Once Upon a Time: Short Stories in Pairs

Stories in Pairs Like language, story-telling is a universal phenomenon across the cultures of the world—both historically and presently. People, everywhere, through the millennia, have always told stories. Stories help us understand what it means to be human. Stories help us understand what it means to live in a particular place at a given moment. Stories help shape reality by projecting virtual worlds we can assess, either positively, negatively, or somewhere in between. And stories help us calibrate the joys as well as the sorrows of daily existence. In the time allotted us, we will consider short stories, grouped in pairs that share thematic and/or structural elements, from some of the masters whose artistry has distinguished them as exemplary practitioners of the genre. Specifically, we’ll explore texts by James Joyce and Katherine Ann Porter; William Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor; Shirley Jackson and Tobias Wolff; and Gabriel Garcia Márquez and Italo Calvino. No prior knowledge of these authors is required. Just read the stories, think about them, and join the conversation.

Instructor: Howard Einsohn

Four Thursdays: April 5, 12, 19, 26
Wasch Center, Butterfield Room
Howard Einsohn
HOWARD EINSOHN received his BA in English from City College of CUNY, New York City; his MA in English from the University of Connecticut; his master’s in library science from Rutgers University; and his Certificate of Advanced Study from Wesleyan. He has been employed at Middlesex Community College in Middletown since 1974, in various capacities; retiring from full-time service in 2003 as the director of library services; and since then has served the college as an adjunct instructor in English, teaching one class a semester, mostly writing and literature courses.