The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis

Lydia Davis

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The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis

The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW EDITORS CHOICEA LOS ANGELES TIMES FICTION FAVORITE FOR A SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE BEST BOOK OF Lydia Davis is one of our most original and influential writers a st

  • Title: The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis
  • Author: Lydia Davis
  • ISBN: 9780312655396
  • Page: 420
  • Format: Paperback
  • A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW EDITORS CHOICEA LOS ANGELES TIMES FICTION FAVORITE FOR 2009A SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE BEST BOOK OF 2009Lydia Davis is one of our most original and influential writers, a storyteller celebrated for her emotional acuity, her formal inventiveness, and her ability to capture the mind in overdrive She has been called an American virtuoso of the sA NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW EDITORS CHOICEA LOS ANGELES TIMES FICTION FAVORITE FOR 2009A SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE BEST BOOK OF 2009Lydia Davis is one of our most original and influential writers, a storyteller celebrated for her emotional acuity, her formal inventiveness, and her ability to capture the mind in overdrive She has been called an American virtuoso of the short story form Salon and one of the quiet giants of American fiction Los Angeles Times Book Review This volume contains all her stories to date, from the acclaimed Break It Down 1986 to the 2007 National Book Award nominee Varieties of Disturbance The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis is an event in American letters.

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    One thought on “The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis

    1. s.p on said:

      Lydia Davis shits out tiny nuggets of pure golden prose and says 'oh, this old thing?' This is 5 stars of brillance, and an extra star for the stories that will manifest in your mind as your imagination takes over to fill in the unmentioned and try to place the greater horizons of these characters circumstances.Like her stories, I'm keeping this short. However, these stories will leave a long lasting impression. Highly recommended, especially for fans of flash-fiction and authors such as Amelia [...]

    2. Sarah Meyer on said:

      I almost didn't want to tell anyone I was reading this because it blew my mind so hard that I'd almost prefer it to have been a dream or something. Let's just never mention it.

    3. Courtney Johnston on said:

      People often say they read books for escapism. I certainly read for solace and comfort. This kind of reading is not for escaping, I think, but for enduring - "I will read this until this situation has passed"; "I will read this until this feeling has gone away". The mood I find hardest to ameliorate with books is that one where you drift restlessly round the house, picking things up and putting them down, starting things and then walking off again - when you're feeling a little fractured, a litt [...]

    4. João Carlos on said:

      Automat (1927) - Edward Hopper”Contos Completos” (2009) reúne todos os contos publicados por Lydia Davis, desde ”Acerto de Contas” (1986), ”Quase Sem Memória” (1997), ”Samuel Johnson Está Indignado” (2001) e ”Variedades de Perturbação” (2007). ”Variedades de Perturbação” (2007) – 4*Em ”Variedades de Perturbação” (2007) Lydia Davis incorpora cinquenta e sete contos, a maior parte são contos com apenas uma ou duas páginas, numa escrita repleta de ironia, ob [...]

    5. Sentimental Surrealist on said:

      I was all geared up to declare Lydia Davis the best living author, on the strength of these four collections (I haven't yet read Can't and Won't: Stories or The End of the Story, but I'll get there), and while I stopped myself when I remembered the juggernaut that is Pynchon, I'm still not sure I was too far off the mark. She's certainly, with Borges and O'Connor gone, the best living author of short stories, with apologies to Amy Hempel. So why am I so impressed with Lydia Davis? Part of it is [...]

    6. Jamie on said:

      These stories don’t so much bloom and bleed over their blank pages as hold their breath, fill up their lungs and wait for you to tiptoe past. They’re claustrophobic and lonely, a three floor walk-up to an elbow apartment with pale sunlight and the city below under glass.“Break It Down,” though, gets five stars.

    7. Teresa Proença on said:

      - 5 estrelas pela originalidade. Na primeira vez que peguei neste livro fiquei maravilhada, porque nunca tinha lido algo semelhante. Alguns contos são apenas uma frase inacabada:"São estes os factos sobre os peixes do Nilo:";outros apenas um pensamento:"O meu corpo dói-me tantoDeve ser esta cama pesada a comprimir-me para cima.";outros são extensos. Demasiado- 2 estrelas para o editor. Quem o mandou juntar quatro livros numa única edição? Se fosse uma edição para cada livro: eu lia o pr [...]

    8. Hadrian on said:

      Been picking through these for a while now. How much can be said with so little. Get in closer. Read every word.They form a collective memory, although being discrete pieces.

    9. Jaime on said:

      I can't finish this. Someone please tell Lydia Davis that a story is not a quirky ancedote.

    10. Peter Clothier on said:

      I have been reading The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis like drinking a fine wine. There's a taste of Kafka, a hint of Richard Brautigan, definitely a flavor of Borges Russell Edson lurking in there somewhere, too. And a couple of others I have not yet been able to identify. Not that Davis in any way derivative, that's not what I mean. It's a distinct pleasure to read her and make all these associations. Her stories are a fine blend of the absurd and the lyrical, the emotionally disturbing and [...]

    11. Ted on said:

      Preview.A Man Questions His Future.Will he ever read this? He doesn't know. And if he does, will it make any difference?Well, that's my attempt at writing a Lydia Davis story. Of course I'm not the crafter that she is with the sentence and the word.In the Mar 17 2014 New Yorker, Dana Goodyear writes of Ms. Davis, her stories, her persona, her life, and her translations. (Did anyone in the Proust Group last year read her translation of Swann's Way? She thinks it's better than Moncrieff's, since i [...]

    12. Maureen on said:

      Lydia Davis is certainly different, and i can't say i'd read anything quite like this (except in terms of brevity) up until this collection. i can't say i adored it though, or even that i really liked most of what was here. four story collections are combined: Break it down (1986), Almost No Memory (1997), Samuel Johnson is Indignant (2001) and Varieties of Disturbance (2007), and i want to say as a new reader of hers, i probably did her a disservice by reading her in this fashion, in a complete [...]

    13. Tosh on said:

      A book that took me forever to read, not due to its content (I don't think), but more by design. I tend to read short story collections very slowly, and almost not wanting to finish them. I think I read 80% of "The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis" in the bathtub. So if I take a bath everyday, how many baths is that? Nevertheless it will not have anything to do with Davis' writings, which are precise, focused, and not one wasted word. In other words, they're sort of perfection in practice. There [...]

    14. Kathryn Bashaar on said:

      Some of the stories in this collection are genius. I especially like the ones where she plays with the whole notion of truth/fiction/lies and how slippery those concepts can be. On the other hand, some of the "stories" are not even really stories. I've written better-thought-out stuff in my personal journal on a bad day. Here is the full text of one "story": "Gainesville! It's too bad your cousin is dead!" Aw come on gimme a break. If I, an unknown writer, were to submit this to any literary jou [...]

    15. Nick on said:

      I'm halfway through this collection of four collections of short stories and I have to take a breather. Dense, like poetry. Formalistically inspiring, like Amy Hempel's work. Hypnotic, funny, strange, aloof. Lots of words to describe the "stories" of Lydia Davis. Often, there is no real story, just a question, an idea, a notion. Frequently, if there are characters, they are lost in time and space. There is very little conventional dialog and scene-setting. A radical departure. Impacted a story I [...]

    16. Margaret on said:

      Lydia Davis is the master. From almost novella length to a few sentences, or even words, Davis has a command of the form and of quick and devastating characterization. It's a brick but an enjoyable brick.

    17. Janet on said:

      How to read a book like this, that's what's interesting me most in the community reviews on Lydia Davis' collected short stories.I've begun accidentally, by my boyfriend reading me two of the stories--knowing I'm a Russia fan, reading me the mock historical-travel piece, 'Lord Royton's Tour,' in which she perfectly captures the tone of those old travel writings of the eighteenth century, capturing perfect detail--the names of conveyances, the brilliant sense of landscape. Being somewhat familiar [...]

    18. Holly on said:

      Lydia Davis is a genius. And upon completion of this less-harrowing-than-it-looks collection, she has cemented herself as my favorite short story writer of all time. Words matter to Davis, and the inventive ways in which she uses them connotes her intense love of language and syntax. She is consistently fresh and surprising, shocking and poignant, clever and magical. The thing about Davis is that she never gets bored; her passion seeps through her words like a bleeding wound. She makes eloquence [...]

    19. Pickle Farmer on said:

      Well, that was certainly one of the weirdest books I've ever read in my life. I don't know if I've ever wrinkled my face as much or said "WTF?" out loud as many times while reading a book. This is definitely a must-have book for any aspiring writer to have on their shelves (or any short story aficionado), just to see what kind of crazy shit is out there. Ms. Davis is constantly heralded as someone who is consistently pushing the boundaries of a what a story is or can or can't do, and while that [...]

    20. Alex on said:

      This is the masterful translator of Madame Bovary and Swann's Way, and she just won the Man Booker Prize for her own stories, which some guy who learned how to write from Pitchfork says "fling their lithe arms wide to embrace many a kind," whatever the fuck that's supposed to mean. Would you have described a dude's stories as "lithe," guy? Anyway, Davis is famous for writing short stories that are very short, and here's an example:They Take Turns Using a Word They Like"It's extraordinary," says [...]

    21. Jason on said:

      Sometime in late 2008 or early 2009 I heard a story on This American Life while working out on the elliptical at work. It wasn't a great work-out story, since it nearly brought me to tears. I didn't know the author and quickly forgot about looking it up. Fast forward to the fall of 2009; I went to see Lydia Davis read from her collection of stories at the Philadelphia Library (actually, I went to see Jonathan Lethem, having no idea who Lydia Davis was). Her reading was so amazing and funny that [...]

    22. Frenchy on said:

      This is the best book I've read in years. I was vaguely aware of who Lydia Davis was and of her highly respected status in literary circles, but it's only this year I finally got to read her. This book is a collection of several volumes of stories, some of them lengthy but most of them very brief. You can try to read them in succession or just pick and choose at random, which makes the experience even more delightful.I can only say it was love at first sight, and I usually don't like reading sho [...]

    23. Simon on said:

      Even though I'm not finished The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis, I'm going to take a break from it. I think it's better to read a collection like this for a while, and then stop for a bit, rather than read the whole thing through. It's impossible to properly process each story if you're just ploughing through at least it is for me.Anyway, I'd never heard of Lydia Davis before this book caught my eye in the bookshop, but when I picked it up and read some of the blurbs on the back I had to get i [...]

    24. Willy Schuyesmans on said:

      Wat een ontdekking, die Lydia Davis met haar verzamelde verhalen. De meeste van die verhalen zijn nauwelijks een pagina lang, andere soms zelfs maar een regel of enkele woorden. En af en toe zit er ook een verhaal tussen van een paar pagina's. Ze beschikt over een onvoorstelbare alertheid en opmerkingsgave voor de kleine dingen die rondom haar gebeuren en weet die zo raak neer te schrijven met eenvoudige zinnen. Ze filosofeert, mijmert, denkt luidop na, neemt waar, droomt, en haalde daar zeer te [...]

    25. Cheryl on said:

      Lydia Davis' stories are small miracles of writing about thinking, and of thinking about feelings, and about analyzing feelings. And about feeling. Some whole stories are one long sentence long. Or a paragraph. And they take your breath away, and you can't read any more right now. Her language is glitteringly precise, specific and free of adjectival histrionics. Also, occasionally, hilariously laugh-out-loud funny. Also occasionally, shocking. Davis is a MacArthur fellow, and after reading the f [...]

    26. Larry Kaplun on said:

      I love this book. I love her stories. I love her sentences. I love her humor. To think that I survived without reading Lydia Davis until last year is a tragedy, but don't worry, I discovered her, and so will you. When you read her stories, "The Old Dictionary", "Fear", "New Year's Resolution" and "A Mown Lawn", you'll wonder why everyone on the subway is reading Girl With The Hipster Tattoo, and you'll carry around Davis for the rest of your life. I love her. Read hergoddamnit.

    27. Toni on said:

      Bare bones micro-literature at its very best. I found these stories (if "stories" is even the right word; they don't rely much on traditional narrative components) to be just lovely and, well, exquisite. Towards the end of almost 800 pages, I will admit to tiring, just slightly, of the schtick, but still thought this one well worth the read. Unlike anything else I've ever read.

    28. Scott Olejnicak on said:

      Am moving through these stories very, and intentionally so, slowly. Mind-blowingly excellent! Some of these stories are quite short, only one paragraph. There’s been a couple I’ve read, set the book down, looked up at the ceiling, and breathed out, “Wow!” (Discovered Davis via a review by James Woods in The New Yorker. Thanks you, Mr Woods!)

    29. Marcus on said:

      I love the work of Lydia Davis. Her stories help me practice mindful living. It is the best self help. I should put self help in quotations. It is more than self help. It is bigger than self help. It is a big self. Big heart. Big mind. Thank you Lydia Davis.

    30. Jeb on said:

      Lydia Davis is, bar-none, one of the greatest fiction writers I have ever read. Simply stunning.

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