Short Stories from Ancient Places

The book of short stories I’ve been reading is closed and ready to return to the library, or at least it is finished for me for now…I also want to write a short story. 🙂 If you like the genre and maybe don’t always know where to look for short fiction, here is an overview of some ancient ones in Great Short Stories of the World by Barrett Clark (1926):

With an understanding of some ancient short stories this book began with, I’d like to pick up others from different places of the world in it at another time. Many stories were simple warnings, or were written as if trying to get a rise out of the reader with nothing really believable in it by the end.

The ones I enjoyed were “Two Brothers” about hearsay, loyalty, and forgiveness, “Setna and the Magic Book” (Egypt) for the very subtle and sarcastically funny line of patting the soil gently on the graves after a very long, troubling adventure, and “The Shipwreck of Simonides,” also insightful and funny. (Roman)

The ancient Greek stories were for me best as epics and the excerpts from longer books didn’t feel complete in this. I would like to read the epic, The Iliad. The selection of ancient Indian stories were fables or tales of warning, or of revealing one’s true essence. I’d like to find more stories in another book from there.

I enjoyed comparing similar stories like “The Shipwreck of Simonides,” the main character valuing himself above all his possessions and had an easy save from the ocean that way with nothing to carry and “The Sailor and the Pearl Merchant” about vengeance against a deceitful sailor after the story opens with gathering as many pearls from the sea as possible.

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