The Postmodern Short Story: Forms and Issues

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Farhat Iftekharuddin, Joseph Boyden, Mary Rohrberger, Jaie Claudet
Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003 - Literary Criticism - 282 pages
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Short stories are usually defined in terms of characteristics of modernism, in which the story begins in the middle, develops according to a truncated plot, and ends with an epiphany. This approach tends to ignore postmodernism, a movement often characterized by a negation of objective reality where plots are seemingly abandoned, surfaces are extraordinary, and symbols turn inward on themselves. This book examines postmodern forms and characteristic themes by analyzing a group of short stories that make use of postmodern narrative strategies, including nonfictional fiction, gender profiling, and death as an image.

The volume begins with a discussion of the blurred lines between fiction and nonfiction in the short story and imaginative personal essay. It then looks at the role of women in works by such authors as Sandra Cisneros, Leslie Marmon Silko, Joyce Carol Oates, and Lorrie Moore. This is followed by a section of chapters on postmodern masculinity and short fiction. The next section focuses on death as an image and theme in works by Richard Ford, Richard Brautigan, and James Joyce. The final set of chapters considers postmodern short fiction from South Africa and Canada.

 

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User Review  - bluejulie - LibraryThing

While the essays in the book give a thorough examination of selected short stories or short story collections, it would be better if there were one or two more essays that would offer a more general overview of the genre. Read full review

Contents

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IV
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V
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VI
47
VII
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VIII
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IX
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XVII
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XVIII
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XXI
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XXII
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XXIII
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XIII
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Page 4 - Thus it has always been thought that the center, which is by definition unique, constituted that very thing within a structure which while governing the structure, escapes structurality. This is why classical thought concerning structure could say that the center is, paradoxically, within the structure and outside it.
Page 4 - By orienting and organizing the coherence of the system, the center of a structure permits the play of its elements inside the total form. And even today the notion of a structure lacking any center represents the unthinkable itself.

About the author (2003)

FARHAT IFTEKHARRUDIN is Associate Professor of English and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Texas at Brownsville. He is Editor of the literary journal Short Story.

JOSEPH BOYDEN published a collection of short fiction, Born with a Tooth (2001).

MARY ROHRBERGER is Adjunct Professor of English at the University of New Orleans. She is Executive Editor of Short Story.

JAIE CLAUDET is currently working on a novel.

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