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Lecture 1

Course Code
Sarah Caskey

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Jan. 10/11
The Short Story definition (dictionary):
A brief work of prose fiction tending to no longer than 10,000 words
- Edgar Allan Poe: 19th century American writer; originator of the short story genre; first
critical theorist
(Poes definition) Prose tale: narrative which can be read in at one city at ½ hour to
2 hours
What are the limitations/restrictions of his definition?
- work towards a single effect that all other details are subordinated
- broad (not particularly meaningful)
Contemporary short story critics emphasizeshort stories can cover a great
diversity of writing styles and can behave differently
Traits and characteristics (of a short story) expansiveness, density, ambiguity,
depth, complexity, texture and openness
(Frank Davie) Canadian short stories have developed outside of the Anglo-American
definition of a singleness, limitations
pluralistic and eclectic view
- flash fiction/snapshot fiction 1st: marriage; 2nd: sexual intercourse; 3rd: first pregnancy; 4th
premature birth and death of baby; 5th: second pregnancy
Developing and deepening love of the main character and her husband
Key moments of initiation of relationship and love
Organic, natural evolution: key to the story making what is a natural cycle
1st person narrator: a woman who is restrained via her communications of powerful
incidents in her4 life; it creates the intimacy between the narrator and the readers…
therefore, powerful and connection contributes to strength and power of the story
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