Friday, September 17, 2021

Thank you for visiting my blog.


Today (September 17, 2021), my blog ”Reading the Short Story” marked 2 million page views.  I know that is not a lot in the Internet world, but it pleases me that so many people are reading my thoughts on the short story, even though I have not posted any new essays for the past three years, when, without any notice or explanation, I just stopped writing.

However, today, I thought it might be a decent gesture to make a few remarks about my decision to stop.  I have been reading stories since I first discovered Edgar Allan Poe when I was growing up in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky.  I have read thousands of stories and written about hundreds of stories in books, articles, essays, reviews, and blog posts.  It amuses, rather than amazes me, to confess that as of today, I have not read a single short story in the past three years, much less written about any. 


Even my doctor at my last physical exam a year ago asked me that question.  No real reason.  I just turned my attention to other things—more time with my wife, children, and grandchildren. And more time returning to my pre-reading roots on my grandfather’s hardscrabble farm, in honor of which I tend a garden in my back yard (great tomatoes this year), I tend four healthy hens, who faithfully deliver a couple of dozen delicious eggs each week.  I also bake bread, make soup, cook meals, and enjoy watching British detective television on Britbox with my wife, who beats me at Gin Rummy regularly.

In the past three years, I have been invited to contribute criticism and literary theory essays by several of my colleagues in Canada, Europe, and America.  Although I much appreciate the honor of  these invitations, I have respectfully declined them.

In short, as I  sit here surrounded by hundreds of books and four filing cabinets of drafts, notes, and ideas about the short story, I just feel that I have said enough.  I turned 80 a few months ago.  Other than the usual glitches that the body experiences at this age, I am basically healthy, and my mind, with the exception of the usual  lapses in memory, seems, if not keen, at least capable.

I will continue to read comments that readers of my blog make to my posts and to respond to them.  However, I have no plans to post any more full-length essays—unless, of course, I get wind of something that gets my goat or piques my pleasure.

I hope that students and admirers of the short story continue to find my blog essays useful.  Thank you all for your support over the years.

I remain, as always, the strongest cheerleader of the short story that I can possibly be.

----Cheers, Charles


Nadege said...

Thank you so much for all the work you have done. I've thoroughly enjoyed your past essays and continue to do so but can certainly understand your decisions.

You are living an idyllic life and charmed life - congratulations! You are so richly blessed.

If you are so led, I (and others I am certain) would love to see non-identifying (is that even a word??) pictures of your laying hens and gardens.

You are missed. God bless you and your lovely family.

Sandra said...

Your deep reading of the short story have contributed immensely to this form that so richly delves into the human condition. Your blog and book have had an immense impact on keeping the short story alive here and internationally. Enjoy your garden and your grandkids. How rewarding for you! Peace and Gratitude.

Graham Riach said...

Charles, we've never met, but I regularly use your books and articles for my research and for teaching. Thanks so much for all your work on the short story! And enjoy the farm!

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Mark said...

Thank you for all the work you've done and bless you in the life you're enjoying. You've created a treasure trove for those who love the short story. Thank you, thank you.

Unknown said...

I've been reading your website for many years and miss the updates. It has helped me both in my teaching and writing life. But I'm so glad to have access to your archive; it's a storehouse of wisdom and insight.

With thanks,
Mary Morrissy

Squid McFinnigan said...

Enjoy the down time my friend and bask in the joy you have delivered to others. You deserve it. 👍