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Continental Short Stories: The Modern Tradition Paperback – January, 1969

ISBN-13: 978-0393097979 ISBN-10: 0393097978

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Whiskey & Charlie
Whiskey & Charlie deals with the complexities of sibling relationships: By the time twins Charlie and Whiskey reach adulthood, they're barely speaking to each other. When Charlie hears Whiskey has been in a terrible accident, Charlie can't make sense of what life will be like if Whiskey dies. Learn more about author Annabel Smith
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: W W Norton & Co Inc (Np) (January 1969)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393097978
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393097979
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #946,054 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Reader in Tokyo on March 20, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was published in 1968 and contained 12 short stories by as many authors. The writers were translated from the German (Kafka, Benn, Aichinger, Böll), French (Sartre, Camus), Italian (Pirandello, Pavese, Moravia), Russian (Babel), Swedish (Lagerkvist) and Spanish (Borges). The pieces spanned roughly a half-century, from Kafka's "The Metamorphosis," published in 1915, to Böll's "My Melancholy Face," published around the 1960s. The compilers included works and authors that they thought adequately represented the best Continental writing of their time. Borges obviously didn't really belong in the book but must've been included for the importance of his writing, and maybe also for his popularity at the time the collection came out.

In an afterword, the compilers argued that many of the stories reflected the 20th century existential sensibility whose roots are found in Kierkegaard and Nietzsche: the absence of a traditional belief in God and traditionally accepted order in life, and the consequent need for man to choose actions and solutions for himself, with the inherent uncertainty and unease. In the resulting "age of inner insecurity," the objective style of Balzac, Stendhal, Flaubert and Zola was abandoned in favor of a variety of stylistic and esthetic approaches to explore people's estrangement from themselves, their surroundings and each other, and their search for authenticity.

For readers interested in this sensibility and pieces broadly reflecting it, this book isn't a bad place to start. If you've already read collections of great German/French/Italian modern short stories, though, then you may have encountered many of the pieces before ("The Wall," "The Guest," "Bitter Honeymoon," "The Bound Man," the stories by Kafka and Böll).
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Doctor Who on July 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
I have used this volume in teaching a class that explores issues of law, justice and morality in literature. The stories by Aichinger, Camus and Boll in particular are useful, and allow me to get the class quick feedback before we read a longer text. I agree with the other review that it could be longer, and if the editors could bring it out again with a few new stories, without making it unwieldy like a "Norton Anthology", I think it would be useful and successful. The goal is to keep it affordable and useful for teaching, and I have not found a single volume that contains these three stories that I want to use elsewhere.
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