton’s Airframe helped me resist the urge to swear at my fellow commuters. The irony of reading a book about how pilot error caused massive loss of life while operating a moving vehicle should not be lost on anyone.

And, relevant to today’s discussion, I remember picking up David Mann’s enchanting collection of short stories Once Removed because it was convenient.

I had been laid low with whatever respiratory plague was ripping its way through the north-eastern parts of the country. Diseases, as any doctor would tell you, do not care about your diary, and so when it came time to select a book to read for my upcoming deadline, I chose the shortest of the ones I had been assigned. 

This would give me the best chance to recover completely and finish reading it before time ran out and I was forced to submit an essay on the merits of cough drops to my perplexed editor. 

But, as it happens, a book chosen for its brevity also happened to be laudable for its quality. Had I known how much I would enjoy this collection of stories about art, those who make it, those who consume it and its varied and volatile impact on its surroundings, I might have selected it, regardless of its length.

Mann is an established writer, editor, lecturer and arts journalist and has accreditations enough to impress the most jaded reader. He nonetheless took the time to pursue a master’s degree in creative writing post-lockdown and the majority of the stories in this collection were brought to life as part of that endeavour.

Befitting Mann’s primary occupation, the throughline that connects the stories is art, specifically that produced in South Africa. The author has stated that this was deliberate. 

The stories explore how one’s life can be changed, in ways both profound and banal, by interaction with art and performance. 

And he does so with a wonderful elegance and an admirable economy of words. The longest story in this collection, The Burning Museum, is 17 agonising pages long, deliberately drawn out to illustrate the plight of the protagonist. 

The shortest, Provenance, lasts a mere three pages, a delightful amuse-bouche of wordplay and nonsense that bombards your brain like a burst of static and then is gone. 

Gettyimages 636761588 2 (1)
A picture paints a thousand words: David Mann’s short stories in Once Removed are about the local art scene. Photo: Getty Images

Through all the lengths in between, we get relatable characters and storylines framed against the backdrop of contemporary South Africa and the current, former and future artists that are keeping our vibrant cultural character alive. The stories, regardless of subject matter, are consistently and profoundly evocative and feel wholly familiar. 

This is rare enough in most stories, but to set those feelings up more than once, in the confined space of a restricted word count, is nothing short of spectacular.

I have long believed that greed and ego continue to be the enemy of art the world over. Mann echoes that sentiment repeatedly, and manages to illustrate how its impact through many thoroughly identifiable and relatable scenarios, including:

Resistance — an art critic gets trapped inside a small gallery as a protest takes place outside its doors.

Rain — The daughter of a photographer once well-known for documenting South Africa’s jazz scene during apartheid now struggles to reconcile the curmudgeon he has become with the free spirit he used to be.

Common Ground — A group of freshly graduated art students seek to form an interdisciplinary collective and change the world but end up trapped by inertia and infighting.

Meaningful Contributions — A spiritual sequel to Common Ground, the scraps of what is left of the collective seeks to salvage some street cred by planning guerilla art installations, but end up the victims of climate and circumstance.

Once Removed — A man deals with his feelings towards the waves of expatriations that South Africa bears witness to on a regular basis and struggles not to feel animosity towards those who belittle his choice to stay.

A Record — A wonderful metaphorical exploration of the creative process, and the laborious process building up of the knowledge and experience necessary to producing or critiquing art.

Settled — An artist and his life partner take a drive to their new home in a new city.

In summary, this exploration of art, its creators, its appreciators and its impact is a thoroughly delightful and worthwhile way to explore short-form literature. 

A highly recommended read.

Once Removed: Short Stories is published by Botsotso.

Москва

Петербург стал лидером среди регионов по числу заражений ковидом в прошлом году

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan shuts down Saudi agreement rumors: “complex scenario”

Anthony Joshua-Daniel Dubois: Two-Weight World Champion Has No Doubt Who Hits Harder

Meet Slovenia’s gorgeous Wags, from a mummy blogger and influencer to a professional tennis star

Sophie Turner Keeps it Glam While Attending Grand Opening of Peninsula London

Ria.city






Read also

Israel Emerging As Source Of Tension In Azerbaijan’s Special Relationship With Turkey

USDA finds unusual twist: Bird flu moved from dairy cows to poultry in Michigan

Top Trump DOJ Official Jeff Clark Explains Why Jack Smith’s Appointment is Unconstitutional and How He May Be Operating Outside of the Chain of Command (VIDEO)

News, articles, comments, with a minute-by-minute update, now on Today24.pro

News Every Day

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan shuts down Saudi agreement rumors: “complex scenario”

Today24.pro — latest news 24/7. You can add your news instantly now — here


News Every Day

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan shuts down Saudi agreement rumors: “complex scenario”



Sports today


Новости тенниса
Уимблдон

Тарпищев: У Рублева есть сложности со здоровьем, но он хочет сыграть на Уимблдоне



Спорт в России и мире
Москва

В Кузьминках обустраивают пространство для отдыха и занятий спортом



All sports news today





Sports in Russia today

Москва

В сочинском парке «Ривьера» установили национальный рекорд по массовой медитации


Новости России

Game News

Model viewer forensics reveal that Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree's Dancing Lion boss is actually two little guys piloting it around


Russian.city


Жизнь

Легенда о «300-х русских школах» в Азербайджане


Губернаторы России
Музей

Будни 1940-х годов реконструировали в парке у Музея Победы 22 июня


Навка: во время болезни Заворотнюк возили по Москве только в парандже

Расстояние больше не помеха - "Белые лебеди" получили новейшую дальнобойную ракету Х-БД

Юные таланты под эгидой Фонда Спивакова дали концерт в «Михайловском»

Терапевт Тарасов: болезнь порфирия делает человека похожим на вампира


Возвращение премии Муз-ТВ: Киркорова посадили в клетку, а Бузова приехала с карликами

Почему фанатов Цоя не пускают на могилу музыканта в Петербурге

Томский оркестр "настроился" сыграть Шостаковича с мультимедиа

Регистрация Модели в Сервисах Кастингов для получения Заказов на съемки!


Калинская оценила выход в финал турнира в Берлине и вспомнила о Синнере

Грузия сыграла вничью с Чехией на Евро, Калинская вышла в финал Берлина. Главное к вечеру

Калинская обыграла Азаренко и вышла в финал турнира в Берлине

Азаренко уступила в полуфинале турнира WTA-500 в Берлине



На фестивале «День молодежи» пройдет конкурс короткометражного кино

Новый релиз DomNi & GOR - Прости или отпусти

Сергей Собянин. Главное за день

Новый рекорд России: медитация Relax FM объединила 1699 человек


"Фонтанка": два связанных с Пригожиным медиаменеджера задержаны в Петербурге

Ирина Ортман оставляет в прошлом «Всё, что было вчера».

Каждый пятый россиянин считает, что привычка носить обручальное кольца и верность взаимосвязаны

ЦСКА показал защитную маску Владислава Торопа после перелома черепа


В разрезе добыли аресты // Ликвидатору шахт и подрядчику инкриминируют мошенничество с бюджетными деньгами

Переезд в Маслозаводском переулке закрыли на сутки

Глава КЧР Рашид Темрезов выразил соболезнования родным ветерана Великой Отечественной войны Хамита Канаматова в связи с его кончиной

С 1 июля увеличатся тарифы ЖКХ



Путин в России и мире






Персональные новости Russian.city
Сергей Брановицкий

Поэт. Радио Поэт. Стихи поэтов. Русские поэты. Писатели и поэты. Известные поэты. Поэт года. Поэты России. Лучшие поэты. Поэт песенник.



News Every Day

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan shuts down Saudi agreement rumors: “complex scenario”




Friends of Today24

Музыкальные новости

Персональные новости