The Realist Short Story of the Powerful Glimpse: Chekhov to Carver
Taking a distinctively aesthetic approach to the genre of realist short fiction, Kerry McSweeney clusters the work of five masters - Anton Chekhov, James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, Flannery O'Connor, and Raymond Carver - to offer a poetics of the form for students and scholars. At the center of this argument is the notion that the realist short story is a glimpse - powerful and tightly focused - into a world that the writer must precisely craft and in which the reader must fully invest. backgrounds, McSweeney chooses writers based on their commitment to the realist representation of experience and their shared belief in the importance and efficacy of the short story form. By considering their efforts in tandem, he develops a means to assess the strategies and claims of realist short fiction. their work are assembled and critically scrutinized, the result is an aesthetic critical model - as opposed to more interpretative models that focus attention on the determination (or indetermination) of meanings. He suggests that a fully adequate reading of a realist short story involves the integration of three components: the enjoyment and contemplation of the story in and of itself; affective receptivity, or a response to the story's emotional content; and cognitive activity, or the reflective consideration of the story's conceptual implications. this presentational model is applied to widely known and often anthologized readings from each writer. McSweeney brings into sharp focus the distinctive features of each piece, makes qualitative discriminations, and assesses the profitability of other critical models. He concludes with an invitation to test the mettle of his approach in reading other realist short story writers.
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Aesthetic Readings of Chekhovs Stories 20
Joyces Stories of My Childhood and Cultural Studies 41
Affects in Hemingways Nick Adams Sequence 56
OConnors Christian Realism 74
Carvers Dark View of Things 95
About the Author 137
aesthetic akathists Alaska allusion Anyuta Araby Babel's become begins Big Two-Hearted River boy's Call Carver central character chapter Chekhov Chekhov's stories childhood Christian commentators context Conv critical cultural cultural-studies dark death described Dubliners Easter Night effect Encounter epiphany Ernest Hemingway everything example experience eyes father feel fiddle figures fishing Flannery O'Connor grace head Hemingway Hemingway's Holy Ghost human Ieronym implication Indian Camp interpretative intertextual involuntary memory Ionych James Joyce Joyce Joyce's stories literary lives look meaning memory metonymically musical mystery narrative narrator Nick Adams stories Nick's O'Connor's stories paragraph Parker's poshlost prayer healing priest Raymond Carver reader reading realist short fiction realist short story religious Rothschild Sarah Ruth seems sensation sense sexual Sisters social soul story's closing student subtext suggest swamp symbolic tattoos telling things tion Tobias Wolff vision visual wife words writer