While the short story was not the first fictional genre to make its appearance during the course of the 19th century, it certainly was the first to adapt itself to a new cultural environment, as writers set about using it as a means… Analysis of the genre As a genrethe short story received relatively little critical attention through the middle of the 20th century, and the most valuable studies of the form were often limited by region or era.
By far the majority of criticism on the short story focused on techniques of writing. Many, and often the best of the technical works, advise the young reader—alerting the reader to the variety of devices and tactics employed by the skilled writer.
These two terms establish the polarities of the milieu out of which the modern short story grew. The tale is much older than the sketch. Usually filled with cryptic and uniquely deployed motifs, personages, and symbolstales are frequently fully understood only by members of the particular culture to which they belong.
Simply, tales are intracultural. Seldom created to address an outside culture, a tale is a medium through which a culture speaks to itself and thus perpetuates its own values and stabilizes its own identity.
The old speak to the young through tales. The sketch, by contrast, is intercultural, depicting some phenomenon of one culture for the benefit or pleasure of a second culture. Factual and journalistic, in essence the sketch is generally more analytic or descriptive and less narrative or dramatic than the tale.
Moreover, the sketch by nature is suggestive, incomplete; the tale is often hyperbolic, overstated. The primary mode of the sketch is written; that of the tale, spoken. This difference alone accounts for their strikingly different effects. The sketch writer can have, or pretend to have, his eye on his subject.
The tale, recounted at court or campfire—or at some place similarly removed in time from the event—is nearly always a re-creation of the past. The sketch writer is more an agent of space, bringing an aspect of one culture to the attention of a second.
It is only a slight oversimplification to suggest that the tale was the only kind of short fiction until the 16th century, when a rising middle class interest in social realism on the one hand and in exotic lands on the other put a premium on sketches of subcultures and foreign regions.
Nikolay GogolHawthorne, E. Each writer worked in his own way, but the general effect was to mitigate some of the fantasy and stultifying conventionality of the tale and, at the same time, to liberate the sketch from its bondage to strict factuality.
The modern short story, then, ranges between the highly imaginative tale and the photographic sketch and in some ways draws on both.
The short stories of Ernest Hemingwayfor example, may often gain their force from an exploitation of traditional mythic symbols water, fish, groin woundsbut they are more closely related to the sketch than to the tale.
Indeed, Hemingway was able at times to submit his apparently factual stories as newspaper copy. Faulkner seldom seems to understate, and his stories carry a heavy flavour of the past. Both his language and his subject matter are rich in traditional material.
A Southerner might well suspect that only a reader steeped in sympathetic knowledge of the traditional South could fully understand Faulkner. Faulkner may seem, at times, to be a Southerner speaking to and for Southerners. Whether or not one sees the modern short story as a fusion of sketch and tale, it is hardly disputable that today the short story is a distinct and autonomousthough still developing, genre.
History Origins The evolution of the short story first began before humans could write. To aid in constructing and memorizing tales, the early storyteller often relied on stock phrases, fixed rhythms, and rhyme.
Consequently, many of the oldest narratives in the world, such as the ancient Babylonian tale the Epic of Gilgameshare in verse.
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Indeed, most major stories from the ancient Middle East were in verse:The “ impressionist” story Several American writers, from Poe to Henry James, were interested in the “impressionist” story that focuses on the impressions registered by events on the characters’ minds, rather than the objective reality of the events themselves.
The “ impressionist” story Several American writers, from Poe to Henry James, were interested in the “impressionist” story that focuses on the impressions registered by events on the characters’ minds, rather than the objective reality of the events themselves. C CAINE, SIR THOMAS HENRY HALL Novelist, Playwright & Non-Fiction writer.
Phenomenally successful, made a fortune from his novels. Left school at 14 to join an architect's office but left in to live in the Isle of Man and help his schoolteacher uncle.