Editorial on writing

The Elegance of Concision

I'll use just about any excuse to talk about Clarice Lispector.

I will use just about any excuse to talk about Clarice Lispector. And with today’s opening of TFP’s 2nd Annual flash fiction contest (have you entered yet?), it’s finally apropos. This year, the English-reading world was treated by New Directions to yet another Lispector novel: The Chandelier (thank you Benjamin Moser and Magdalena Edwards). Many of us have been eagerly awaiting that one. As an extra bonus, shortly after the release of the novel, CL’s Complete Stories was released in paperback. I bought the hardback edition a month after its release in 2015, and I have yet to read every story. However, there is one to which I return: “The Sound of Footsteps” (“Ruído de passos”). If I owned the rights to this short, 343-word story, I would paste it right here for you to read.

In 343 carefully chosen words, CL captures life, death, grief, pleasure, longing, shame, and that immeasurable combination that imprints a whole being. 343 words. That’s it.

I love Virginia Woolf, Kazuo Ishiguro, Dorothy Allison, Jesmyn Ward, George Saunders, Larry Brown, Tim Gautreaux, Clarice Lispector, Kevin Barry, Nick Flynn, Julian Barnes, Jennifer Egan. My Goodreads is in constant chaos. I have stories in places including QWERTY and SmokeLong. I’m in the process of revising a novel. In lieu of flowers, please send good vibes.