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March 5th, 2010

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10:30 pm
Poll #1534509 Blood on the wall.

Is this sentence fragment a story? "Blood on a wall."


(2 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:March 6th, 2010 10:07 am (UTC)
Totally subjective.
[User Picture]
Date:March 6th, 2010 04:37 pm (UTC)

The context was from a spirited discussion I had with zetshia_gudani about H.P. Lovecraft in which she contended that his story, "Crawling Chaos", is not a story at all. To her, it lacks character development, conflict, conclusion and plot. To me, it is an immersive narrative of a man's opium dream (and possibly his death).

In the middle of the discussion, I brought up Hemingway's "For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn." which he claimed to be the best story he'd ever written.

(Incidentally, I would have posted that story, but she had come up with "blood on a wall" and asked me specifically to post that one.)

That led into a number of predictable avenues: Comics, films, the Vienna Circle's "picture theory" of language, and "An Occurance at Owl Creek Bridge".

To my mind, if a writing portrays an event, regardless of the amount of detail, then it is a story. She maintains that there must be a certain amount of detail given for it to be a story.

In the end, she's rather persnickety about her fiction. She's thought unfavorably of Gibson's Burning Chrome, Weis and Hickman's The Dragons of Autumn Twilight, and Card's Ender's Game.

(She stormed through Ender's Game and agrees that it's a compelling read, but claimed that it was terribly written and that no one would ever think it a great work of literature. She was surprised when I pointed out that it won the Hugo and Nebula.)

Surprisingly, I've yet to hear her say anything positive or negative about Heinlein's Friday which she just finished. She may have liked that against all odds.

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