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Tuesday, 27 September 2016

FOR SIX CUPS OF COFFEE



DIPPING A TOE INTO ACADEMIC CRITICISM

From childhood, I was a voracious reader. I read for pleasure, for the sheer joy of rolling undiscovered words round my tongue before inflicting them on my surprised family or shoehorning them into homework. Words were like stained glass windows, tiny fragments strung together in a sentence to form an entrancing whole.

For my younger self, writers were a breed apart, people born with the talent to string words together. It never occurred to me that what I read might be a fourth or fifth version of their initial attempts. In later years, having served my own apprenticeship as a writer, I began to analyse what I read. Why had I enjoyed the book? Was it plot or language? I appreciated the hard work behind the finished product.

However, academic criticism was something to avoid. Until I discovered the “I recommend” section of Chichester University’s Thresholds website. This regular feature allows contributors to recommend a short story, or collection of stories, by a favourite author. I chose For Six Cups of Coffee, a collection of vignettes and short stories by the Swiss author Rainer Brambach. To see why I enjoyed his work, and to take a walk round Basel in his company, go to  




   

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