Short Story Friday: “County Doctor” (Wm’s Kafka translation)

Due to popular demand, the rather non-existent market for literary translations of short work, and just because I’m such a nice guy, this week’s Short Story Friday is my translation of Kafka’s Ein Landarzt. You have the weekend to read it and respond. On Monday I will update this post and talk about the choices I made, the process of translation and a little bit about my reading of the story. But I wanted to give devoted AMV readers the chance to read it without extra-textual influences first.

Story: County Doctor: A translation of Kafka’s “Ein Landarzt” for the American West
(liner notes for the translation)

Author: Franz Kafka, translation by William Morris

Year: Translation 2004, Story 1920

Publication Info: Self-published via Google Docs

Short Story Friday: Now and at the Hour of Our Death by Todd Robert Petersen

We’re starting back up with feature Fridays at AMV. Starting late, but starting nonetheless, and we’re kicking off with the return of Short Story Friday. Today (actually tonight), it’s a story by Todd Robert Petersen. Why? Because his Marilyn Brown Unpublished Novel Award-winning Rift* has just been published by Zarahemla Books. For more on Rift, see Laura’s recent interview with Todd. For a taste of his work, click on the link below.

Title: Now and at the Hour of Our Death

Author: Todd Robert Petersen

Publication Info: Dialogue, Summer 2003

Submitted by: Theric Jepson

Why?: Theric writes: “.

I think Petersen is the best short story writer we have at the moment. This particular story is often mentioned to me by others as being their favorite.”


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*Full disclosure: this is going to sound like bragging, but I do think it’s best to disclose any conflicts of interest. So here it is: I read a draft of Rift and commented on it. I have not read the final version of the novel. Also: I very much enjoyed the version I read even though I was initially put off by the idea that Todd was writing a rural Utah novel when I specifically applauded him for the international flavor of his short stories in Long After Dark.

AMV weekend update

It’s summer. I’m feeling lazy. There’s been a drop in weekend comments. Therefore, Short Story Friday is going on hiatus until after labor day. BUT… when it comes back, it will have some new friends. It’s been a blast focusing on stories, but it’s time for our weekends to include a broader palette — the literati should not live on short fiction alone. So there will be an aforepromised analog to Short Story Friday focusing on poetry (no clever name for that yet — suggestions welcome). And I’m going to start a new series called Weekend (Re)Visitors, which will feature brief posts reflecting on and/or quoting from a novel, film or play. The revisiting will sometimes be one of us looking back at a work we’ve already written about and sometimes be a work that’s new to us, but has already been written about by others.

And while I’m doing administrative announcements: AMV’s webhost recently raised monthly hosting fees. It’s still the cheapest of the reliable webhosts, but that means an extra $10 per year. If you plan on doing any back to school shopping, please consider using our Amazon affiliate link (we get a small percentage of any sales that are made during the shopping session a consumer has after clicking through to Amazon with that link). My last t-shirt design generated a lot of traffic (more than 500 visitors in two days to the AMV Spreadshirt store), but no sales. It was perhaps a bit too geeky and esoteric. I’m going to roll out another design in August so if you want to support AMV, but don’t like the two designs we have so far, don’t buy a pity shirt — wait and see.

Short Story Friday: Pioneers by Michael Fillerup

I’m not doing this on this day to be cute or sentimental — this story demands more than that. And deserves it.

Title: Pioneers

Author: Michael Fillerup

Publication Info: Dialogue, Winter 2007

Submitted by: Andrew Hall

Why?: Andrew says: “I like all of Fillerup’s stories.  Nicely descriptive, strong content. His two novels have not worked as well for me.”


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Short Story Friday: interlude — what’s cooking?

Because it’s summer, and we are all feeling a little lazy and languid. And because there’s already been a bunch of talk about short stories this week (apologies to non-Irreantum subscribers who don’t get to get in on the action — of course, there is a remedy for that). And because there’s simply a lot still to talk about with the posts that have been posted so far this week. And because I’m curious. This is what Short Story Friday is this week:

What’s going on?

Anybody enter the Irreantum fiction contest? Sources* tell me that the stories were heavy on the speculative fiction and sex. I’m not quite sure how to take that. How about the Sunstone contests? Anybody else have anything cooking that they can talk about right now**? Anybody have something to say about The Mormon Short Story? Continue reading “Short Story Friday: interlude — what’s cooking?”

Short Story Friday: Danger on the Right! Danger on the Left! by Eugene England

For today a departure from our normal reading — a piece of criticism rather than a short story. Read it and then go back and read one or two or three of the Short Story Friday stories you haven’t read yet.

Title: Danger on the Right! Danger on the Left! The Ethics of Recent Mormon Fiction

Author: Eugene England

Publication Info: Fall 1999 — Dialogue, Volume 32, Number 3

Submitted by: William Morris

Why?: 1. Because it’s the most significant piece of Mormon criticism published so far that focuses on short stories. 2. Because I think it gets at what I mean by the radical middle (but not entirely) 3. Because it has an hilarious title. 4. Because it’s criticism that actually dares to not only examine ethics but use specific examples! 5. Because it’s Eugene England.


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Short Story Friday: And by N. E. Houston

Harlow explains it so much better  than I can (see below).

Title: And

Author: N. E. Houston

Publication Info: Summer 1990 — Dialogue, Volume 23, Number 2

Submitted by: Harlow Clark

Why?: Harlow writes:

“The author gave this story an unindexable title because he has all these story collections with titles like Nothing Very Important and Other Stories, and The Voice of the Moon and Other Songs of the Night, but none of them has a story called And. He intended the story to be a bridge between The Voice of the Moon, a story by the main character of And, and Other Songs of the Night, the character’s master’s thesis.

The collection the story belongs to is unfinished. The design is to alternate stories about Amos Corbin with stories he writes about his experience. So in one story, “Shoulder to the Wheel” he imagines himself as Sisyphus, then writes a story called “Sisyphus” based on that moment in Ovid’s Metamorphoses when Orpheus comes into the underworld seeking Eurydice and all the torments stop because his song is so beautiful they can’t not listen. (It’s not as boring or erudite as it sounds.)

The author only needed 90 pages for his own thesis, so he took several he had written and used them, and swears he’ll finish the others some day.

The story reads like a nightmare of poop and pee and unrequited desire near the end of a semester. One letter to the editor said, “and baby makes three” but I suspect it’s more (or also) a story about a man whose marriage is in deep trouble but he can only bear to think about it in his dreams. I think the opening sequence, with Amos trying to get to the great and spacious building is his wife’s view of him, seeping into his dreams.

(Way the by, the author’s initials stand for Nathaniel Edward, Nathaniel being that Israelite of old in whom there was no guile, like unto Edward Partridge.)”


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