Samuel Johnson Is Indignant

Samuel Johnson Is Indignant


eBook - 2002
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From one of our most imaginative and inventive writers, a crystalline collection of perfectly modulated, sometimes harrowing and often hilarious investigations into the multifaceted ways in which human beings perceive each other and themselves. A couple suspects their friends think them boring; a woman resolves to see herself as nothing but then concludes she's set too high a goal; and a funeral home receives a letter rebuking it for linguistic errors. Lydia Davis once again proves in the words of the Los Angeles Times "one of the quiet giants in the world of American fiction."

Publisher: New York : Picador USA, 2002.
Edition: First Picador USA edition.
ISBN: 9781466801011
Characteristics: 1 online resource (201 pages)


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May 21, 2014

Lydia Davis writes short stories. Like really short stories. Some in this collection are a paragraph. Some are only one sentence. She is clearly questioning and redefining, with oddball style and irony, what the short story is. She reminds me a bit of Donald Barthleme's post-modern, playful take on the short story and both of them can be seen as an influence on the McSweeney's house style. I can't really say if I enjoyed it or not, but it was interesting.

KCLSRecommends Mar 24, 2014

I'm not sure I understand much of Lydia Davis' work but some of her short stories sure ARE short! She also manages to inject plenty of quirky humor into her style.
For example -- although we librarians hate to be 'spoilers' -- I can share with you that the title story in its entirety is:

"Samuel Johnson is indignant....that Scotland has so few trees." ??!!!


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