Central Oregon–In this busy world, “there is a time for multitasking and a time for losing yourself. The short story offers something else: a chance to pay close attention—and have that attention rewarded because, for once, every little plot twist, every sentence, counts. In my life, I’m happy to report, there is a time for that kind of attention too.” Lorin Hollister Stein, American critic and editor
In four weekly sessions, beginning September 12, OLLI members explore the elements of the short story with Ann Sargent, currently a writing instructor at Central Oregon Community College, who taught American Literature courses for OLLI at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. We will read various short stories and discuss character, plot, setting, theme, and various other elements that make short stories “work.”
Here’s a look at the first session authors and stories:
Kate Chopin (1850–1904), was an American writer best known for her stories about the inner lives of sensitive, daring women. Chopin frequently takes a surprisingly modern stance as she examines sensitive social and moral issues, often criticizing the mores of her society in a manner that anticipates the feminist and civil rights movements of the latter half of the twentieth century. We’ll read “The Story of an Hour.”
Saki, pen name for Hector Hugh Munro (1870–1916), was a British writer whose witty, mischievous, and sometimes macabre stories satirize Edwardian society and culture. In “The Open Window”, Saki dramatizes the conflict between reality and imagination.
O. Henry, pen name for William Sydney Porter (1862–1910), was an American writer whose short stories are known for their wit, wordplay, warm characterization, and surprise endings. “The Cop and the Anthem” was published over a hundred years ago. Could this story unintentionally contribute to negative stereotypes about homeless people, or people who repeatedly go to jail?
Preregistration is required; watch your e-mail for an announcement. Registered members will receive short stories to read prior to the start of the course.