"We think of the short story as short – many of these aren’t. We think of it as making a sudden swerve, playing a game, showing us a hidden side – some of these, like Joseph Conrad’s “Amy Foster” or Arnold Bennett’s “The Matador of the Five Towns”, are simply plodding. We think of the short story as epiphanic, oblique, operating by suggestion – many of these have strong, bony, visible narrative spines; they have plots, or are at least woodenly literalistic. As to subject matter, such an obvious index of nationality: money features from the beginning, along with snobbery, gossip, love, loss, fashion, duty, the close examination of ordinary lives, the accountancy of the familiar and of the unfamiliar that might or might not hide behind it. A crippling sense of responsibility is balanced by an equal if doomed absent-mindedness, especially when in love or in drink. Sex lies furtively in wait behind a good few doors. There are romps, of a kind, and two or three farces. There are more ghosts. There’s a fair amount of cruelty, both social and private. War – a lot of it. Religion somewhat less, but still well represented."
Sharon Bakar's insight:
M. John Harrison review The Penguin Book of the British Shirt Story Vol 1.
The short story is alive and well in the UK according to novelist Stephen King, who this week picked the winner of a competition launched to celebrate his own latest collection, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams.
Below is a guest post from Mumbai-based writer-filmmaker—and longtime #longreads contributor—Pravesh Bhardwaj (@AuteurPravesh). * * * For a couple of years now I have been posting short stories from free online sources, using the hashtags #fiction #longreads. The idea was to read something new and discover interesting stories instead of sitting on my chair staring…
In 1980s Argentina, South American and Japanese schoolchildren lie down on train tracks and reminisce about wars past – little knowing that their childhoods are about to be disrupted by a real war in the Falklands
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