Listen in as the members of the Austin Writing Workshop debate the literary merits of “The Fly” by Katherine Mansfield. Also, chapters 3 and 4 from Zeus’s new novel, and much less drinking than in previous episodes. Sorry.

0:00 Excerpt from the podcast

0:54 Podcast Introduction by Zeus

3:37 Group discussion of chapters 3 and 4 from Zeus’s new novel, including having read the story already, over-massaging the text, editing too much, fresh eyes, specific word choice, plot summary, confusion about the shark story, going on too long, looking at the story fresh, expectations, understanding the details, liking the details, dirt specks in a rain drop, the shark scene, sarcasm, being Google-y, realism, losing realism, poor choices for details, the stupid raindrop, cascading and fleeting raindrops, the direction of the raindrop, details working for the story, way too much sentence, “trite” dialogue, stilted style, sub-text of finding religion again, stylistic dreamworld, clashing styles, coaching Ocean, realism transcending through the subtlety, symbology of water, flooding, and more water symbolism.

38:50 Group discussion of “The Fly” by Katherine Mansfield, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, being a smart aleck, J.D. Salinger, John Steinbeck, explanations of theme, Raymond Carver, Richard Ford, the monkey story, the fact that the story is dated, story’s utility as a teaching tool, being over the top, “Fat,” 1930’s, Ernest Hemingway, plot summary, the asshole character of the boss, more plot summary, reversal of fortune, writerly details, loneliness, wanting for the fly to be stronger as an irrational desire, braggarts, theme-heavy, post world war one expression of existential despair and helplessness, Camus, Dan Carlin, Blueprint for Armageddon, man’s unwillingness to accept death, symbolism of the name Woodifield being a forest, the first sentence, 1922, the failure of consciousness, ink blotting equal to artillery shelling, World War 2, voting, Herman Melville, Moby Dick, George Orwell, 1984, Animal Farm, Steinbeck, Francine Prose, anonymous authors, considered top 5 stories of all time, story being easily teachable, Nabokov, The Yellow Wallpaper, controversy, tuberculosis, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes, and totally misreading the story.

1:08:27 End of Podcast

Here is “The Fly” by Katherine Mansfield:

Posted by Frank Marcopolos

Frank Marcopolos lives in Austin, Texas. Hiding from the ever-present Texas sun because of a well-founded fear of skin cancer, he writes short stories and novels that have been praised by some readers, while others have been, like, "Meh." He also produces free audiobooks of public domain works on his YouTube channel. You can subscribe to that here: http://youtube.com/brooklynfrank