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The Short Story - Lecture Two.docx

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Brock University
Marilyn Rose

ENGL 2P56 1 10 September 2013 The Short Story: Lecture Two What is a short story? What is a good short story?  A story is told from someone’s perspective (or point of view)  It manufactures suspense of some kind  Engages readers viscerally (to smaller or greater extent)  Embodiment, emotional engagement with the text  How we empathize and engage with characters  To make the reader think and feel  And does so to some purpose or effect or end (for example, work at rhetoric) But what does a good story do?  Draw us into a parallel world that we become immersed in  There must be enough detail so that the reader can imagine it  The reader feels or sees themselves “there”  Feel compelled to linger in or revisit  Because it employs/exerts language Stories Vary  In length and complexity  In emphasizing plot/suspense, character, setting/atmosphere  On focus on structure and mechanics (ways of telling)  In priority of thought more than feeling; or vice versa  In degree of realism, fantasy, or metafiction Can a short story be a quality story?  Can they do more then just entertain us?  Can we engage with fiction that doesn’t engage with us?  Because there isn’t enough space to sufficiently create a character or character development Short Story Theory  Charles May says we cannot define a short story in term of shortness  It is relative  Its more useful to think of a short story as fiction that has been polished and removed of excess  Short stories are automatically neatly structured and polished in execution  It used to be thought that a short story deri
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