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Friday, August 17, 2012

#2: The Mt. Rushmore Series

Since introducing this series in July, my wheels have been continually turning about what to do next. I have a vivid memory of the first short story that knocked me down; I'm guessing the same is true for many people. Which four short stories make up your Mt. Rushmore? The majority of mine are a bit macabre and all are heavily anthologized. But each made an indelible impact on me.

1.) Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. How did Franz dream up this horror? Gregor Samsa's predicament has been in my brain since the day I read this over 45 years ago.
2.) The Lottery by Shirley Jackson.  Just as creepy as Metamorphosis but scarier for it's perverse plausibility.
3.) Miriam by Truman Capote. No exaggeration - I've read this Gothic gem more than 10 times; goosebumps without fail.
4.) A Small, Good Thing by Raymond Carver. Later used as one piece of "Short Cuts", a terrific film directed by Robert Altman. This one is not for everybody. But this is my Mt. Rushmore.

Your turn. Remember, it's Mt. Rushmore so just four, OK? Ideas for future installments in the series always welcome.


  1. Oddly, also would list Metamorphosis and The Lottery. Had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Jackson at Univ. of WI film course where she was guest speaker, 1972 or 73. She had moved on to video experiments at that time.
    Soldier's Home - Hemmingway, still relevant meditation on returning war vets.
    The Death Bird - Harlan Ellison (cheery title, eh?)

    1. Steve; Three comments (on 3 different posts) in one day; I hit the jackpot! How cool (and creepy) that the Kafka & Jackson stories are favorites of yours as well. And thanks for your other two faves- I'll keep my eye out for them - wait - keep my eye out? Sounds like something Franz or Shirley could work with, no?

  2. defender of the faith-philip roth
    the chrysanthemums -john steinbeck
    four summers-joyce caol oates and a tie for fouth between
    a small;l good thing-raymond carver
    the guest-albert camus