Read Inspecting the Vaults by Eric McCormack Free Online
Book Title: Inspecting the Vaults|
The author of the book: Eric McCormack
ISBN 13: 9780140096361
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 787 KB
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Loaded: 1718 times
Reader ratings: 6.6
Edition: Penguin Canada
Date of issue: July 7th 1987
Read full description of the books:
The 1993 edition includes the novella The Paradise Motel. It also includes a cover blurb from a Montreal Gazette review: "odd and unsettling ... murder, deformity and cruelty are treated as everyday occurrences."
McCormack taught contemporary literature at the University of Waterloo while I attended that institution in the late-1980s, early-1990s. I didn't take his course, but I sat in on a couple. He taught Raymond Carver, Borges, Donald Bartheme. None of whom I'd heard of before.
He was also known as the author of a freaky collection of short fiction, Inspecting the Vaults.
I read it after I left Waterloo, during a period when I trembled with desire to write decent short fiction. What was that even? What was a short story?
I remember one McCormack class when he described meeting a woman whose grandmother had sat on the knee of Thomas Hardy (if I remember correctly). "There's a direct line from this classroom to Thomas Hardy," he said. Then he went on to describe a Hardy novel as one that turned on a plot point: "she drank a cup of tea."
No such subtlety to the degree of manners in the curriculum of McCormack's class. Later, after I'd asked McCormack to read some of my budding short fiction, I mentioned the blurb on his book to him.
"But murder, deformity and cruelty are everyday occurrences," I said.
He nodded knowingly and made a clever comment.
Cleverness is what shines out of his stories. Pessimism, too, likely. More than a flirtation with the gothic. A deep knowledge of world literature and movements away from realism. A fantastical imagination.
An un-Canadian disinterest in earnestness.
Reading this book helped me to define for myself what was the essential "storyness" in a short story. It wasn't the movement of action within a plot. It wasn't a twist or surprise ending. It was a manipulation of language and an attempt at a new kind of see-ing.
A digging deeper past surfaces and a stark honesty to reveal what one felt.
Eric, thank you. I haven't forgotten.
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Read information about the authorEric McCormack was born in Scotland, later emigrated to Canada and, since 1970, has been teaching at St. Jerome's University in Waterloo, Ontario. He started out on his career writing short stories which appeared in literary journals including Prism International, West Coast Review, Malahat Review, and The New Quarterly. He has also written poetry over the years. In February 1987 his first book, Inspecting the Vaults was published. This is a collection of nineteen short stories, thirteen of which had been previously published in literary magazines. His first novel, The Paradise Motel, was published in February 1989. Eric McCormack became the focus of considerable media interest and his books were translated into many foreign languages. His next novel, The Mysterium, was released in 1992, and his most recent book, First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women was published in 1997. It was nominated for the Governor General's Award. Eric McCormack also frequently reviews for The Globe and Mail. His works to date have received much critical acclaim.
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