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O. Henry “Turn up the lights! I don’t want to go home in the dark!”

“I’ll give you the whole secret to short story writing.
Here it is.
Rule 1: Write stories that please yourself.
There is no Rule 2.” O. Henry

I don’t know who was your ‘teen-hero’, but mine was O. Henry. I have completely forgotten about the greatest master of the short story, but Mexi Movie The Third kicked my mind in the right direction (my sleepy, lazy, some way atrophied or blank brains) by the post “BOOKLIST” – check here

Its a freaking scary thing, that Booklist, but I see my O. Henry is added there now!

Mexi Movie blogger told me she don’t know much about O. Henry, so here I am, with the post about the master of a short storytelling!
Usually it is 4-7 pages length funny stories with the anecdotal plot and the surprise-ending (often the surprise in the last paragraph only!). The best about his stories:

1. entertaining
2. tricky and glittering (style)
3. the moral at the end
4. about real people
(usually small clerks in New York or aspiring actors/artists. By the way he called New York -> ‘Bagdad-on-the-Subway’. Back then I didn’t know what New York is or how does it looks like)

I’ve read that he was a really witty guy to be around and that he’ve chosen his pen name because of the joke when he was in the prison, Ohio State. But some people claims that O.Henry was the name of a candy bar he liked. Also there’s a version that it came from the name of a girlfriends cat.

Even on the dying bed he tried to joke: “Don’t turn down the light!” – he said….and then suddenly added the words from the popular song “I’m afraid to go home in the dark”.

Now you gonna ask me:
Question 1How could you get your hands on his books in USSR?
Question 2Why did you like them if you didn’t know anything about New York or USA?

Answer 1:
My mum was a member of The Book Club (she’ve got a membership from her job). Hilarious thing: my mum never reads. I mean it! I never seen her reading in my entire life. My aunt (her sister) told me she never seen my mum reading either. LOL 
But because she was the member of THE BOOK CLUB – we had a small library at home.

Answer 2: I liked O. Henry because the stories were really funny and it was impossible to predict the end! New York or Orleans or Ohio – of course were just the words for me. But because his stories usually described a “simple/small people”, you could always imagine any city, place or person close to you…

“All of life, as we know it, moves in little, unavailing circles. More justly than to anything else, it can be likened to the game of baseball. Crack! We hit the ball, and away we go. If we earn a run (in life we call it success) we get back to the home plate and sit upon a bench. If we are thrown out, we walk back to the home plate – and sit upon a bench.”
O.Henry

“If men knew how women pass the time when they are alone, they’d never marry.” O.Henry 

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Next post on Saturday –  The most funny moments  “Conversations with my mum” ( a real conversations from the last month).

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22 replies »

  1. The last paragraphs of the stories bring out the exceptional short story writing skills of his.. really a master..
    Well written Ray…it is certainly going to pique interest among readers in his stories…
    PS : i loved so many quotes😎😊🤗

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah! I’m glad I stirred your memories and thank you for the mention. That book list is really scary, I admit. Think about it: I only added 10 titles to it myself, all of the rest I got from people just like you, bloggers, chatters, and only about 10 from family members and real-life friends. I think I spend too much time online. 😀 But here in rural Italy there are only flamingos and nutrias and my dog.

    Immediately after you told me about O. Henry, I googled him and bookmarked a site with his short stories but have not start reading him yet. Soon. I love the quotes and I’m certain I will like his stories too.

    <= Also I love the new picture.

    Happy reading!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, I probably could add 10-20 writers to the list as well, but when I saw it – I knew its enough for a 2 or 3 lifetimes lol
      Here’s very quiet too, but I have my mum with a visit now so its a bit tooooo hectic lol
      I dont know if I’d like O. Henry now haha but when I’ve really enjoyed before.. the endings are always surprising :))

      Liked by 1 person

      • My mum is never reading…I’m the one who’s always reading here, usually 2-3 books per week.
        I just go with a flow mostly..I see something – I’ll pick at once and I’ll read it.. all classics I read in the uni (and worked as a teacher), so nowadays I’m rarely reading that. Mostly crime, mystery and non-fiction.
        I dont want to make your “list” any longer..cuz it is already tooooo long haha
        if you have a Goodreads account I can follow you 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Gosh… true. Now I remember.
        I had a problem with my account there anyway, and I’ve asked a question in the group..and I’ve got lots of answers. A bit overwhelming. And I’m always seeing only 2-3 names on the timeline in goodreads, maybe because they love update their reading-status just like me hahaha
        Too long “list” bcz too many classics. Some are really boring..
        Im in the age when I want to read only something what makes me smile, happy or think. I have to relate to the story or hero, otherwise “no-no” 🙂 I dont have any lists.. maybe later in life I’ll create one, but I dont think so. I’m very bad with the names! (my bad memory) eh.. as you see it now lol

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, I’m even more in that age, by some 10 years. 😀 I’m very selective what I actually read these days (not much, sad to say, internet wins). I like it how you say: “smile, happy or think”. The classics were put on the list by other people. To each its own, I say.

        Liked by 1 person