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Lecture 3

The Short Story - Lecture Three.docx

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Brock University
Marilyn Rose

ENGL 2P56 1 12 September 2013 The Short Story: Lecture Three Ideas about Short Stories Recap on the Critique of Short Stories  Intrinsically “neat” and “polished” in construction  Like photographs, the short story is suggestive of more than it literally presents  By nature “incomplete” – without closure; raises more questions than it answers  Spare, but also marked by “surplus” – extra suggestibility usually through language  Sometimes seen as philosophical or spiritual in reach (small stories with large ideas about what it means to be human, for example)  Others would suggest that the short story is something that disturbs or unsettles  Usually seen as an artifact/very crafted object Heti’s “The Raspberry Bush”  Seemingly about loneliness or isolation  Constructed like a folk or fairy tale; protagonist is unnamed and is a type more than a person  Binaries: dark versus light/twinkles/gold/smiles  Impersonal point of view (third person, detached, no interiority)  We are told details rather than made to feel them (visual imagery; auditory through the sister’s voice; but nothing tactile, olfactory, kinetic, synesthetic) Critiques Continued  Gordimer says that the short story is Inherently more flexible and open to experimentation than novels  As a writer, Raymond Carver was interested in a “get in, get out” mentality  He said that in order to really appreciate a short story, one would read a bunch of short stories written by one author  He believed they would express a specific worldview  In 1895, Chekhov writes to an aspiring writer: a short story needs compactness Achebe’s “Dead Men’s Path”  Nigerian writer writing about Africa  Issues of colonialism  The main character is a young, idealistic teacher  He is caught between his imperial training as a teacher and the lives of the people he wishes to change  He has been trained in modern and progressive methods  The ancestral practices he encounters are not included in his worldview  His int
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