The Art of Brevity: Excursions in Short Fiction Theory and Analysis

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Per Winther, Jakob Lothe, Hans H. Skei
Univ of South Carolina Press, 2004 - Literary Criticism - 212 pages
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The Art of Brevity gathers fresh ideas about the theory and writing of short fiction from around the globe to produce an international, inclusive exploration of the steadily growing field of short story studies. Though Anglo-American scholars have served as the primary developers of contemporary short story theory since the field's inception in the 1960s, this volume adds the contributions of scholars living in other parts of the world. Such Anglo-American pioneers as Mary Rohrberger, Charles May, Susan Lohafer, and John Gerlach join with short fiction scholars at universities in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Canada to build academic bridges and expand the field, geographically as well as conceptually. Contributors to the volume weave together themes of time, space, compression, mystery, reader response, and narrative closure. They discuss writers as varied as Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Sarah Orne Jewett, James Joyce, Franz Kafka, Ernest Hemingway, Mavis Gallant, Flannery O'Connor, Eudora Welty, Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro, and Robert Olen Butler. the nineteenth-century queer short story, and contemporary Danish short shorts.
 

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Contents

Origins Development Substance and Design of the Short Story
1
Why Short Stories Are Essential and Why They Are Seldom Read
14
RealWorld Characters in Fictional Story Worlds
32
Closure and Preclosure as Narrative Grid in Short Story Analysis
57
The Illustrated Short Story
70
Danish Short Shorts in the 1990s and the JenaRomantic Fragments
81
Aspects of the Fragment in Joyces Dubliners and Kafkas The Trial
96
When Foreignness and Familiarity Become
128
Architexture in Short Stories
151
Faulkner Welty and the Short Story Composite
172
Melvilles Stories as Novel Alternative
191
Index
205
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About the author (2004)

Per Winther is a professor emeritus of American literature at the University of Oslo, the author of The Art of John Gardner: Instruction and Exploration, and the coauthor of Less Is More: Short Fiction Theory and Analysis.

Hans H. Skei is a professor of comparative literature at the University of Oslo and the author of three books on Faulkner's achievement: William Faulkner: The Short Story Career; William Faulkner: The Novelist as Short Story Writer; and Reading Faulkner's Best Short Stories.

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