ERIC Number: ED030633
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1966
Reference Count: N/A
Teaching the Short Story. Davis Publications in English Number Two.
Although there are several kinds of short stories, all "demand an intense concision and economy and all must somehow achieve a satisfying sense of finality." Form, not subject matter, distinguishes the short story from other fiction. The traditionally plotted story consists of a "situation," the "complication," the "climax," and the "denouement." Finality in these stories is often achieved through "reversals," as in "Gift of the Magi" or "A Rose for Emily." The modern, relatively plotless story can perhaps best be described in Henry James' phrase, "a situation revealed," and illustrated by Maupassant's "Madame Tellier's Establishment," which gives the air of discovering its own form as it goes along. In situation-revealed stories, form must be found in the material and often is maintained through symbols, allusions to ancient myths, or the use of a "frame." Chekhov, who may be the first entirely modern short story writer, uses intensification of a situation as the basis for his stories. (JS)
Descriptors: Fiction, Literary Criticism, Literary Devices, Literary Genres, Literary History, Literature, Mythology, Short Stories, Symbols (Literary)
National Council of Teachers of English, 508 So. Sixth Street, Champaign, Ill. 61820 (Stock No. 38505, $0.50)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: California Univ., Davis.
Note: Published by the Department of English, University of California, Davis, Calif.