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Lecture 1-ENG215.docx

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Sarah Caskey

ENG215H1S Lecture 1:  Noah Richler (Mordecai Richler’s son)- made a defining statement that the Arts matter.  Why do these stories matter?  Status of the short story in general  Definition: brief work of prose fiction no longer than 10,000 words o This definition shows us that length is critical o This differs from the novel but in the dimension of magnitude  Poe in 1842 + 1946 articulated theories and definitions of short stories o Prose tale as a narrative read from one city to another from ½ hour to 2 hours and limited to a single effect o short prose narrative, requiring from a half-hour to one or two hours in its perusal o the brevity of the tale allowed the writer to strive for that "unity of effect or impression" which Poe commended as a supreme criterion of aesthetic judgement. o It is helpful that he offers a definition at all, but a major problem exists: Why is it limited to only one effect? His definition becomes very formulaic  Flash fiction: very short stories (for example, Bread by Michael Crummey) Can these short stories fulfill the expectation of a story, or even a short story?  Philosophy of the short story (Brander Matthews): interesting unique genre, This solidified the definition that it was limited proving that it is a single event, character or emotion. This is not the goal Brander Matthews was anticipating, and instead he wanted to give credit to the short story.  Another definition: Short story is a simple easier and less important version of the genre (terribly harsh definition).  From its 19 century beginnings, it has been the most defined, but much of what has been said about it has been prescriptive  Recently short stories can be about more than 1 thing, calling on adjectives like: o Expansiveness o
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