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Bulletin

Object Lesson: Classics

September 20, 2012 | by

As you may recall from prior bulletins, in Object Lessons: The Paris Review Presents the Art of the Short Story, the editors approached twenty contemporary writers, presented them with our vast fiction archive, and asked them to write an introduction to their favorite short story. And did they deliver: the anthology is not just a great collection, but a veritable primer on what makes this medium work. Today’s quiz: Can you guess who wrote the following selection?

I always noted this tablet to the boys on their first day in my classroom, partly to inform them of their predecessor at St. Benedict’s, and partly to remind them of the great ambition and conquest that had been utterly forgotten centuries before they were born. Afterwards I had one of them recite, from the wall where it hung above my desk, Shelley’s “Ozymandias.” It is critical for any man of import to understand his own insignificance before the sands of time, and this is what my classroom always showed the boys.

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1 COMMENT

1 Comments

  1. Stephen Smith | September 20, 2012 at 10:34 am

    It took me a moment, but I remembered having heard something similar in the movie the Emperor’s Club (w/Kevin Kline, 2002) I also recalled having sought out the story the movie was based on, Ethan Canin’s The Palace Thief.

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