classes ::: media,
children ::: The Book (short story)
branches ::: short story

Instances, Classes, See Also, Object in Names
Definitions, . Quotes . - . Chapters .

object:short story
object:short stories
Isaac Asimov - The Last Question

The Library of Babel
Death and the Compass
The Immortals
The House of Asterion
Funes the Memorious
The Book of Sand
The Secret Miracle
A Clean, Well-Lighted Place by Ernest Hemingway :::
The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway :::
The Killers by Ernest Hemingway :::
Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway :::
A Beneficiary by Nadine Gordimer :::
Town of Cats by Haruki Murakami :::
True Love by Haruki Murakami :::
Amundsen by Alice Munro :::
The Bear Came Over the Mountain by Alice Munro :::
Beginners by Raymond Carver :::
Why Don't You Dance? by Raymond Carver :::
So Much Water So Close to Home by Raymond Carver :::
Cathedral by Raymond Carver :::
Symbols and Signs by Vladmir Nabokov :::
A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O'Connor :::
Everything That Rises Must Converge by Flannery O'Connor :::
Revelation by Flannery O'Connor :::
The Embassy of Camobdia by Zadie Smith :::
The Largesse of the Sea Maiden by Denis Johnson :::
A Perfect Day for Bananafish by J. D. Salinger :::
All at One Point by Italo Calvino :::
Italy by Antonio Elefano :::
In the Penal Colony by Franz Kafka :::
Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka :::
The Trial by Franz Kafka :::
Gooseberries by Anton Chekov :::
The Looking Glass by Anton Chekov :::
The Nose by Nikolai Gogol :::
The School by Donald Barthelme :::
Debarking by Laurie Moore :::
Orientation by Daniel Orozco :::
Wants by Grace Paley :::
The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin :::
Happy Endings by Margaret Atwood :::
A Worn Path by Eudora Welty :::
The Fly by Katherine Mansfield :::
A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings by Gabriel Garcia Marquez :::
Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? By Joyce Carol Oates :::
Lovely, Dark, Deep by Joyce Carol Oates :::
D. by Joyce Carol Oates :::
A Rose for Emily by William Faulker :::
Barn Burning by William Faulker :::
The $30,000 Bequest by Mark Twain :::
Assimilation by E. L. Doctorow :::
A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle :::
Six to Eight Black Men by David Sedaris :::
Jesus Shaves by David Sedaris :::
The Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris :::
The Soul is Not a Smithy by David Foster Wallace :::
How to Become a Writer by Lorrie Moore :::
Some Of Us Had Been Threatening Our Friend Colby by Donald Barthelme :::
A Lack of Order in the Floating Object Room by George Saunders :::
Sea Oak by George Saunders :::
The Dungeon Master by Sam Lipsyte :::
How to Date a Brown Girl by Junot Diaz :::,HowTo.pdf

At The Mountains of Madness by H. P. Lovecraft :::
The Call of Cthulu by H. P. Lovecraft :::
The Colour Out of Space by H. P. Lovecraft :::
The Dunwich Horror by H. P. Lovecraft :::
Survivor Type by Stephen King :::
A Death by Stephen King :::
Children of the Corn by Stephen King :::
The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe :::,d.eWE
The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe :::
The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allan Poe :::
The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman :::
The Lady of the Shroud by Bram Stoker :::
Pigeons from Hell by Robert E. Howard :::
Varney the Vampire by James Malcolm Rymer :::
The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains by Neil Gaiman :::
A Study in Emerald by Neil Gaiman :::
Lost Souls by Clive Barker :::
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving :::
Trapped Inside the Stoker by Jack Ketchum :::
The Last Man by Mary Shelley :::
The Monkey's Paw by W. W. Jacobs :::
The Body Snatcher by Robert Louis Stevenson :::
The Willows by Algernon Blackwood :::
The Repairer of Reputations by Robert W. Chambers :::
In The Court of the Dragon by Robert W. Chambers :::
That Last Night of the World by Ray Bradbury :::
The Veldt by Ray Bradbury :::
A Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury :::
The Time Machine by H. G. Wells :::
The Crystal Egg by H. G. Wells :::
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card :::
They're Made Out of Meat by Terry Bisson :::
The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Usula K. Le Guin :::
Limited Edition by Tim Maughan :::
Burning Chrome by William Gibson :::
Johnny Mnemonic by William Gibson :::,d.eWE
The Egg by Andy Weir :::
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes :::
The Last Question by Isaac Asimov :::
Nightfall by Isaac Asimov :::
The Bicentennial Man by Isaac Asimov :::
The Hammer of God by Arthur C. Clarke :::
The Nine Billion Names of God by Arthur C. Clarke :::
I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream by Harlan Ellison :::
Second Variety by Philp K. Dick :::

21st-century short story writers run into the thousands.
Global sales of short story fiction are still going strong. In the UK sales jumped 45% in 2017, driven by collections from international names such as Alice Munro, new writers to the genre such as Tom Hanks, and the revival of short story salons, such as those held by short fiction company, Pin Drop Studio.[4]
More than 690,000 short stories and anthologies were sold in the UK in 2017, generating 5.88 million, the genre's highest sales since 2010.[5]
Short story salons
In 2012 Pin Drop Studio launched a short story salon held regularly in London and other major cities. Short story writers who have appeared at the salon to read their short stories to a live audience include Ben Okri, Lionel Shriver, Elizabeth Day, A.L. Kennedy, Will Self, William Boyd, Graham Swift, David Nicholls, Will Self, Sebastian Faulks, Julian Barnes, Evie Wylde and Claire Fuller.[6][7][8]

Prominent short story awards such as The Sunday Times Short Story Award and the Pin Drop Studio Short Story Award, attract hundreds of entries each year. Published and non-published writers take part, sending their stories from across the world.[8][9][10]
In 2013, Alice Munro was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature-her citation read "master of the contemporary short story."[11] She said she hopes the award would bring readership for the short story, as well as recognize the short story on its own merit, rather than "something that people do before they write their first novel."[12] Short stories have been cited with regard to other laureates as well, Paul Heyse in 1910 and Gabriel Garca Marquez in 1982.[13][14]
Short stories are sometimes adapted for radio, TV and film:
  Radio dramas, as on NBC Presents: Short Story (1951-52). A popular example of this is "The Hitch-Hiker", read by Orson Welles.
  Short films, often rewritten by other people, and even as feature-length films; such is the case of "Children of the Corn", "The Shawshank Redemption", "The Birds", "Brokeback Mountain", "Who Goes There?", "Duel", "A Sound of Thunder", "The Body", "Total Recall", "The Lawnmower Man", "Hearts in Atlantis", and "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty".
  Television specials, such as "12:01 PM" (1993 television movie), "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" (October 11, 1963, on The Twilight Zone), "The Lottery", and "Button, Button" (on The Twilight Zone).
Determining what exactly separates a short story from longer fictional formats is problematic. A classic definition of a short story is that one should be able to read it in one sitting, a point most notably made in Edgar Allan Poe's essay "The Philosophy of Composition" (1846).[15]
Interpreting this standard nowadays is problematic, because the expected length of "one sitting" may now be briefer than it was in Poe's era.
Short stories have no set length. In terms of word count there is no official demarcation between an anecdote, a short story, and a novel. Rather, the form's parameters are given by the rhetorical and practical context in which a given story is produced and considered, so that what constitutes a short story may differ between genres, countries, eras, and commentators.[16] Like the novel, the short story's predominant shape reflects the demands of the available markets for publication, and the evolution of the form seems closely tied to the evolution of the publishing industry and the submission guidelines of its constituent houses.[17]
As a point of reference for the genre writer, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America define short story length in the Nebula Awards for science fiction submission guidelines as having a word count of fewer than 7,500 words.[18]
Longer stories that cannot be called novels are sometimes considered "novellas" or novelettes and, like short stories, may be collected into the more marketable form of "collections", often containing previously unpublished stories. Sometimes, authors who do not have the time or money to write a novella or novel decide to write short stories instead, working out a deal with a popular website or magazine to publish them for profit.

The precursors of short story were legends, mythic tales, folk tales, fairy tales, fables and anecdotes which were present in various ancient communities across the world. These short pieces existed mostly in oral form and they were transmitted from one generation to another in oral form. A large number of such tales are found in ancient literature, from the Indian epics the Ramayana and the Mahabharata to the Homeric epics the Iliad and the Odyssey. The 1001 Arabian Nights, compiled for the first time probably in the eighth century, is also a storehouse of Middle Eastern folk tales and fairy tales. Emerging in the 17th century from oral storytelling traditions and above-mentioned written works of the ancient times (which themselves are based on oral traditions), the short story has grown to encompass a body of work so diverse as to defy easy characterization.
With the rise of the realistic novel, the short story evolved in a parallel tradition, with some of its first distinctive examples in the tales of E.T.A. Hoffmann. The character of the form developed particularly with authors known for their short fiction, either by choice (they wrote nothing else) or by critical regard, which acknowledged the focus and craft required in the short form. An example is Jorge Luis Borges, who won American fame with "The Garden of Forking Paths", published in the August 1948 Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. Another example is O. Henry (author of "Gift of the Magi"), for whom the O. Henry Award is named. Other of his most popular, inventive and most often reprinted stories (among over 600) include: "The Ransom of Red Chief", "The Cop and the Anthem", "The Skylight Room", "After Twenty Years", A Municipal Report, An Unfinished Story, A Lickpenny Lover, Mammon and the Archer and The Last Leaf. American examples include: Jack London, Ambrose Bierce, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, John Cheever, and Raymond Carver. Science fiction short story with a special poetic touch was a genre developed with great popular success by Ray Bradbury. The genre of the short story was often neglected until the second half of the 19th century.
The evolution of printing technologies and periodical editions were among the factors contributing to the increasing importance of short story publications. Pioneering role in founding the rules of the genre in the Western canon include, among others, Rudyard Kipling (United Kingdom), Anton Chekhov (Russia), Guy de Maupassant (France), Manuel Gutirrez Najera (Mexico) and Rubn Daro (Nicaragua).
An important theoretical example for storytelling analysis is provided by Walter Benjamin in his essay The Storyteller where he argues about the decline of storytelling art and the incommunicability of experiences in the modern world.[19] Oscar Wilde's essay The Decay of Lying and Henry James's The Art of Fiction are also partly related to this subject.

Short stories date back to oral storytelling traditions which originally produced epics such as the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, Homer's Iliad and Odyssey. Oral narratives were often told in the form of rhyming or rhythmic verse, often including recurring sections or, in the case of Homer, Homeric epithets. Such stylistic devices often acted as mnemonics for easier recall, rendition and adaptation of the story. Short sections of verse might focus on individual narratives that could be told at one sitting. The overall arc of the tale would emerge only through the telling of multiple such sections.
The other ancient form of short story, the anecdote, was popular under the Roman Empire. Anecdotes functioned as a sort of parable, a brief realistic narrative that embodies a point. Many surviving Roman anecdotes were collected in the 13th or 14th century as the Gesta Romanorum. Anecdotes remained popular in Europe well into the 18th century, when the fictional anecdotal letters of Sir Roger de Coverley were published.
In India, there is a rich heritage of ancient folktales as well as compiled body of short fiction which shaped the sensibility of modern Indian short story. Some of the famous Sanskrit collection of legends, folktales, fairy tales and fables are Panchatantra, Hitopadesha and Kathasaritsagara. Jataka tales, originally written in Pali, is a compilation of tales concerning the previous births of Lord Gautama Buddha. The Frame story or frame narrative or story within a story is a narrative technique which probably originated in ancient Indian works such as Panchatantra.
In Europe, the oral story-telling tradition began to develop into written stories in the early 14th century, most notably with Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and Giovanni Boccaccio's Decameron. Both of these books are composed of individual short stories (which range from farce or humorous anecdotes to well-crafted literary fictions) set within a larger narrative story (a frame story), although the frame-tale device was not adopted by all writers. At the end of the 16th century, some of the most popular short stories in Europe were the darkly tragic "novella" of Matteo Bandello (especially in their French translation).
The mid 17th century in France saw the development of a refined short novel, the "nouvelle", by such authors as Madame de Lafayette. In the 1690s, traditional fairy tales began to be published (one of the most famous collections was by Charles Perrault). The appearance of Antoine Galland's first modern translation of the Thousand and One Nights (or Arabian Nights) (from 1704; another translation appeared in 1710-12) would have an enormous influence on the 18th-century European short stories of Voltaire, Diderot and others.

There are early examples of short stories published separately between 1790 and 1810, but the first true collections of short stories appeared between 1810 and 1830 in several countries around the same period.[20]
The first short stories in the United Kingdom were gothic tales like Richard Cumberland's "remarkable narrative" "The Poisoner of Montremos" (1791).[21] Great novelists like Sir Walter Scott and Charles Dickens also wrote some short stories.
One of the earliest short stories in the United States was Charles Brockden Brown's "Somnambulism" from 1805. Washington Irving wrote mysterious tales including "Rip van Winkle" (1819) and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" (1820). Nathaniel Hawthorne published the first part of his Twice-Told Tales in 1837. Edgar Allan Poe wrote his tales of mystery and imagination between 1832 and 1849. Poe is often given the credit (by scholars such as M. H. Abrams) of establishing short story as a genre of literature. Poe's classic stories are "The Fall of the House of Usher", "The Tell-Tale Heart", "The Cask of Amontillado", "The Pit and the Pendulum", "The Gold Bug, and the first detective stories, "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" and "The Purloined Letter". In "The Philosophy of Composition" (1846) Poe argued that a literary work (short story) should be short enough for a reader to finish in one sitting.[22]
In Germany, the first collection of short stories was by Heinrich von Kleist in 1810 and 1811. The Brothers Grimm published their first volume of collected fairy tales in 1812. E.T.A. Hoffmann followed with his own original fantasy tales, of which "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King" (1816) and "The Sandman" are the most famous.
In France, Prosper Mrime wrote Mateo Falcone in 1829.

In the latter half of the 19th century, the growth of print magazines and journals created a strong demand for short fiction of between 3,000 and 15,000 words.
In the United Kingdom, Thomas Hardy wrote dozens of short stories, including "The Three Strangers" (1883), "A Mere Interlude" (1885) and "Barbara of the House of Grebe" (1890). Rudyard Kipling published short story collections for grown-ups, e.g. Plain Tales from the Hills (1888), as well as for children, e.g. The Jungle Book (1894). In 1892 Arthur Conan Doyle brought the detective story to a new height with The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. H.G. Wells wrote his first science fiction stories in the 1880s. One of his best known is "The Country of the Blind" (1904).
In the United States, Herman Melville published his story collection The Piazza Tales in 1856. "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" was the title story of Mark Twain's first book one year later. In 1884, Brander Matthews, the first American professor of dramatic literature, published The Philosophy of the Short-Story. At that same year, Matthews was the first one to name the emerging genre "short story". Another theorist of narrative fiction was Henry James. James wrote a lot of short stories himself, including "The Real Thing" (1892), "Maud-Evelyn" and The Beast in the Jungle (1903). In the 1890s Kate Chopin published short stories in several magazines.
The most prolific French author of short stories was Guy de Maupassant. Stories like "Boule de Suif" ("Ball of Fat", 1880) and "L'Inutile Beaut" ("The Useless Beauty", 1890) are good examples of French realism.
In Russia, Ivan Turgenev gained recognition with his story collection A Sportsman's Sketches. Nikolai Leskov created his first short stories in the 1860s. Late in his life Fyodor Dostoyevski wrote "The Meek One" (1876) and "The Dream of a Ridiculous Man" (1877), two stories with great psychological and philosophical depth. Leo Tolstoy handled ethical questions in his short stories, for example in "Ivan the Fool" (1885), "How Much Land Does a Man Need?" (1886) and "Alyosha the Pot" (1905). The greatest specialist of the Russian short story, however, was Anton Chekhov. Classic examples of his realistic prose are "The Bet" (1889), "Ward No. 6" (1892), and "The Lady with the Dog" (1899). Maxim Gorky's best known short story is "Twenty-six Men and a Girl" (1899).
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century in India, Rabindranath Tagore published more than 150 short stories, on the lives of the poor and oppressed such as peasants, women and villagers under colonial misrule and exploitation. Some of his famous short stories include "The Kabuliwala", "The Hungry Stone", "The Wife's Letter", "The Parrot's Training" and "Pubishment". Tagore's contemporary, Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay was another pioneer in Bengali short stories. Chattopadhyay's stories focused on the social scenario of rural Bengal and the lives of common people, especially the oppressed classes. His most popular short stories include "Bindu's Son", "Abhagi's Heaven", "Mahesh", "Ram's Good Lesson", "Lalu" (3 parts) and "The Husband".
The prolific Indian author of short stories Munshi Premchand, pioneered the genre in the Hindustani language, writing a substantial body of short stories and novels in a style characterized by realism and an unsentimental and authentic introspection into the complexities of Indian society. Premchand's works include over 200 short stories (such as "The Shroud", "The Cost of Milk" and "Lottery").
In Poland, Bolesaw Prus was the most important author of short stories. In 1888 he wrote "A Legend of Old Egypt".
The Brazilian novelist Machado de Assis was the most important short story writer from his country at the time, under influences (among others) of Xavier de Maistre, Lawrence Sterne, Guy de Maupassant. In the end of the 19th century the writer Joo do Rio became popular by short stories about the bohemianism. Writing about the former slaves, and very ironical about nationalism, Lima Barreto died almost forgotten, but became very popular in the 20th century.
In Portuguese literature, the major names of the time are Almeida Garrett and the historian and novelist Alexandre Herculano. Still influential, Ea de Queiroz produced some short stories with a style influenced by mile Zola, Balzac and Dickens.
In the United Kingdom, periodicals like The Strand Magazine and Story-Teller contributed to the popularity of the short story. Hector Hugh Munro (1870-1916), also known by his pen name of Saki, wrote satirical short stories about Edwardian England. W. Somerset Maugham, who wrote over a hundred short stories, was one of the most popular authors of his time. P.G. Wodehouse published his first collection of comical stories about valet Jeeves in 1917. Many detective stories were written by G.K. Chesterton, Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers. Short stories by Virginia Woolf are "Kew Gardens" (1919) and "Solid Objects," about a politician with mental problems. Graham Greene wrote his Twenty-One Stories between 1929 and 1954. A specialist of the short story was V.S. Pritchett, whose first collection appeared in 1932. Arthur C. Clarke published his first science fiction story, "Travel by Wire!" in 1937. Evelyn Waugh, Muriel Spark and L.P. Hartley were other popular British storytellers whose career started in this period.
In Ireland, James Joyce published his short story collection Dubliners in 1914. These stories, written in a more accessible style than his later novels, are based on careful observation of the inhabitants of his birth city.
In the first half of the 20th century, a number of high-profile American magazines such as The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's Magazine, The New Yorker, Scribner's, The Saturday Evening Post, Esquire, and The Bookman published short stories in each issue. The demand for quality short stories was so great and the money paid for such so well that F. Scott Fitzgerald repeatedly turned to short-story (as Matthews preferred to write it) writing to pay his numerous debts. His first collection Flappers and Philosophers appeared in book form in 1920. William Faulkner wrote over one hundred short stories. Go Down, Moses, a collection of seven stories, appeared in 1941. Ernest Hemingway's concise writing style was perfectly fit for shorter fiction. Stories like "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" (1926), "Hills Like White Elephants" (1927) and "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" (1936) are only a few pages long, but carefully crafted. Dorothy Parker's bittersweet story "Big Blonde" debuted in 1929. A popular science fiction story is "Nightfall" by Isaac Asimov.
Katherine Mansfield from New Zealand wrote many short stories between 1912 and her death in 1923. "The Doll's House" (1922) treats the topic of social inequity.
In Uruguay, Horacio Quiroga became one of the most influentials short story writers in the spanish language, with a clear influence from Edgar Allan Poe, he had a great skill using the supernatural and the bizarre to show the struggle of man and animal to survive. He also excelled in portraying mental illness and hallucinatory states.
Two important authors of short stories in the German language were Thomas Mann and Franz Kafka. In 1922 the latter wrote "A Hunger Artist", about a man who fasts for several days.
In India, the master of the short story in the Urdu language, Saadat Hasan Manto is revered for his exceptional depth, irony and sardonic humour. The author of some 250 short stories, radio plays, essays, reminiscences and a novel, Manto is widely admired for his analyses of violence, bigotry, prejudice and the relationships between reason and unreason. Combining realism with surrealism and irony, Manto's works such as the celebrated short story Toba Tek Singh are aesthetic masterpieces which continue to give profound insight into the nature of human loss, violence and devastation. Another famous Urdu writer is Ismat Chughtai whose short story "Lihaaf" (The Quilt) on a lesbian relationship between an upper-class Muslim woman and her maid servant created great controversy following its publication in 1942.
Rynosuke Akutagawa (1892-1927) is called the Father of the Japanese short story.
In Brazil, the most famous modern short story writer is Mario de Andrade. At the time, Paulistan writer Antnio de Alcantara Machado became very popular from his collection of short stories titled, Bras, Bexiga e Barra Funda (1928), about several Italian neighborhoods, but now he is mostly read in just So Paulo. Also, novelist Graciliano Ramos and poet Carlos Drummond de Andrade have significant short story works.
Portuguese writers like Mario de Sa-Carneiro, Florbela Espanca and Fernando Pessoa wrote well-known short stories, although their major genre was poetry.
The period following World War II saw a great flowering of literary short fiction in the United States. The New Yorker continued to publish the works of the form's leading mid-century practitioners, including Shirley Jackson, whose story, "The Lottery", published in 1948, elicited the strongest response in the magazine's history to that time. Other frequent contributors during the last 1940s included John Cheever, John Steinbeck, Jean Stafford, and Eudora Welty. Cheever is best known for "The Swimmer" (1964) which beautifully blends realism and surrealism. J.D. Salinger's Nine Stories (1953) experimented with point of view and voice, while Flannery O'Connor's well-known story "A Good Man is Hard to Find" (1955) reinvigorated the Southern Gothic style. Cultural and social identity played a considerable role in much of the short fiction of the 1960s. Philip Roth and Grace Paley cultivated distinctive Jewish-American voices. Tillie Olsen's "I Stand Here Ironing" (1961) adopted a consciously feminist perspective. James Baldwin's collection Going to Meet the Man (1965) told stories of African-American life. Frank O'Connor's The Lonely Voice, an exploration of the short story, appeared in 1963. Wallace Stegner's short stories are primarily set in the American West. Stephen King published many short stories in men's magazines in the 1960s and after. King's interest is found in the supernatural and macabre. The 1970s saw the rise of the postmodern short story in the works of Donald Barthelme and John Barth. Traditionalists including John Updike and Joyce Carol Oates maintained significant influence on the form. Minimalism gained widespread influence in the 1980s, most notably in the work of Raymond Carver and Ann Beattie.
Canadian short story writers include Alice Munro, Mavis Gallant, and Lynn Coady. In the year 2013 Alice Munro became the first writer of only short stories to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. Her award-winning short story collections include Dance of the Happy Shades, Lives of Girls and Women, Who Do You Think You Are?, The Progress of Love, The Love of a Good Woman and Runaway.
In the United Kingdom, Daphne du Maurier wrote suspense stories like "The Birds" (1952) and "Don't Look Now" (1971). Roald Dahl was the master of the twist-in-the-tale. Short story collections like Lamb to the Slaughter (1953) and Kiss Kiss (1960) illustrate his dark humour.
Some of the famous Bengali short story writers of the post-Tagore and post-Sarat Chandra generation are Tarasankar Bandyopadhyay, Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay, Manik Bandyopadhyay, Sunil Gangopadhyay, Mahasweta Devi, Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay, Suchitra Bhattacharya, Ramapada Chowdhury and Humayun Ahmed. The role of the bi-monthly magazine Desh (first published in 1933) is imperative in the development of Bengali short story. Two of the most popular detective story writers of Bengali literature are Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay (the creator of Byomkesh Bakshi) and Satyajit Ray (the creator of Feluda). The canon of Hindi short story was enriched by the contributions of Jaishankar Prasad, Amrita Pritam, Dharamvir Bharti, Bhisham Sahni, Krishna Sobti, Nirmal Verma, Kamleshwar, Mannu Bhandari, Harishankar Parsai and others.
In Italy, Italo Calvino published the short story collection Marcovaldo, about a poor man in a city, in 1963.
In Brazil, the short story became popular among female writers like Clarice Lispector, Lygia Fagundes Telles, Adlia Prado, who wrote about their society from a feminine viewpoint, although the genre has great male writers like Dalton Trevisan, Autran Dourado Moacyr Scliar and Carlos Heitor Cony too. Also, writing about poverty and the favelas, Joo Antonio became a well known writer. Other post-modern short fiction authors include writers Hilda Hilst and Caio Fernando Abreu. Detective literature was led by Rubem Fonseca. It is also necessary to mention Joo Guimares Rosa, wrote short stories in the book Sagarana using a complex, experimental language based on tales of oral traditional.
Portuguese writers like Virglo Ferreira, Fernando Goncalves Namora and Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen are among the most influential short story writers from 20th-century Portuguese language literature. Manuel da Silva Ramos is one of the most well-known names of postmodernism in the country. Nobel Prize-winner Jos Saramago published few short stories, but became popular from his novels.
The Angolan writer Jos Luandino Vieira is one of the most well-known writers from his country and has several short stories. Jos Eduardo Agualusa is also increasingly read in Portuguese-speaking countries.
Mozambican Mia Couto is a widely known writer of post modern prose, and he is read even in non-Portuguese speaking countries. Other Mozambican writers such as Suleiman Cassamo, Paulina Chiziane and Eduardo White are gaining popularity with Portuguese-speakers too.
The Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges is one of the most famous writers of short stories in the Spanish language. "The Library of Babel" (1941) and "The Aleph" (1945) handle difficult subjects like infinity. Two of the most representative writers of the Magical realism genre are also widely known Argentinian short story writers: Adolfo Bioy Casares and Julio Cortazar.
The Uruguayan writer Juan Carlos Onetti is known as one of the most important magical realist writer from Latin America.
In Colombia, the Nobel prize laureate author Gabriel Garca Marquez is the main novelist and short story writer, known by his magical realist stories and his defense of the Communist Party in his country.
The Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa, also a Nobel prize winner, has significant short story works.
The Egyptian Nobel Prize-winner Naguib Mafouz is the most well-known author from his country, but has only a few short stories.
Japanese world-known short story writers include Kenzabur e (Nobel prize winner of 1994), Yukio Mishima and Haruki Murakami.
Multi-awarded Philippine writer Peter Solis Nery is one of the most famous writers of short stories in Hiligaynon language. His stories "Lirio" (1998), "Candido" (2007), "Donato Bugtot" (2011), and "Si Padre Olan kag ang Dios" (2013) are all gold prize winners at the Palanca Awards of Philippine Literature.

This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.
Find sources: "Short story" - news newspapers books scholar JSTOR (May 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
As a concentrated, concise form of narrative and descriptive prose fiction, the short story has been theorized through the traditional elements of dramatic structure: exposition (the introduction of setting, situation and main characters), complication (the event that introduces the conflict), rising action, crisis (the decisive moment for the protagonist and his commitment to a course of action), climax (the point of highest interest in terms of the conflict and the point with the most action) and resolution (the point when the conflict is resolved). Because of their length, short stories may or may not follow this pattern. For example, modern short stories only occasionally have an exposition, more typically beginning in the middle of the action (in medias res). As with longer stories, plots of short stories also have a climax, crisis, or turning point. However, the endings of many short stories are abrupt and open and may or may not have a moral or practical lesson. As with any art form, the exact characteristics of a short story will vary by creator.

see also ::: List of Nebula Award for short story
  Conte cruel
  Flash fiction (also called microfiction)
  Irish short story
  Literary journal
  Mini saga
  Sketch story
  Tall tale

questions, comments, suggestions/feedback, take-down requests, contribute, etc
contact me @ or via the comments below
or join the integral discord server (chatrooms)
if the page you visited was empty, it may be noted and I will try to fill it out. cheers








List of Nebula Awards for Best Short Story
short story
The Art of the Short Story
The Book (short story)
select ::: Being, God, injunctions, media, place, powers, subjects,
favorite ::: cwsa, everyday, grade, mcw, memcards (table), project, project 0001, Savitri, the Temple of Sages, three js, whiteboard,
temp ::: consecration, experiments, knowledge, meditation, psychometrics, remember, responsibility, temp, the Bad, the God object, the Good, the most important, the Ring, the source of inspirations, the Stack, the Tarot, the Word, top priority, whiteboard,

--- DICTIONARIES (in Dictionaries, in Quotes, in Chapters)

short story: A prose narrative of fiction, which is relatively short and more concise, often depicting only one event or climax.

--- QUOTES [15 / 15 - 369 / 369] (in Dictionaries, in Quotes, in Chapters)

KEYS (10k)

   7 Ernest Hemingway
   4 James Joyce
   2 F Scott Fitzgerald
   1 Edgar Allan Poe


   11 Stephen King
   9 Neil Gaiman
   7 Ray Bradbury
   6 Raymond Carver
   6 Kurt Vonnegut
   6 Haruki Murakami
   6 George Saunders
   5 Flannery O Connor
   4 Tobias Wolff
   4 Peter Orner
   4 Michael Chabon
   4 Khaled Hosseini
   4 Eudora Welty
   4 Edgar Allan Poe
   4 Chuck Palahniuk
   3 V S Pritchett
   3 Rivka Galchen
   3 Nicholas Royle
   3 Lorin Stein
   3 Junot Diaz
   3 Julio Cortazar
   3 Jon Scieszka
   3 Jonathan Carroll
   3 Gregory David Roberts
   3 Gene Wolfe
   3 Elizabeth Bowen
   3 Dan Chaon
   3 Anonymous
   3 Ambrose Bierce
   2 William Faulkner
   2 Walter Mosley
   2 Truman Capote
   2 Tom Franklin
   2 Sylvia Plath
   2 S J Scott
   2 Nell Freudenberger
   2 Molly Antopol
   2 Michael Connelly
   2 Lucy Corin
   2 Lorrie Moore
   2 Lin Yutang
   2 Julio Cort zar
   2 Joshua Foer
   2 Jorge Luis Borges
   2 Joe Hill
   2 Jenny Han
   2 James Scott Bell
   2 Isabel Allende
   2 Honor de Balzac
   2 Hilary Mantel
   2 Geraldine Brooks
   2 George R R Martin
   2 Gabriel Garc a M rquez
   2 F Scott Fitzgerald
   2 Frank O Connor
   2 Ernest Hemingway
   2 Edna O Brien
   2 Edith Wharton
   2 David Sedaris
   2 Daphne du Maurier
   2 Connie Willis
   2 Charles Dickens
   2 Bret Harte
   2 Anne Lamott
   2 Ali Smith
   2 Alice Munro

1:There is no friend as loyal as a book. ~ Ernest Hemingway,
2:Quotations every day of the year. ~ James Joyce, Finnegans Wake ,
3:Show the readers everything, tell them nothing. ~ Ernest Hemingway,
4:A short story must have a single mood and every sentence must build towards it. ~ Edgar Allan Poe,
5:The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. ~ Ernest Hemingway,
6:[...] a darkness shining in brightness which brightness could not comprehend. ~ James Joyce, Ulysses ,
7:Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know. ~ Ernest Hemingway, The Garden of Eden ,
8:All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know. ~ Ernest Hemingway,
9:In a real dark night of the soul, it is always three o'clock in the morning, day after day. ~ F Scott Fitzgerald,
10:There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men. True nobility lies in being superior to your former self. ~ Ernest Hemingway,
11:A dream of favours, a favourable dream. They know how they believe that they believe that they know. Wherefore they wail. ~ James Joyce,
12:The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. ~ F Scott Fitzgerald,
13:Practice is the act of rehearsing a behavior over and over, or engaging in an activity again and again, for the purpose of improving or mastering it, as in the phrase practice makes perfect. ~ ,
14:A certain pride, a certain awe, withheld him from offering to God even one prayer at night, though he knew it was in God's power to take away his life while he slept and hurl his soul hellward ere he could beg for mercy. ~ James Joyce,
15:When I am working on a book or a story I write every morning as soon after first light as possible. There is no one to disturb you and it is cool or cold and you come to your work and warm as you write. You read what you have written and, as you always stop when you know what is going to happen next, you go on from there. You write until you come to a place where you still have your juice and know what will happen next and you stop and try to live through until the next day when you hit it again. You have started at six in the morning, say, and may go on until noon or be through before that. When you stop you are as empty, and at the same time never empty but filling, as when you have made love to someone you love. Nothing can hurt you, nothing can happen, nothing means anything until the next day when you do it again. It is the wait until the next day that is hard to get through. ~ Ernest Hemingway,

*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***

1:NOVEL, n. A short story padded ~ Ambrose Bierce,
2:NOVEL, n. A short story padded. ~ Ambrose Bierce,
3:A short story is like a kiss in the dark. ~ Stephen King,
4:A short story is photograph. A novel is a film. ~ Lorrie Moore,
5:The short story is the literature of the nomad. ~ John Cheever,
6:Women want love to be a novel, men a short story. ~ Daphne du Maurier,
7:To tell a short story is to know how to keep a secret. ~ Andr s Neuman,
8:Women want love to be a novel. Men, a short story. ~ Daphne du Maurier,
9:The novel wins by points, the short story by knockout. ~ Julio Cortazar,
10:As a short story is like a kiss in the dark from a stranger. ~ Stephen King,
11:Herman Melville’s short story, “Bartleby the Scrivener. ~ Martin van Creveld,
12:A short story is what you see when you look out of the window. ~ Mavis Gallant,
13:The makers of the short story have rarely been good novelists. ~ V S Pritchett,
14:Every free minute is a short story with a happy ending. ~ Gregory David Roberts,
15:I do think that short story writing is often a matter of luck. ~ Robert Sheckley,
16:And Elvex said, "I was the man." - In "Robot dreams" (Short story) ~ Isaac Asimov,
17:The short story packs a self in a few pages predicating a lifetime ~ Bernard Malamud,
18:For me, writing a short story is much, much harder than writing a novel. ~ Lynn Abbey,
19:A novel is achieved with hard work, the short story with inspiration. ~ Isabel Allende,
20:Unlike the novel, a short story may be, for all purposes, essential. ~ Jorge Luis Borges,
21:The effect produced by a short story depends almost entirely on its form. ~ Edith Wharton,
22:I started a short story but it was so dreary that even my pen threw up. ~ Jonathan Carroll,
23:Have a short story feature two situations, and then let them solve each other. ~ Gene Wolfe,
24:I can write a short story in six words. For sale: baby shoes, never used ~ Ernest Hemingway,
25:One of the last courses I taught was on the Russian short story, which I love. ~ Tobias Wolff,
26:A short story is. . .frequently the celebration of character at bursting point. ~ V S Pritchett,
27:A short story must have a single mood and every sentence must build towards it. ~ Edgar Allan Poe,
28:Chekhov - shall I be blunt? - is the greatest short story writer who ever lived. ~ George Saunders,
29:Find the key emotion; this may be all you need know to find your short story. ~ F Scott Fitzgerald,
30:The short story is not, as some believe, a lesser form of literature than the novel. ~ Andrew Barger,
31:You can write a short story in two hours. Two hours a day, you have a novel in a year ~ Ray Bradbury,
32:Write a short story every week. It's not possible to write 52 bad short stories in a row. ~ Ray Bradbury,
33:I think the short story is a very underrated art form. We know that novels deserve respect. ~ Neil Gaiman,
34:Everything has to be pulling weight in a short story for it to be really of the first order. ~ Tobias Wolff,
35:To the extent that the short story is an art, Sturgeon is the American short-story writer. ~ Samuel R Delany,
36:Do three things each night before you go to bed: read a poem, read a short story, read an essay. ~ Ray Bradbury,
37:In Mosca’s experience, a ‘long story’ was always a short story someone did not want to tell. ~ Frances Hardinge,
38:While there may not be a book in every one of us, there is so often a damned good short story. ~ Jeffrey Archer,
39:Write a short story every week. It’s not possible to write 52 bad stories in a row.” ~ Ray Bradbury ~ S J Scott,
40:The novel [The Kite Runner] came about as an expansion of that original, unpublished short story. ~ Khaled Hosseini,
41:I have some other novels I want to write. I have a lot of short stories - I love the short story. ~ George R R Martin,
42:Newt Gingrich wrote a novel, and he's a short story. Bill Clinton wrote a biography, and he's a novel. ~ James McBride,
43:A short story is a love affair, a novel is a marriage. A short story is a photograph; a novel is a film. ~ Lorrie Moore,
44:I'm very happy - if I can do even a little bit of work to get the short story out more, I'm thrilled. ~ George Saunders,
45:Write a short story every week. It’s not possible to write 52 bad stories in a row.” ~ S J Scott Ray Bradbury ~ S J Scott,
46:A short story is a different thing all together - a short story is like a kiss in the dark from a stranger. ~ Stephen King,
47:My circumstances of unrelieved responsibility and permanent distraction necessitated the short story form. ~ Raymond Carver,
48:A short story is something that I think can be intuited and envisioned and held in your mind almost at once. ~ Richard Russo,
49:So many people can now write competent stories that the short story is in danger of dying of competence. ~ Flannery O Connor,
50:A short story is a different thing altogether – a short story is like a quick kiss in the dark from a stranger. ~ Stephen King,
51:At the end of every short story the reader should feel as if a cloud has been lifted from the face of the moon. ~ Michael Chabon,
52:What you can do with a short story that you can't do with a novel is punch someone in the gut, in the best of ways. ~ Peter Orner,
53:The short story form allows evocation, suggestion, implication. Its potency often lies in what it does not say. ~ Isobelle Carmody,
54:A good [short story] would take me out of myself and then stuff me back in, outsized, now, and uneasy with the fit. ~ David Sedaris,
55:I knew little about short story writing then so it was rough going, but I did find the experience very memorable. ~ Haruki Murakami,
56:Alice Munro is a particular kind of short story writer in that she writes long, character-driven short stories. ~ Nell Freudenberger,
57:A poem (surely someone has said this before) is a one-night stand, a short story a love affair, and a novel a marriage. ~ Erica Jong,
58:Some writers keep a tighter rein on that than others. For short story collections I'm definitely in the loose-rein camp. ~ Roy Kesey,
59:Writing a short story is like having a short intense affair, whereas writing a novel is like a long rich marriage. ~ Jonathan Carroll,
60:Really, I think among the many mistakes I've made over my life, one of them was caring so much about the short story. ~ Charles D Ambrosio,
61:(The short story) is a form that has all the power of the novel - some would say more - but none of the self-importance. ~ Joseph O Connor,
62:I'll give you the whole secret to short story writing. Here it is. Rule 1: Write stories that please yourself. There is no Rule 2. ~ O Henry,
63:Every day, when you're on the run, is the whole of your life. Every free minute is a short story with a happy ending. ~ Gregory David Roberts,
64:A short story is something that you can hold in your mind. You can really analyze how the entire thing works, like a machine ~ Chuck Palahniuk,
65:The sun disappeared into the woods and shadows started slinking out from between the trees."

short story, Pumpkin ~ Robert Bloch,
66:…but that was a long time ago, a long story everyone’s tired of repeating, or a short story simply not worth repeating again. ~ Caitl n R Kiernan,
67:every short story is an experiment - what one must ask is not only, did it come off, but was it, as an experiment, worth making? ~ Elizabeth Bowen,
68:I'm actually writing a short story about a photographer who went completely insane trying to take a close up photo of the horizon. ~ Steven Wright,
69:In a short story by Chekhov or a novel by Balzac he found mysteries which, so far as he was aware, did not exist in any spy thriller. 35 ~ Amos Oz,
70:Writing a short story is a little like walking into a dark room, finding a light and turning it on. The light is the end of the story. ~ Dan Chaon,
71:A short story is the ultimate close-up magic trick -- a couple of thousand words to take you around the universe or break your heart. ~ Neil Gaiman,
72:I couldn't sit down and write a novel or a short story - even now - because of my dyslexia. But I learned narration through movies. ~ Robert Benton,
73:The first thing we see about a short story is its mystery. And in the best short stories, we return at the last to see mystery again ~ Eudora Welty,
74:Sometimes ... it takes me an entire day to write a recipe, to communicate it correctly. It's really like writing a little short story. ~ Julia Child,
75:If [a short story author's] very initial sentence tend not to the out bringing of this effect, then he has failed in his first step. ~ Edgar Allan Poe,
76:I sold my first short story to Pyramid Press, where it was chiseled onto fifteen slabs of granite, and for which I was paid nine goats. ~ Frank Tuttle,
77:There’s only a handful of women who get anywhere. Short story writers, mostly, as if maybe women are somehow more acceptable in miniature. ~ Meg Wolitzer,
78:I consider anybody a twerp who hasn't read the greatest American short story, which is 'Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,' by Ambrose Bierce. ~ Kurt Vonnegut,
79:I loved them all equally, from the short story, to the poem, to the play, for nothing could touch me so deeply as a well-placed word. ~ Cheryl Anne Gardner,
80:The great thing about a short story is that it doesn't have to trawl through someone's whole life; it can come in glancingly from the side. ~ Emma Donoghue,
81:The pleasure of the supernatural short story lies in not having to explain anything. They’re just glimpses, a momentary lifting of the veil. ~ Clive Barker,
82:The short story feels like the most natural length for prose fiction, or certainly for the kind of ideas and situations I like to encounter. ~ Nicholas Royle,
83:She said that sometimes she uses a formula when writing a short story, which goes ABDCE, for Action, Background, Development, Climax, and Ending. ~ Anne Lamott,
84:My favorite form is the short story. From an aesthetics stand point you really have to pare down to the bone. You can't write a throw-away scene. ~ Roger Zelazny,
85:I said: "Dead end - quiet, restful, like your town. I like a town like this." Marlowe (talking about Olympia) in a short story called Goldfish. ~ Raymond Chandler,
86:I would really hope this would make people see the short story as an important art, not just something you played around with until you got a novel. ~ Alice Munro,
87:What the short story needs above all is for one of the big publishers to get an equivalent series up and running and to support it and promote it. ~ Nicholas Royle,
88:A short story is a shard, a sliver, a vignette. It's a biopsy on the human condition but it doesn't have this capacity to think autonomously for itself. ~ Will Self,
89:The short story is still like the novel's wayward younger brother, we know that it's not respectable - but I think that can also add to the glory of it. ~ Neil Gaiman,
90:You could omit anything if you knew that the omitted part would strengthen the short story and make people feel something more than they understood ~ Ernest Hemingway,
91:A short story relies on those values that make poetry and jazz what they are: tension, rhythms, inner beat, into unforeseen within foreseen parameters ~ Julio Cortazar,
92:For ten years I wrote at least one short story a week, somehow guessing that a day would finally come when I truly got out of the way and let it happen. ~ Ray Bradbury,
93:The difference between a short story and a novel is the difference between an inarticulate pang in your heart compared to the tragedy of your whole life. ~ Peter Orner,
94:The short story, I should point out, is perforce a labor of love in today's literary world; there's precious little economic incentive to write one... ~ Lawrence Block,
95:I used to take my short stories to girls' homes and read them to them. Can you imagine the reaction reading a short story to a girl instead of pawing her? ~ Ray Bradbury,
96:Writers need restrictions. If somebody just says, "Hey, do you want to write a novel, or an article, or a movie, or a short story, you get shut down." ~ Mitchell Hurwitz,
97:If Francoise Sagan hadn't written a book called A Chateau in Sweden, I would certainly write a short story called A Chateau in Puerto Rico. And I may yet. ~ Truman Capote,
98:I've always been a little bit more of a novel reader than a short story reader. I think the first books that made me want to be a writer were novels. ~ Nell Freudenberger,
99:Like some kind of particularly tenacious vampire the short story refuses to die, and seems at this point in time to be a wonderful length for our generation. ~ Neil Gaiman,
100:Most people can start a short story or a novel. If you're a writer, you can finish them. Finish enough of them, and you may be good enough to be publishable. ~ Neil Gaiman,
101:Somewhere around the place I've got an unfinished short story about Schrodinger's Dog; it was mostly moaning about all the attention the cat was getting. ~ Terry Pratchett,
102:Having made films, I know very well that the scope of the average 90- to 120-minute movie is about the same narrative heft as a long short story or a novella. ~ Paul Auster,
103:I love the short story for being round, suggestive, insinuating, microcosmic. The story has both the inconvenience and the fascination of new beginnings. ~ Luisa Valenzuela,
104:One night I had a dream and woke up and wrote down the dream. That was my first short story. The dream was a kind of fantasy of me getting revenge on my father. ~ Dale Peck,
105:turn the story into a novel, and we agreed because the characters we’d created for that short story were still hanging around our brains. They had more to say. ~ Tom Franklin,
106:I want the reader to feel something is astonishing. Not the 'what happens,' but the way everything happens. These long short story fictions do that best, for me. ~ Alice Munro,
107:I don’t think I would ever want to be a writer of detective stories - but I would like to be a detective and there is a large deal of detection in the short story. ~ Mary Lavin,
108:I wasted a lot of years working on my writing and very grandly saying, 'And now... My Novel!,' which would soon be reduced to a short story, then to a paragraph. ~ George Saunders,
109:Sometimes I do work on a longer manuscript in tandem with one or two shorter pieces - whether it's a short story or an essay (though I don't write many of the latter). ~ Christine Sneed,
110:I believe that the short story is as different a form from the novel as poetry is, and the best stories seem to me to be perhaps closer in spirit to poetry than to novels. ~ Tobias Wolff,
111:I was not going to Honolulu because I wanted to see life reduced to a short story. I was going to Honolulu because I wanted to see life expanded to a novel, and I still do. ~ Joan Didion,
112:You think you're writing one historical novel and it turns into three, and I'm quite used to a short story turning into a novel - that's happened through my whole career. ~ Hilary Mantel,
113:I would recommend the short story form, which is a lot harder to write since you have to be so careful with words, until there is plenty of time to doodle through a novel ~ Anne McCaffrey,
114:I could never live with this man, she thought. I could never get inside his heart. But I might be able to die with him." - ( From the short story "Landscape in Flatiron") ~ Haruki Murakami,
115:It's probably why I'm a short story writer. I tend to remember things in the past in narrative form, in story form, and I grew up around people who told stories all the time. ~ Tobias Wolff,
116:I have a musical called Goodbye and Good Luck, based on a Grace Paley short story. I also have King Island Christmas, and there are 20 different productions of it this year. ~ David Friedman,
117:By the term short story I mean the recital of a destiny which is represented in a single incident; by anecdote the recital of a single incident which illumines an entire destiny. ~ Martin Buber,
118:In 2010, Bruce Sterling and Chris Nakashima-Brown wrote the short story “Windsor Executive Solutions,” a very future-weird speculative story about the future of the British Monarchy. ~ Anonymous,
119:Some photographs are like a Chekhov short story or a Maupassant story. They're quick things and there's a whole world in them. But one is unconscious of it while shooting. ~ Henri Cartier Bresson,
120:Within a scantily plotted, novella-style narrative (the movie is an adaptation of a short story by Tom Bissell), single shots become story events that mere mention would spoil. ~ Karina Longworth,
121:I will not waste it arguing about the merits of this short story or that poem. Why would I, when all such opinions are subjective, and no final resolution can ever be reached?” Some ~ Stephen King,
122:The “feel” of a short story should be that it follows one trajectory, or arc. It concerns a character (or, in some cases, a group) heading through one primary crisis or concern. ~ James Scott Bell,
123:The short story is the art form that deals with the individual when there is no longer a society to absorb him, and when he is compelled to exist, as it were, by his own inner light. ~ Frank O Connor,
124:You know, I once read a short story about how much you could tell about people from their shoes. You could tell where they had been, what they did, whether they were real walkers. ~ Elizabeth Edwards,
125:Every now and then I'll do little things, a short story or something, that doesn't have any fantastical elements, but mostly I like the power of playing God and I like to imagine things. ~ Neil Gaiman,
126:I know for a fact that - it's just the way our biases work now in the industry of literature, but certainly a short story collection does not receive the same kind of attention as a novel. ~ Junot Diaz,
127:A short story is a writer's way of thinking through experience... Journalism aims at accuracy, but fiction's aim is truth. The writer distorts reality in the interest of a larger truth. ~ John L Heureux,
128:For me, the short story is not a character sketch, a mouse trap, an epiphany, a slice of suburban life. It is the flowering of a symbol center. It is a poem grafted onto sturdier stock. ~ William H Gass,
129:For a sampler, you could try my short story collection "Wireless". Which contains one novella that scooped a Locus award, and one that won a Hugo, and covers a range of different styles. ~ Charles Stross,
130:Learn a lot about the world and finish things, even if it is just a short story. Finish it before you start something else. Finish it before you start rewriting it. That's really important. ~ Tad Williams,
131:If this is where you come out of the deep dark woods, Janet thinks, this . . . this parking lot . . . then why does anyone do it?"

"Harvey's Dream (short story from collection) ~ Stephen King,
132:My first instinct was to cast as close to the short story as possible, but then I realized that I needed actors who could go for it and that they had to function well as a couple in a love story. ~ Ang Lee,
133:I am writing about people who are alive in the city of New York during mid-20th-century America. And these people are like a character in a play or they are figures in a short story or a novel. ~ Gay Talese,
134:A novel requires a certain kind of world-building and also a certain kind of closure, ultimately. Whereas with a short story you have this sense that there are hinges that the reader doesn't see. ~ Dan Chaon,
135:I'm constantly trying to figure out how to crack that mystery; how to make a novel that has a sense of immediacy of a short story. I try to do that and I'll try it again, but I'll never get it. ~ Peter Orner,
136:I remembered something from a short story I'd read, about how the girl you want is the girl you see once and then she is nowhere to be found. The girl who does not appear in the crowded room. ~ Helen Oyeyemi,
137:I've been many kinds of writers in my career: novelist; tele-playwright; short story writer. As a high-school student, I wrote amateur pieces for fanzines, and I've written for Hollywood. ~ George R R Martin,
138:When the emergency brappers went of they did what any dedicated, well-trained and quick-minded Service personnel would do; they paniced.

From the short story What Makes Us Human. ~ Stephen R Donaldson,
139:It is my belief that we as human beings have a need to tell stories - I think it's evolutionary. So you can think of the short story as a literary form, or you can instead think of stories. ~ Aleksandar Hemon,
140:Once in 1919, when I was traveling at night by train, I wrote a short story. In the town where the train stopped, I took the story to the publisher of the newspaper who published the story. ~ Mikhail Bulgakov,
141:I never know exactly where I'm going with a story, whether it's a short story or a novel. If I did I'd soon grow bored of it. The fun, for me, is in the finding out and the making sense of it. ~ Nicholas Royle,
142:If writing a novel is a year's exile to a foreign country, writing a short story is a weekend spent somewhere exotic. They're much more like vacations, more exciting and different, and you're off. ~ Neil Gaiman,
143:A short story works to remind us that if we are not sometimes baffled and amazed and undone by the world around us, rendered speechless and stunned, perhaps we are not paying close enough attention. ~ Ben Marcus,
144:It's difficult to write a really good short story because it must be a complete and finished reflection of life with only a few words to use as tools. There isn't time for bad writing in a short story. ~ Edna Ferber,
145:When you read a short story, you come out a little more aware and a little more in love with the world around you. What I want is to have the reader come out just 6 percent more awake to the world. ~ George Saunders,
146:It would seem evident, therefore, that the secret of the American short story was the treatment of characteristic American life, with absolute knowledge of its peculiarities and sympathy with its method. ~ Bret Harte,
147:Short stories are designed to deliver their impact in as few pages as possible. A tremendous amount is left out, and a good short story writer learns to include only the most essential information. ~ Orson Scott Card,
148:For the source of the short story is usually lyrical. And all writers speak from, and speak to, emotions eternally the same in all of us: love, pity, terror do not show favorites or leave any of us out. ~ Eudora Welty,
149:A short story is "a short prose narrative, requiring from a half hour, to one or two hours in its perusal...having conceived, with deliberate care, a certain unique or single effect to be wrought out. ~ Edgar Allan Poe,
150:The short story, free from the longuers of the novel is also exempt from the novel's conclusiveness--too often forced and false: it may thus more nearly than the novel approach aesthetic and moral truth. ~ Edith Wharton,
151:I've made seventeen or eighteen films now, only two of which have been original screenplays, all the others have been based on short stories or novels, and I find the long short story ideal for adaptation. ~ Satyajit Ray,
152:In all honesty, at that time, I never saw myself as an author... I was just a Mom in a state of panic, trying to enter a short story contest to win the prize money in order to keep the lights on in my home. ~ Leslie Banks,
153:When seriously explored, the short story seems to me the most difficult and disciplining form of prose writing extant. Whatever control and technique I may have I owe entirely to my training in this medium. ~ Truman Capote,
154:I don’t have a lot of time. I can give a poem a couple of lines, a short story a paragraph, and a novel a few pages, then if I can stop reading without a sense of loss, I do, and I go on to something else. ~ Flannery O Connor,
155:When I was about 13 or 14, I had an English teacher who made a deal with me that I could get out of doing all of the year's regular work if I would write a short story a week and on Friday read it to the class. ~ Victor Salva,
156:Knowledge is the comprehensive embodiment of imagination that surfaces in observation and finally ripens through the reinforcement of experience thereby inculcating knowledge. This in fact is the short story of life. ~ Q M Sidd,
157:I once caught him in the act of revising a short story that had just been published. “Why,” I asked, “rewrite what’s already in print?” He looked at me, vaguely; then said, “Well, obviously it’s not finished. ~ Tennessee Williams,
158:(I hope at some time you can read J. R. R. Tolkien’s brilliant short story called “Leaf by Niggle,” because I can think of no better description of the continuity of this life in the New Heavens and the New Earth.) ~ Scot McKnight,
159:I remember selling my first short story and thinking, Oh my god, I sold something for fifty dollars! That gives me the authority to say I'm a writer and to actually write more things! It legitimized the activity. ~ Chuck Palahniuk,
160:Crude at first [the short story] received a literary polish in the press, but its dominant quality remained. It was concise and condense, yet suggestive. It was delightfully extravagant - or a miracle of understatement ~ Bret Harte,
161:I lack the skill to hold a story line for the length required for a novel or even a short story. I have never had an idea that could withstand a hundred thousand words, or even ten thousand words of rubber meeting the road. ~ Henry Rollins,
162:Everybody should read something. Otherwise we all fall down into the pit of ignorance. Many are down there. Some people fall in it forever. Their lives mean nothing. They should not exist. (From the short story, "Charity".) ~ Charles Baxter,
163:... into the novel goes such taste as I have for rational behaviour and social portraiture. The short story, as I see it to be, allows for what is crazy about humanity: obstinacies, inordinate heroisms, "immortal longings. ~ Elizabeth Bowen,
164:Raymond Carver had the quote that I loved about how he felt that a short story was the moment right before someone's life was about to fall apart. You can't really do that with a novel, but with a story you're just left hanging. ~ Molly Antopol,
165:I'm a failed poet. Maybe every novelist wants to write poetry first, finds he can't, and then tries the short story, which is the most demanding form after poetry. And, failing at that, only then does he take up novel writing. ~ William Faulkner,
166:She leans over our table and turns the sign in the window so that it says CLOSED on the outside. But on our side, perfectly positioned between Mabel’s place and mine, it says OPEN. If this were a short story, it would mean something. ~ Nina LaCour,
167:Rob Horton, the main character of The Tiger Rising, was a secondary character in an adult short story I wrote, and he wouldn't go away after I'd finished the short story. I couldn't figure out what he wanted, so I wrote to find out. ~ Kate DiCamillo,
168:Tomorrow at the press conference would be dreadful. She would be surrounded by nice young men who spoke Big Business or Computer or Bachelor on the Make, and she would not understand a word they said."

"Short Story: Blued Moon ~ Connie Willis,
169:I came up with a pen and tablet hoping to write an immortal short story, but I've been having a dreadful time with my heroine— I CAN'T make her behave as I want her to behave; so I've abandoned her for the moment, and am writing to you. ~ Jean Webster,
170:The one thing I try to do when I lecture classes in the short story, once or twice a year, is knock down the inferiority I find in student after student, the devil imps that tell them they cannot do what in their hearts they most wish to do. ~ Anonymous,
171:The older you get, the more questions you get asked, and the more weary you become of answering the questions and the more elusive the answers--any answer, every answer--seem. --Maureen O'Toople in the short story "Your Question for Author Here ~ Jon Scieszka,
172:I mean, first, almost all writers these days teach because they don't make enough money publishing to live on, to support themselves - people like Tobias Wolff, Anne Beattie, Amy Hempel, Stuart Dybek; a lot of short story writers, for one thing. ~ Chad Harbach,
173:Don’t let people interfere with you. Boot ’em out, turn off the phone, hide away, get it done. If you carry a short story over to the next day you may overnight intellectualize something about it and try to make it too fancy, try to please someone. ~ Ray Bradbury,
174:The basis of almost every argument or conclusion I can make is the axiom that the short story can be anything the author decides it shall be;...In that infinite flexibility, indeed lies the reason why the short story has never been adequately defined. ~ H E Bates,
175:We were such fans of Sleepy Hollow, in all of its iterations - growing up with the Disney show, and then Tim Burton's and, obviously, the most important being Washington Irving's short story. It evokes and invokes a very specific feeling and tone. ~ Alex Kurtzman,
176:(from the short story The Honorary Shepherds) can't be kicked out of a faith. Faith starts inside your heart and ends up in eternity. All you can be kicked out of is a building, which is the bus stop of faith, sort of, and what's a building? ~ Gregory Maguire,
177:I don't know what the definition of a short story is, and I don't even care to answer that question. That's something somebody in academia would think about. I just want to tell a story, and if people listen, and if it stays with you, it's a story. ~ Sandra Cisneros,
178:A short story is a different thing altogether—a short story is like a quick kiss in the dark from a stranger. That is not, of course, the same thing as an affair or a marriage, but kisses can be sweet, and their very brevity forms their own attraction. ~ Stephen King,
179:In March of 2001, I revisited the short story, and found that thought it did not work well as a short story, it might work much better as a longer one. The novel [The Kite Runner] came about as an expansion of that original, unpublished short story. ~ Khaled Hosseini,
180:It's possible, in a poem or short story, to write about commonplace things and objects using commonplace but precise language, and to endow those things—a chair, a window curtain, a fork, a stone, a woman's earring—with immense, even startling power. ~ Raymond Carver,
181:Every day, a piece of music, a short story, or a poem dies because its existence is no longer justified in our time. And things that were once considered immortal have become mortal again, no one knows them anymore. Even though they deserve to survive. ~ Elfriede Jelinek,
182:I used to write things for friends. There was this girl I had a crush on, and she had a teacher she didn't like at school. I had a real crush on her, so almost every day I would write her a little short story where she would kill him in a different way. ~ Stephen Colbert,
183:Make the short story tremendously succinct - with a very short pulse or rhythm - and the closest selection of detail - in other words summarise intensely and deeply and keep down the lateral development. It should be a little gem of bright, quick, vivid form ~ Henry James,
184:There's definitely a feeling with a short story that it's pure story telling. You're not really worried about theme. You're not going to stay with the characters long enough to live your life with them. And you have different kinds of relationships with them. ~ Neil Gaiman,
185:The short story is not as restrictive as the sonnet, but, of all the literary forms, it is possibly the most single-minded. the end there has to be the literary equivalent of the magician's puff of smoke, an outcome that is both startling and anticipated. ~ Louis Menand,
186:Always in the short story there is this sense of outlawed figures wandering about the fringes of society.... As a result there is in the short story at its most characteristic something we do not often find in the novel--an intense awareness of human loneliness. ~ Frank O Connor,
187:The novel...creates a bemusing effect. The short story, on the other hand wakes the reader up. Not only that, it answers the primitive craving for art, the wit, paradox and beauty of shape, the longing to see a dramatic pattern and significance in our experience. ~ V S Pritchett,
188:I don't ever think about the utility of fiction. I don't believe in it or certainly don't require anybody to consider it. A novel or short story might be useful to a reader in all kinds of ways, many of which no writer would ever foresee, which is a good thing. ~ Francisco Goldman,
189:A novel requires a certain kind of world building and also a certain kind of closure, ultimately. Whereas with a short story you have this sense that there are hinges that the reader doesn't see. I would say that all short stories have mystery naturally built into them. ~ Dan Chaon,
190:Composition is interesting because, in a sense, you always have to let it go. Unless you're a true composer/performer, you're always sending a PDF and then someone else makes it. It's like instructions for a short story, faxed to every English student who's studying it. ~ Nico Muhly,
191:The short story narrates the moment when a dark door, long closed, is opened, when a forgotten error is unwittingly repeated, when the fabric of a life is revealed to have been woven from frail and dubious fiber over top of something unknowable and possibly very bad. ~ Michael Chabon,
192:A poet can feel free, in my estimation, to write a poem for himself. Or a painter can paint a painting for himself. You can write a short story for yourself. But for me, comedy by its nature is communal. If other people don't get it, I'm not sure why you are doing it. ~ Keegan Michael Key,
193:The purpose of a short story is ... that the reader shall come away with the satisfactory feeling that a particular insight into human character has been gained, or that his (or her) knowledge of life has been deepened, or that pity, love or sympathy for a human being is awakened. ~ Lin Yutang,
194:What could I write that has only two words?"
"A very, very short story."
"Could you give me an example?" asked Avon.
Edward thought for a moment. "Here's one: 'He died.'"
"That doesn't seem very lively," said Avon.
"Then you've understood the story perfectly," said Edward. ~ Avi,
195:The purpose of a short story is ... that the reader shall come away with the satisfactory feeling that a particular insight into human character has been gained, or that his (or her) knowledge of life has been deepened, or that pity, love or sympathy for a human being is awakened. ~ Lin Yutang,
196:I've been doing morning pages: the first thing I do when I wake up is sit down and write three pages of whatever comes into my head. The more I do them, the more creative I get and the smaller my problems seem. I can turn something that I hated a few days ago into a short story or a song. ~ T Mills,
197:My books rustled by like a military of ducks. My mother had never liked my books. She'd said they kept me from real life, by which I think she meant men, or money, or both. Always accusing things of precisely the crimes they hadn't committed.
(From the short story: Once an Empire) ~ Rivka Galchen,
198:I love the necessary ambiguity of short stories - there simply isn't time to render every detail, so much of the story that orbits the literal prose must happen in the reader's imagination. Who knows, maybe the dwindling attention spans means a lucrative future for short story writers. ~ Matthew Healy,
199:I think fiction isn't so good at being for or against things in general - the rhetorical argument a short story can make is only actualized by the accretion of particular details, and the specificity of these details renders whatever conclusions the story reaches invalid for wider application. ~ George Saunders,
200:She held out a small voice recorder. 'By the way, could you describe exactly how you felt at the moment of impact? I'm writing this short story--'
'Put that away, Hazel,' hissed Mam. 'The poor boy is in pain.'
Hazel persisted. 'Would that be a white-hot pain? Or more of a dull throbbing pain? ~ Eoin Colfer,
201:While there is some disagreement over the official length of a short story, a good rule of thumb is that it is between 1k and 7k words. Less than that and you get into the area of flash fiction. More than that and you move into the territory of the novelette (7k -20k) or the novella (20k-50k). ~ James Scott Bell,
202:Although I'm very lazy when it comes to writing, I'm not that lazy when it comes to thinking. I like to develop the plan of a short story, then cut it as short as possible, try to evolve all the necessary details. I know far more about the characters than what actually comes out of the writing. ~ Jorge Luis Borges,
203:Kilgore Trout once wrote a short story which was a dialogue between two pieces of yeast. They were discussing the possible purposes of life as they ate sugar and suffocated in their own excrement. Because of their limited intelligence, they never came close to guessing that they were making champagne ~ Kurt Vonnegut,
204:Kilgore Trout once wrote a short story which was a dialogue between two pieces of yeast. They were discussing the possible purposes of life as they ate sugar and suffocated in their own excrement. Because of their limited intelligence, they never came close to guessing that they were making champagne. ~ Kurt Vonnegut,
205:A short story is confined to one mood, to which everything in the story pertains. Characters, setting, time, events, are all subject to the mood. And you can try more ephemeral, more fleeting things in a story - you can work more by suggestion - than in a novel. Less is resolved, more is suggested, perhaps. ~ Eudora Welty,
206:I cannot be certain what I would have said. I knew that there was something sad and faintly distasteful about love's ending, particularly love that has never been fully realised. I might have hinted at that, but I doubt it. In our deepest moments we say the most inadequate things." short story "Sister Imelda ~ Edna O Brien,
207:I was trained mainly as a short story writer and that's how I started writing, but I've also become very interested in non-fiction, just because I got a couple of magazine jobs when I was really poor and needed the money and it turned out that non-fiction was much more interesting than I thought it was. ~ David Foster Wallace,
208:That's something that would really sell. I mean, I admire that you tell stories of make-believe people in worlds that don't exist and that have no relevance to how we live. That can be nice, but people also like things that are uplifting and practical.
(From the short story: The Late Novels of Gene Hackman) ~ Rivka Galchen,
209:Also by Cheryl Bradshaw Sloane Monroe Series Black Diamond Death Murder in Mind I Have a Secret Stranger in Town Bed of Bones   Addison Lockhart Series Grayson Manor Haunting   Till Death do us Part Short Story Series Whispers of Murder   Boxed Sets Sloane Monroe Series (Books 1-3) Sloane Monroe Series (Books ~ Cheryl Bradshaw,
210:If they ever get around to building The Short Story Museum, I think they’d better carve this over the doorway: ‘A short story works to remind us that if we are not sometimes baffled and amazed and undone by the world around us, rendered speechless and stunned, perhaps we are not paying close enough attention. ~ George Saunders,
211:You broke the Man Code, dude. 'No man shall knowingly and with malice aforethought kick another man in the nuts.'"

"Okay, so I kicked him in the nuts. The little fucker was fleeing the scene of a crime where he'd pointed a weapon at my buddies."

[from short story "Beer Run" at the end of Skin Deep] ~ Pamela Clare,
212:One easy mistake to make with the first novel is to expand the short story. Some things are better as a story; you cannot dilute things into a novel. I think the first hundred pages of a novel are very important. That's where you set things up: the world, the characters. Once you've set that up, it'll be much easier. ~ Yiyun Li,
213:I feel very protective in the first draft, when all the pieces are coming together. I work in a way that is not linear or chronological at all, even with the short story. I will just be writing bits and pieces, and then when I have all the pieces on the table, that for me is when it feels like the real work begins. ~ Jill McCorkle,
214:I worked on 'Blue Peter' and 'Tonight' and lots of TV plays, filmed people like Rudolf Nureyev and Ted Heath, and ended up a senior cameraman with my own crew. I'd had my first short story published in 1947, and when my writing really started to take off I decided to go freelance, and eventually left the BBC in 1965. ~ Michael Bond,
215:When I was nine years old, I wrote a short story called 'How to Build a Snowman,' from which no practical snowperson-crafting techniques could be gleaned. The story was an assignment for class and it featured a series of careful but meaningless instructions. Of course, the building of the snowman was a red herring. ~ Sloane Crosley,
216:The short story is so much about inevitability and this feeling that things always had to be this one way, and I wanted the apocalypses to blow that idea apart. I hope it feels that way. I hope the book invites people to read the stories in order and then, if they feel like it, maybe not read them in order the next time. ~ Lucy Corin,
217:Idea for a short story. The shore of a lake, a young girl who's spent her whole life beside it, a girl like you She loves the lake the way a seagull does, and she's happy and free as a seagull. Then a man comes along, sees her, and ruins her life because he has nothing better to do. Destroys her like this seagull here. ~ Anton Chekhov,
218:But I am not sure it would contain any short stories. For the short story is a minor art, and it must content itself with moving, exciting and amusing the reader. ...I do not think that there is any (short story) that will give the reader that thrill, that rapture, that fruitful energy which great art can produce. ~ W Somerset Maugham,
219:Are you planning to go into writing as a career?’
‘Yes, yes, that’s what this is all about for me. I’m planning to write another short story this weekend. Have you read Hemingway by the way?’
‘Oh yes. Part of growing up.’
‘A bit like that, yes. Straight to the point. Simple and clear. With weight behind it. ~ Karl Ove Knausg rd,
220:Actually, writers have no business writing about their own works. They either wax conceited, saying things like: 'My brilliance is possibly most apparent in my dazzling short story, "The Cookiepants Hypotenuse."' Or else they get unbearably cutesy: 'My cat Ootsywootums has given me all my best ideas, hasn't oo, squeezums? ~ Connie Willis,
221:Skill alone cannot teach or produce a great short story, which condenses the obsession of the creature; it is a hallucinatory presence manifest from the first sentence to fascinate the reader, to make him lose contact with the dull reality that surrounds him, submerging him in another that is more intense and compelling. ~ Julio Cortazar,
222:Skill alone cannot teach or produce a great short story, which condenses the obsession of the creature; it is a hallucinatory presence manifest from the first sentence to fascinate the reader, to make him lose contact with the dull reality that surrounds him, submerging him in another that is more intense and compelling. ~ Julio Cort zar,
223:I've always loved short stories. Even before I was a writer I was reading short stories - there were certain writers where I just felt like they could do in a short story what so many writers needed a whole novel to do, and that was really inspiring to me. Alice Munro, I felt that way about from an early time. Grace Paley. ~ Molly Antopol,
224:I like to write short stories more because I never met a writer who wasn't lazy. And a short story is, by its very definition, short. It is something that generally you can turn out in a week to two weeks depending on how well it goes for you. But, at the same time, it gives the same satisfaction of creating a complete world. ~ Stephen King,
225:Blake Crouch is the author of over a dozen bestselling suspense, mystery, and horror novels. His short fiction has appeared in numerous short story anthologies, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Cemetery Dance, and many other publications. Much of his work, including the Wayward Pines series. ~ Blake Crouch,
226:We were friends with Jonathan Demme. We were all down on the West Side of New York, and I think I met Kurt Vonnegut through Edith Demme. And then I was lucky to do Who Am I This Time? 1982, which was an adaptation of his short story that Jonathan Demme directed with Chris Walken and I, and that really cemented the friendship. ~ Susan Sarandon,
227:Really, the moment you have any idea, the second thought that enters your mind after the original idea is, "What is this? Is it a book, is it a movie, is it a this, is it a that, is it a short story, is it a breakfast cereal?" Really, from that moment, your decision about what kind of thing it is then determines how it develops. ~ Douglas Adams,
228:It's an essay that Sigmund Freud wrote about E.T.A. Hoffman's short story called "The Sandman" where someone mistakes an inanimate object for a living, breathing human being. And one of the things that Sigmund Freud really felt was that in modern life people assign qualities to objects around them that may not exist there whatsoever. ~ DJ Spooky,
229:Kitty's always saying how origin stories are important.
At college, when people ask us how we met, how will we answer them? The short story is, we grew up together. But that's more Josh's and my story. High school sweet-hearts? That's Peter and Gen's story. So what's ours, then?
I suppose I'll say it all started with a love letter. ~ Jenny Han,
230:I cannot be certain what I would have said. I knew that there was something sad and faintly distasteful about love's ending, particularly love that has never been fully realised. I might have hinted at that, but I doubt it. In our deepest moments we say the most inadequate things." Edna O'Brien, short story "Sister Imelda", in "Returning". ~ Edna O Brien,
231:A form wherein we can enjoy simultaneously what is best in both the novel and the short story form. My plan was to create a book that affords readers some of the novel's long-form pleasures but that also contains the short story's ability to capture what is so difficult about being human - the brevity of our moments, their cruel irrevocability. ~ Junot Diaz,
232:I found myself sitting at the computer, and I thought I was going to write a kind of simple nostalgic story about two boys and their love of kite fighting. But stories have a will of their own, and this one turned out to be this dark tale about betrayal, loss, regret. The short story which was about 25 pages long sat around for a couple of years. ~ Khaled Hosseini,
233:At this rate, I'd be lucky if I wrote a page a day. Then I knew what the problem was. I needed experience. How could I write about life when I'd never had a love affair or a baby or even seen anybody die? A girl I knew had just won a prize for a short story about her adventures among the pygmies in Africa. How could I compete with that sort of thing? ~ Sylvia Plath,
234:But I smiled, and smiling was easy, no matter how strange and disorienting the street seemed to be. I was a fugitive. I was a wanted man, a hunted man, with a price on my head. And I was still one step ahead of them. I was free. Every day, when you're on the run, is the whole of your life. Every free minute is a short story with a happy ending. ~ Gregory David Roberts,
235:CHRISTMAS TREE by Charles Dickens After the publication of The Haunted Man (1848), the last of Dickens’ Christmas novellas, he marked the holidays with short stories that were seasonal in spirit, beginning with this short story in 1850. It is a beautiful meditation on the power of the imagination and the potency of nostalgia when reflecting on the past. ~ Charles Dickens,
236:A love affair is like a short story--it has a beginning, a middle, and an end. The beginning was easy, the middle might drag, invaded by commonplace, but the end, instead of being decisive and well knit with that element of revelatory surprise as a well-written story should be, it usually dissipated in a succession of messy and humiliating anticlimaxes. ~ F Scott Fitzgerald,
237:A short story I have written long ago would barge into my house in the middle of the night, shake me awake and shout, 'Hey,this is no time for sleeping! You can't forget me, there's still more to write!' Impelled by that voice, I would find myself writing a novel. In this sense, too, my short stories and novels connect inside me in a very natural, organic way. ~ Haruki Murakami,
238:Foreword by Nick Stephenson—About this Book The short story is back with a vengeance!  For me, as a reader as well as an author, there’s nothing quite like getting my hands on a collection of shorter works. The ability to dip in and out when the mood hits me (or whenever I find myself with a rare few minutes of spare time) while still getting to read a complete story ~ Nick Stephenson,
239:A lot of people who want to see the short story have a renaissance of readership - they tend to think of short stories, and sometimes poems too, as being well-suited to the way we now live, with all of these broken-up bits of time. I hope they're right, but my sense is that our fiction reading has become, if anything, more cherished as a kind of escape from fragmentation. ~ Lorin Stein,
240:The best advice I can give on this is, once it's done, to put it away until you can read it with new eyes. Finish the short story, print it out, then put it in a drawer and write other things. When you're ready, pick it up and read it, as if you've never read it before. If there are things you aren't satisfied with as a reader, go in and fix them as a writer: that's revision. ~ Neil Gaiman,
241:To create anything — whether a short story or a magazine profile or a film or a sitcom — is to believe, if only momentarily, you are capable of magic. These essays are about that magic — which is sometimes perilous, sometimes infectious, sometimes fragile, sometimes failed, sometimes infuriating, sometimes triumphant, and sometimes tragic. I went up there. I wrote. I tried to see. ~ Tom Bissell,
242:The short story is at an advantage over the novel, and can claim its nearer kinship to poetry, because it must be more concentrated, can be more visionary, and is not weighed down (as the novel is bound to be) by facts, explanation, or analysis. I do not mean to say that the short story is by any means exempt from the laws of narrative: it must observe them, but on its own terms. ~ Elizabeth Bowen,
243:A novel is like a long relationship and a short story is a brief one that lingers - it lingers powerfully and maybe more powerfully. I think that's true in a lot of cases, most long-term relationships compared to some of the briefer ones - the intensity of those brief ones that end, I think a short story is kind of like that. There's a certain level of intensity that I think is different. ~ Peter Orner,
244:I should say that, in addition to my tree-love (it was originally called The Tree), it arose from my own pre-occupation with the Lord of the Rings, the knowledge that it would be finished in great detail or not at all, and the fear (near certainty) that it would be 'not at all'. The war had arisen to darken all horizons. But no such analyses are a complete explanation even of a short story. ~ J R R Tolkien,
245:The literature now is so opaque to the average person that you couldn't take a science-fiction short story that's published now and turn it into a movie. There'd be way too much ground work you'd have to lay. It's OK to have detail and density, but if you rely on being a lifelong science-fiction fan to understand what the story is about, then it's not going to translate to a broader audience. ~ James Cameron,
246:Short story writers simply do what human beings have always done. They write stories because they have to; because they cannot rest until they have tried as hard as they can to write the stories. They cannot rest because they are human, and all of us need to speak into the silence of mortality, to interrupt and ever so briefly stop that quiet flow, and with stories try to understand at least some of it. ~ Andre Dubus,
247:It used to be that you would go into a writing program and what you would learn was how to write a short story. You would pick up the magazines and you would be taught from the magazines how to write a short story. Nowadays student writers are learning to write novels because that market is gone, so the ones who are drawn to the form are doing it really for reasons of their own and that's really exciting. ~ Lorin Stein,
248:In reggae I have a model of artistic excellence and possibility that is challenging and inspiring. The poem remains a demanding thing - an object to be understood and shaped into my own sense of self, the same is true of the play, the novel, the short story. Yet, for some reason, I approach these existing genres with the kind of confidence that the reggae artist approaches any song floating around out there. ~ Kwame Dawes,
249:Poetry died as a commercial form and then it died as a serious art form. No one serious touches it. It used to be that somebody like F. Scott Fitzgerald could make a high middle-class income from working as a short story writer for the Saturday Evening Post and other outlets. That doesn't happen anymore. It used to be that a legitimate playwright could make a living on Broadway from writing decent plays. ~ William Monahan,
250:Over the years I have forged intimate familial ties with these characters, who are reflections of a portion of myself. Consequently, even a character who appeared only once in a short story waits now in the wings, concealed by the curtain, for his next appearance on-stage. Not one of them has ever broken free of his familial ties with me and disappeared for ever - at least, not within the confines of my heart. ~ Sh saku End,
251:Over the years I have forged intimate familial ties with these characters, who are reflections of a portion of myself. Consequently, even a character who appeared only once in a short story waits now in the wings, concealed by the curtain, for his next appearance on-stage. Not one of them has ever broken free of his familial ties with me and disappeared for ever - at least, not within the confines of my heart. ~ Shusaku Endo,
252:I, too, like the sound of the rain on the roof. I also like the lightning. It's like some great cosmic flashlight. It makes me think that someone is searching for me. And I don't mind the BAM of thunder because that makes me think that, perhaps, I have been found. That's the way a good book makes me feel, as if I have been found, understood, seen. --Maureen O'Toople in the short story "Your Question for Author Here ~ Jon Scieszka,
253:As a child of the 1970s, I couldn't hold a narrative in my head; I was lucky if I could hold a joke in my head, because every time you turn on television or radio, it wipes the slate clean - at least in my case. After I gave up television, I found I could carry longer and longer stories or ideas in my head and put them together until I was carrying an entire short story. That's pretty much when I started writing. ~ Chuck Palahniuk,
254:Keep a diary, but don't just list all the things you did during the day. Pick one incident and write it up as a brief vignette. Give it color, include quotes and dialogue, shape it like a story with a beginning, middle and end—as if it were a short story or an episode in a novel. It's great practice. Do this while figuring out what you want to write a book about. The book may even emerge from within this running diary. ~ John Berendt,
255:A short story is a sprint, a novel is a marathon. Sprinters have seconds to get from here to there and then they are finished. Marathoners have to carefully pace themselves so that they don't run out of energy (or in the case of the novelist-- ideas) because they have so far to run. To mix the metaphor, writing a short story is like having a short intense affair, whereas writing a novel is like a long rich marriage. ~ Jonathan Carroll,
256:Small, out-of-the-way county fairs were okay, with their traveling carny shows that might have been taken from a Stephen King short story, and their weird, idiosyncratic events like speed chain saw sculpture—one minute to do a four-foot bear—and snowmobile water-skipping. A big institutional fair was just that: institutional. Sure, deep-fried ice cream bars might be a good idea, but after you’ve eaten a few, then what? ~ John Sandford,
257:Strange and mysterious things, though, aren't they - earthquakes? We take it for granted that the earth beneath our feet is solid and stationary. We even talk about people being 'down to earth' or having their feet firmly planted on the ground. But suddenly one day we see that it isn't true. The earth, the boulders, that are supposed to be solid, all of a sudden turn as mushy as liquid - From the short story "Thailand ~ Haruki Murakami,
258:I’m here to take him into custody and deliver him to the Council. (Celena)
Well, that sucks. Bank robbery, handing out the passwords for the Dark-Hunter Web site, carjacking, mugging, cats mixing with dogs, and now this…writing a short story. High crimes all. You get the rope and we’ll hang him for it. God forbid the whole twelve subscribers of that magazine should actually read a fictional story and think it real. (Rafael) ~ Sherrilyn Kenyon,
259:I had no intention of replacing Arnold [Schwarzenegger]. There were a few things that made me want to do the movie. They were the script which had a different direction to it, and it was a chance to do a very different Quaid. I didn't read the short story until I went to college.Reading the story had a different effect on me of how I pictured him to be and the tone of the story was different. In the story, he's a bit more of an everyman. ~ Len Wiseman,
260:Works of art are not so much finished as abandoned. Perhaps poems can be perfect. A short-short story might even be perfectible, as effective and enjoyable for one reader as the next. But novels and other book-length narratives are great rambling things that always contain some flaws. For works of any length, there comes a point when your continued tinkering won't improve the whole, but will just trade one set of problems for another. ~ Bruce Holland Rogers,
261:I always was interested in prose. As a teenager, I published short stories. And I always wanted to write the long short story, I wanted to write a novel. Now that I have attained, shall I say, a respectable age, and have had experiences, I feel much more interested in prose, in the novel. I feel that in a novel, for example, you can get in toothbrushes and all the paraphernalia that one finds in dally life, and I find this more difficult in poetry. ~ Sylvia Plath,
262:The short story can be hot and sweet or hot and fierce. You get it in one sitting or you don’t get it. It’s like a shore break. It happens quickly, and is right there in front of you, menacing you. First you’re looking at the shore break, and then if you don’t back up, it’s on you. The novel is the long, low wave that you ride south from the Arctic Circle. It’s powerful, but its power accumulates over a very long time as it rolls towards the reef. ~ Stephanie Vaughn,
263:The writing process for a short story feels more like field geology, where you keep turning the thing over and over, noting its qualities in detail, hammering at it, putting it near flame, pouring different acids on it, and then finally you figure out what it is, or you just give up and mount it on a ring and have an awkward chunky piece of jewelry that seems weirdly dominating but that you for some reason like. I could be wrong about field geology here. ~ Rivka Galchen,
It wasn't Glen's jealousy that surprised him. "You owe Roy money?"
"Yep. Borrowed it to get my truck painted."
"Roy's a loan shark, too?"
"You ever see JAWS?" Snakebite asked.
Glen said he had.
"How 'bout THE GODFATHER?"
"Well, if Michael Corleone waded out in the ocean and fucked that shark, then you'd have old Roy."

from the Tom Franklin short story "Grit" (page 31) from POACHERS:STORIES ~ Tom Franklin,
265:I decided to make myself a little less precious with my storytelling. I think you can see from the first three pieces in the book that I have a long term relationship with the short story as a form and I really love an elegantly crafted story that has several elements that come together in a way that is emotionally complex and different from when we started. That kind of crystalline, perfect, idealized thing that the short story as a genre has come to represent. ~ Lucy Corin,
266:Back when I was in college, I wrote a short story called “The Albuquerque Door” for a junior year creative writing class. It dealt with several of the same ideas in this book, but with a much smaller cast of characters and on a much less talented level. Needless to say, it didn’t go over well with the instructor’s “literary” tastes, and while I didn’t agree with him on a lot of his points, it left me feeling bad enough about the story that I just filed it away. ~ Peter Clines,
267:I wanted to be a visual artist, but I realized I was more affected by what I read than by what I saw. I would go to a show at a museum and look at a painting and say, 'Oh I wish I owned that,' and that would be the end of my relationship with a painting. With a short story I would read or with an author I would discover I could be haunted. It would affect my mood and affect the way that I saw the world. I thought, wow, it would be amazing to be able to do that. ~ David Sedaris,
268:As writers we live life twice, like a cow that eats its food once and then regurgitates it to chew and digest it again. We have a second chance at biting into our experience and examining it. ...This is our life and it's not going to last forever. There isn't time to talk about someday writing that short story or poem or novel. Slow down now, touch what is around you, and out of care and compassion for each moment and detail, put pen to paper and begin to write. ~ Natalie Goldberg,
269:I think it is the art of the glimpse. If the novel is like an intricate Renaissance painting, the short story is an impressionist painting. It should be an explosion of truth. Its strength lies in what it leaves out just as much as what it puts in, if not more. It is concerned with the total exclusion of meaninglessness. Life, on the other hand, is meaningless most of the time. The novel imitates life, where the short story is bony, and cannot wander. It is essential art. ~ William Trevor,
270:Most of my favorite stories as a reader come in at this length. Short novels are all killer, no filler. They offer the economy of the short story but the depth of characterization we associate with longer works. Little novels aren’t leisurely, meandering journeys. They’re drag races. You put the pedal to the floor and run your narrative right off the edge of the cliff. Live fast and leave a pretty corpse is a shitty objective for a human being but a pretty good plan for a story. ~ Joe Hill,
271:Because Trickster is looking to stir things up, to scramble the conventions, to undo history and received notions of what is art and what is not, to sing for his supper, to find and lose himself in the act of entertaining. Trickster haunts the boundary lines, the margins, the secret shelves between the sections in the bookstore. And that is where, if it wants to renew itself in the way that the novel has done so often in its long history, the short story must, inevitably, go. ~ Michael Chabon,
272:It's possible, in a poem or a short story, to write about commonplace things and objects using commonplace but precise language, and to endow those things-- a chair, a window curtain, a fork, a stone, a woman's earring-- with immense, even startling power. It is possible to write a line of seemingly innocuous dialogue and have it send a chill along the reader's spine-- the source of artistic delight, as Nabokov would have it. That's the kind of writing that most interests me. ~ Raymond Carver,
273:But like all beautiful faces Emily's made you believe that its possessor was a better person than she was. It allowed her to pass for stoical when she was petrified, and mysterious and aloof when she was so filled with self-doubt that she bought presents for other people when it was her birthday, framed most of her conversation in terms of apology and regret, and for all her talent could no longer manage to string twenty-five paragraphs fo prose together to make a short story. ~ Michael Chabon,
274:Hanns Heinz Ewers tells a short story of a boy who was so unnatural of disposition as to take a special delight in people sick with elephantiasis. Our "European intellectuality" finds itself in an identical condition today which, through Jewish pens, worships the Kokoschka, Chagalls and Pechsteins as the leaders of the Art of the future. Features of degeneracy are already apparent, as, for instance, with Schwalbach, who dares representing Jesus as flat footed and bow legged. ~ Alfred Rosenberg,
275:I regret that there aren't more short stories in other magazines. But in a certain way, I think the disappearance of the short-story template from everyone's head can be freeing. Partly because there's no mass market for stories, the form is up for grabs. It can be many, many things. So the anthology is very much intended for students, but I think we're all in the position of writing students now. Very few people are going around with a day-to-day engagement with the short story. ~ Lorin Stein,
276:Herman Melville (August 1, 1819 – September 28, 1891) was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet. His earliest novels were bestsellers, but his popularity declined later in his life. By the time of his death he had virtually been forgotten, but his longest novel, Moby-Dick — largely considered a failure during his lifetime, and responsible for Melville's drop in popularity — was rediscovered in the 20th century as a literary masterpiece. Source: Wikipedia ~ Herman Melville,
277:Yes sir. You can be more careless, you can put more trash in [a novel] and be excused for it. In a short story that's next to the poem, almost every word has got to be almost exactly right. In the novel you can be careless but in the short story you can't. I mean by that the good short stories like Chekhov wrote. That's why I rate that second - it's because it demands a nearer absolute exactitude. You have less room to be slovenly and careless. There's less room in it for trash. ~ William Faulkner,
278:Ideas never stop, dear S, they're everywhere, in everything - all we have to do is be open to them. And stories tend to arrive with their plots intact and reveal the plots in the writing. Often you think you've got a plot only to find, once you start writing, it's doing something else altogether. And the short story is the form most suited to the spatial moment, which is why it so touches us as a form, I think, with our lives so made up every day of the momentousness of the ordinary moment. ~ Ali Smith,
279:We all dream dreams of unity, of purity; we all dream that there's an authoritative voice out there that will explain things, including ourselves. If it wasn't for our longing for these things, I doubt the novel or the short story would exist in its current form. I'm not going to say much more on the topic. Just remember: In dictatorships, only one person is really allowed to speak. And when I write a book or a story, I too am the only one speaking, no matter how I hide behind my characters. ~ Junot D az,
280:We all dream dreams of unity, of purity; we all dream that there's an authoritative voice out there that will explain things, including ourselves. If it wasn't for our longing for these things, I doubt the novel or the short story would exist in its current form. I'm not going to say much more on the topic. Just remember: In dictatorships, only one person is really allowed to speak. And when I write a book or a story, I too am the only one speaking, no matter how I hide behind my characters. ~ Junot Diaz,
281:I think I succeeded as a writer because I did not come out of an English department. I used to write in the chemistry department. And I wrote some good stuff. If I had been in the English department, the prof would have looked at my short stories, congratulated me on my talent, and then showed me how Joyce or Hemingway handled the same elements of the short story. The prof would have placed me in competition with the greatest writers of all time, and that would have ended my writing career. ~ Kurt Vonnegut,
282:What's impossible not to notice, though - it's all around us - is the diminution of American prose: How pedestrian it has become. Pick up any short story and listen to its voice, the tedious easy vernacular that mistakes transcription for realism. This would display an understandable pragmatism if it were a pandering to common-denominator readers; but it is, in fact, a kind of hifalultin literary ideology, the less-is-more Hemingway legacy put through an up-to-the-minute industrial blender. ~ Cynthia Ozick,
283:We have two boys. After George Zimmerman was found not guilty of killing Trayvon Martin, we had to explain to our older son, who was 12 at the time, how that could happen. Instead of hugging and consoling him, my husband pulled out a documentary about Emmett Till and showed it to him and started to talk about how the justice system works in this country - and how it often doesn't. From that conversation, our son wrote a short story about Trayvon Martin going to heaven to meet Emmett Till. ~ Gina Prince Bythewood,
284:In the last twenty years the colleges have been emphasizing creative writing to such an extent that you almost feel that any idiot with a nickel's worth of talent can emerge from a writing class able to write a competent story. In fact, so many people can now write competent stories that the short story as a medium is in danger of dying of competence. We want competence, but competence by itself is deadly. What is needed is the vision to go with it, and you do not get this from a writing class. ~ Flannery O Connor,
285:I sit on the bench in front of Bell's Market and think about Homer Buckland and about the beautiful girl who leaned over to open his door when he come down that path with the full red gasoline can in his right hand - she looked like a girl of no more than sixteen, a girl on her learner's permit, and her beauty was terrible, but I believe it would no longer kill the man it turned itself on; for a moment her eyes lit on me, I was not killed, although a part of me died at her feet." (from the short story Mrs. Todd's Shortcut) ~ Stephen King,
286:In 1546 a band of weevils were tried for damaging church vineyards in St Julien. Such trials were rife in the sixteenth century, and the distinguished French lawyer Bartholomew Chassenée rose to fame as an advocate for animals. His work is commemorated in Julian Barnes's mischievous short story 'The Wars of Religion', in which excommunication is sought for a colony of woodworm which had gnawed away the supporting legs of the Bishop of Besançon's throne, causing him to be 'hurled against his will into a state of imbecility'. ~ Richard Mabey,
287:One of the most difficult things is the first paragraph. I have spent many months on a first paragraph, and once I get it, the rest just comes out very easily. In the first paragraph you solve most of the problems with your book. The theme is defined, the style, the tone. At least in my case, the first paragraph is a kind of sample of what the rest of the book is going to be. That’s why writing a book of short stories is much more difficult than writing a novel. Every time you write a short story, you have to begin all over again. ~ Gabriel Garc a M rquez,
288:[Irony] has everything to do with what Tillie Olsen so powerfully imagined in her short story, "As I Stand Here Ironing" and elaborates on polemically in her 1978 book, Silences, in a chapter first delivered as a talk in 1967. As Olsen clearly saw it for women, my not being a writer was a material consequence of my being a woman - a wife, mother, housewife, and a certain kind of feminist teacher - attentive, one-on-one, face-to-face, nurturing, the kind who receives high ESCI evaluation scores from undergraduates and graduate students. ~ Shirley Geok lin Lim,
289:I write very raw, ugly, illiterate first drafts very quickly (novels are always in first draft in under a year) and then I spend years and years fine-tuning, revising, editing, etc. What inspires me? Who knows. I am not inspired that much. That’s why I write long form fiction - I am not much of a short story writer. Ideas come seldom, but when a good one comes, I really stick to it and see it out. I’m a problem-solver - I've never thrown out an entire manuscript; I've always forced myself to repair it until it was a lovable thing again. ~ Porochista Khakpour,
290:Debasement was limited at first to one’s own territory. It was then found that one could do better by taking bad coins across the border of neighboring municipalities and exchanging them for good with ignorant common people, bringing back the good coins and debasing them again. More and more mints were established. Debasement accelerated in hyper-fashion until a halt was called after the subsidiary coins became practically worthless, and children played with them in the street, much as recounted in Leo Tolstoy’s short story, Ivan the Fool. ~ Charles P Kindleberger,
291:It is the form that allows a writer the greatest opportunity to explore human experience...For that reason, reading a novel is potentially a significant act. Because there are so many varieties of human experience, so many kinds of interaction between humans, and so many ways of creating patterns in the novel that can’t be created in a short story, a play, a poem or a movie. The novel, simply, offers more opportunities for a reader to understand the world better, including the world of artistic creation. That sounds pretty grand, but I think it’s true. ~ Don DeLillo,
292:Like everybody else in the cocktail lounge, he was softening his brain with alcohol. This was a substance produced by a tiny creature called yeast. Yeast organisms ate sugar and excreted alcohol. They killed themselves by destroying their environment.

Kilgore Trout once wrote a short story which was a dialogue between two pieces of yeast. They were discussing the possible purposes of life as they ate sugar and suffocated in their own excrement. Because of their limited intelligence, they never came close to guessing that they were making champagne. ~ Kurt Vonnegut,
293:I liked my students, who were often so eager, bright, and enthusiastic that it took me years to notice how much trouble they had in reading a fairly simple short story. Almost simultaneously, I was struck by how little attention they had been taught to pay to the language, to the actual words and sentences that a writer had used. Instead, they had been encouraged to form strong, critical, and often negative opinions of geniuses who had been read with delight for centuries before they were born. They had been instructed to prosecute or defend these authors, ~ Francine Prose,
294:These short stories are vast structures existing mostly in the subconscious of our cultural history. They will live with the reader long after the words have been translated into ideas and dreams. That's because a good short story crosses the borders of our nations and our prejudices and our beliefs. A good short story asks a question that can't be answered in simple terms. And even if we come up with some understanding, years later, while glancing out of a window, the story still has the potential to return, to alter right there in our mind and change everything. ~ Walter Mosley,
295:That same night, I wrote my first short story. It took me thirty minutes. It was a dark little tale about a man who found a magic cup and learned that if he wept into the cup, his tears turned into pearls. But even though he had always been poor, he was a happy man and rarely shed a tear. So he found ways to make himself sad so that his tears could make him rich. As the pearls piled up, so did his greed grow. The story ended with the man sitting on a mountain of pearls, knife in hand, weeping helplessly into the cup with his beloved wife's slain body in his arms. ~ Khaled Hosseini,
296:wondered how old she was. When she first sat down I’d thought she was in her midthirties, closer to my age, but her smile, and the spray of faded freckles across the bridge of her nose made her look younger. Twenty-eight maybe. My wife’s age. “And I work, of course, when I fly,” I added. “What do you do?” I gave her the short story version, how I funded and advised Internet start-up companies. I didn’t tell her how I’d made most of my money—by selling those companies off as soon as they looked promising. And I didn’t tell her that I never really needed to work again ~ Peter Swanson,
297:The novel, he was saying, was a flabby old whore.

A flabby old whore! the older man said looking delighted.

She was serviceable, roomy, warm and familiar, the younger was saying, but really a bit used up, really a bit too slack and loose.

Slack and loose! the older said laughing.

Whereas the short story, by comparison, was a nimble goddess, a slim nymph. Because so few people had mastered the short story she was still in very good shape.

...I idly wondered how many of the books in my house were fuckable and how good they'd be in bed. ~ Ali Smith,
298:This was no coincidence. The best short stories and the most successful jokes have a lot in common. Each form relies on suggestion and economy. Characters have to be drawn in a few deft strokes. There's generally a setup, a reveal, a reversal, and a release. The structure is delicate. If one element fails, the edifice crumbles. In a novel you might get away with a loose line or two, a saggy paragraph, even a limp chapter. But in the joke and in the short story, the beginning and end are precisely anchored tent poles, and what lies between must pull so taut it twangs. ~ Geraldine Brooks,
299:If we're lucky, writer and reader alike, we'll finish the last line or two of a short story and then just sit for a minute, quietly. Ideally, we'll ponder what we've just written or read; maybe our hearts or intellects will have been moved off the peg just a little from where they were before. Our body temperature will have gone up, or down, by a degree. Then, breathing evenly and steadily once more, we'll collect ourselves, writers and readers alike, get up, "created of warm blood and nerves" as a Chekhov character puts it, and go on to the next thing: Life. Always life. ~ Raymond Carver,
300:his short story “Funes the Memorious,” Jorge Luis Borges describes a fictional version of S, a man with an infallible memory who is crippled by an inability to forget. He can’t distinguish between the trivial and the important. Borges’s character Funes can’t prioritize, can’t generalize. He is “virtually incapable of general, platonic ideas.” Like S, his memory was too good. Perhaps, as Borges concludes in his story, it is forgetting, not remembering, that is the essence of what makes us human. To make sense of the world, we must filter it. “To think,” Borges writes, “is to forget. ~ Joshua Foer,
301:In his short story “Funes the Memorious,” Jorge Luis Borges describes a fictional version of S, a man with an infallible memory who is crippled by an inability to forget. He can’t distinguish between the trivial and the important. Borges’s character Funes can’t prioritize, can’t generalize. He is “virtually incapable of general, platonic ideas.” Like S, his memory was too good. Perhaps, as Borges concludes in his story, it is forgetting, not remembering, that is the essence of what makes us human. To make sense of the world, we must filter it. “To think,” Borges writes, “is to forget. ~ Joshua Foer,
302:The fabliau, then, is a short story that is a tall story. It combines a burly blurting of dirty words with a reveling in humiliations that are good unclean fun. A popular venture that is keen to paste—épater—everybody (not just the bourgeoisie), it is the art of the single entendre. Highly staged low life, it guffaws at the pious, the prudish, and the priggish. High cockalorum versus high decorum…. The introduction here, like the translator’s note, tells well the story of the comic tales, anonymous for the most part, usually two or three hundred lines long, of which about 160 exist. ~ Christopher Ricks,
303:Although the ending was more John Carpenter than John Updike, Carroll hadn't come across anything like it in any of the horror magazines, either, not lately. It was, for twenty-five pages, the almost completely naturalistic story of a woman being destroyed a little at a time by the steady wear of survivor's guilt. It concerned itself with tortured family relationships, shitty jobs, the struggle for money. Carroll had forgotten what it was like to come across the bread of everyday life in a short story. Most horror fiction didn't bother with anything except rare bleeding meat. ("Best New Horror") ~ Joe Hill,
304:Stalin made one fatal error: he neglected to suppress the works of Tolstoy. [...] If you scoured the literature of the centuries of Christendom for the books that might most help an oppressed people in relation to our Lord and the Christian faith, you could find nothing better than the short stories and the later novels of Tolstoy. The efforts of Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberation, the Voice of America, and the Oversees Service of the BBC, all put together, wouldn't equal one single short story of Tolstoy in keeping alive in the hearts of human beings the knowledge of the love of God. ~ Malcolm Muggeridge,
305:You know that you are a writer if you are imaginative. You know that you are a writer if you are curious. You know that you are a writer if you are interested in the things and people of the world. You know that you are a writer if you hold a minie ball in your hand and wonder about its story. You know that you are a writer if you like the sound of rain on the roof. And if you want to tell someone else about your heart and how waiting for the thunder sometimes makes you feel, if you work to find the words to do that, then you are a writer. --Maureen O'Toople in the short story "Your Question for Author Here ~ Jon Scieszka,
306:The light over the whole hill was pure, pale, of an exaggerated clarity, as if all the good days of his youth had been distilled down into this one day, and the whole coltish ascendant time when he was 18, 19, 20, had been handed back to him briefly, intact and precious. That was the time when there had been more hours in the day, and every hour precious enough so that it could be fooled away. By the time a man got into the high 30s, the hours became more frantic and less precious, more needed and more carefully hoarded and more fully used, but less loved and less enjoyed. -Beyond the Glass Mountain (short story) ~ Wallace Stegner,
307:from the short story, Cielo Azul

“Harry, get an ambulance.”

I stood up and stepped back from the scene. I felt my chest growing tight, a clarity of thought coming over me. In all my years I had spoken for the dead many times. I had avenged the dead. I was at home with the dead. But I had never so clearly had a part in pulling someone away from the outstretched hands of death.

And in that moment I knew we had done just that. And I knew that whatever happened afterward and wherever my life took me, I would always have this moment, that it would be a light that could lead me out of the darkest of tunnels. ~ Michael Connelly,
308:ABOUT THE AUTHORS Photograph by Bob Lampert Charlotte Elkins wrote her first novel while working at the MH de Young Museum in San Francisco. Published under the pseudonym Emily Spenser, it was the first of her five romance novels that have sold in twenty countries. She switched to writing mysteries when she realized how much fun it was to collaborate with her husband, Aaron. Their first novel, A Wicked Slice, was published in 1989; since then, they have co-written four more novels starring a golf-pro-turned-sleuth and several short stories, one of which, “Nice Gorilla,” won the Agatha Award for Best Short Story of the year.   Aaron ~ Aaron Elkins,
309:At the end of Stephen Vincent Benét’s famous short story “The Devil and Daniel Webster,” the Prince of Darkness is forced to promise that he will never again show his face in the state of New Hampshire. It is nowhere recorded that any such promise was made about Massachusetts. The Bay State’s history is rife with documented cases of devil worship, witchcraft, and black magic. The state that is known for producing presidents and scholars is also known for Lizzie Borden, who “took an ax and gave her mother forty whacks/Then when she was good and done/Gave her father forty-one,” and for being the home of Albert DeSalvo, the “Boston Strangler. ~ Ed Warren,
310:This tragic short story was written in 1829 and published in 1830 in La Mode, followed by another edition in the Gosselin magazine in 1831. The tale also appeared in 1846 in volume II of Études Philosophiques of the Furne edition. Set during the time of the French army’s occupation of Spain under Napoleon, the tale opens with an idyllic moonlit scene in the castle gardens of the coastal town of Menda. The local French commandant, Victor Marchand, stands lost in thought, meditating on the beautiful Clara, the daughter of the local grandee. Thoughts of romance are soon dissipated as he becomes aware that a fleet of ships is approaching the coast. ~ Honor de Balzac,
311:One of the things I tell the writers with whom I work is, man, when you finish a draft of a poem, or short story or novel, you make sure you go out and celebrate all night long because whether the world ever notices or not, whether you get it published or not, you did something most people never do: You started, stuck with, and finished a creative work. And that is a triumph. That is something to celebrate. All the stuff that I'm talking about is really from the point of view of trying to create art—and I don't mean to sound highfalutin when I bring the word "art" in. All I mean is, a work that seeks to illuminate truth in whatever way possible. ~ Andre Dubus III,
312:Playing off a short story by H. G. Wells, Simone Weil drew an analogy to a land of blind people in which scientists could devise a complete system of physics leaving out the concept of light. Weightless, pressureless, undetectable by the senses — ​why believe in light? To the blind, it need not exist. Occasionally, however, questions might arise among the blind. What makes plants grow upwards, defying the law of gravity? What ripens fruits and seeds? What warms the night into day? Light in a country of the blind, says Weil, parallels the role of God on earth. Some of us sense traces of the supernatural, yet how do we prove it to people who can’t detect it? ~ Philip Yancey,
313:Much more successful as an individual short story is Karl Schroeder’s ‘‘Jubilee’’, posted on on February 26. This has at its core another fascinating idea, one that I understand is also at the core of Schroeder’s new novel Lockstep – a social system whereby whole communities go into a synchronized pattern of hibernation and awakening that allows them to wait out the hundreds or even thousands of years it takes for spaceships to travel between the stars (no Faster Than Light travel or wormhole shortcuts in Schroeder’s scenario) without falling hopelessly behind the space travelers, thus making it possible to maintain social continuity even at interstellar distances. ~ Anonymous,
314:There is one final point, the point that separates a true multivolume work from a short story, a novel, or a series. The ending of the final volume should leave the reader with the feeling that he has gone through the defining circumstances of Main Character's life. The leading character in a series can wander off into another book and a new adventure better even than this one. Main Character cannot, at the end of your multivolume work. (Or at least, it should seem so.) His life may continue, and in most cases it will. He may or may not live happily ever after. But the problems he will face in the future will not be as important to him or to us, nor the summers as golden. ~ Gene Wolfe,
315:The experience of that night, coming so overwhelmingly to a man so dead, almost rent me in pieces. It was the same feeling that artists know when we, rarely, achieve truth in our work; the feeling of union with some great force, of purpose and security, of being glad that we have lived. For the first time I felt the pull of race and blood and kindred, and felt beating within me things that had not begun with me. It was as if the earth under my feet had grasped and rooted me, and were pouring its essence into me. I sat there until the dawn of morning, and all night long my life seemed to be pouring out of me and running into the ground. -- from the short story The Namesake ~ Willa Cather,
316:He slowed to a walk. As he approached her he was surprised at just how pretty she was. She looked a little like Maureen O'Hara in those old pirate movies. His writer's mind kicked in and he thought, This woman could break my heart. I could crash and burn on this woman. I could lose this woman, drink heavily, write profound poems, and die in the gutter of turberculosis over this woman.

This was not an unusual reaction for Tommy. He had it often, mostly with girls who worked the drive-through windows at fast-food places. He would drive off with the smell of fries in his car and the bitter taste of unrequited love on his tongue. It was usually good for at least one short story. ~ Christopher Moore,
317:anthologies like Accessing the Future (gathering together voices of disabled people to create SF tales of disability), The Sum of Us (an anthology complicating ideas of care and caregiving), Alison Sinclair’s Darkborn series (presenting the social changes that would occur in a world where half the population is blind), Tanya Huff’s novel Gate of Darkness, Circle of Light (which features a protagonist with an intellectual disability who resists containment or control), Ada Hoffmann’s short story “You Have To Follow the Rules” (which transports the reader into a world where autism is the norm and asks us to reconsider how we codify rules of social interaction and privilege neurotypicality), ~ Lynne M Thomas,
318:Edgar Allan Poe was an American poet, short story writer, playwright, editor, critic, essayist and one of the leaders of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of the macabre and mystery, Poe was one of the early American practitioners of the short story and a progenitor of detective fiction and crime fiction. He is also credited with contributing to the emergent science fiction genre.Poe died at the age of 40. The cause of his death is undetermined and has been attributed to alcohol, drugs, cholera, rabies, suicide (although likely to be mistaken with his suicide attempt in the previous year), tuberculosis, heart disease, brain congestion and other agents. Source: Wikipedia ~ Edgar Allan Poe,
319:I once read a short story about some cannibals who didn't turn their victims into steaks and chops and roasts; they made them all into sausages. Because when you're eating a sausage you don't think so much about what you're eating. It's the same with communion wafers.
My point is, the miracle of the Holy Communion is when the priest turns these little white disks into the flesh of Jesus Christ. They call it transubstantiation. So, if you buy that, then the host the priest places on your tongue is actually a silver of Jesus meat. But they make the host as different from meat as they can, so even though communion is a form of cannibalism, nobody gets grossed out. Like with the sausages. ~ Pete Hautman,
320:Her eyes met his. Garner started, feeling the implosion like a silent lightning bolt all through him. Those eyes, as green as river moss, watched him just above the surface of the water. Her pale hair floated all around her like the petals of some extravagant flower. In the next moment he caught his breath. It was not, could not possibly be Damaris, silent as a wild thing, her nose under water, and from what he could see, naked as an eel. A river creature, he realized, his pulse quickening again. Sunning in the shallows, breathing water like air as she gazed at him. He wondered whether, if he spoke, she would vanish with a twist and a ripple, like a fish.
From the short story Knights of the Well ~ Patricia A McKillip,
321:An admirable line of Pablo Neruda’s, “My creatures are born of a long denial,” seems to me the best definition of writing as a kind of exorcism, casting off invading creatures by projecting them into universal existence, keeping them on the other side of the bridge… It may be exaggerating to say that all completely successful short stories, especially fantastic stories, are products of neurosis, nightmares or hallucination neutralized through objectification and translated to a medium outside the neurotic terrain. This polarization can be found in any memorable short story, as if the author, wanting to rid himself of his creature as soon and as absolutely as possible, exorcises it the only way he can: by writing it. ~ Julio Cort zar,
322:The vibrations he felt in his sleep had nothing to do with his soul easing out of his body as he dreamily thought; they came solely from the weight and motion of the freight train rolling north to deliver fuel, furniture and other items having no relevance to Elijah’s life or his dreaming. On the metal rail his arm itched like a nose with a feeling that something bad was about to happen. In another life the sound of the train would have been reminiscent of certain songs by Muddy Waters or even Bruce Springsteen but not in this one. In this life the sound stabbed viciously against the night exactly like a human being demonstrating flawless disrespect for the life of another human being.
--from short story ELIJAH’S SKIN ~ Aberjhani,
323:You come to this place, mid-life. You don’t know how you got here, but suddenly you’re staring fifty in the face. When you turn and look back down the years, you glimpse the ghosts of other lives you might have led; all houses are haunted. The wraiths and phantoms creep under your carpets and between the warp and weft of fabric, they lurk in wardrobes and lie flat under drawer-liners. You think of the children you might have had but didn’t. When the midwife says, ‘It’s a boy,’ where does the girl go? When you think you’re pregnant, and you’re not, what happens to the child that has already formed in your mind? You keep it filed in a drawer of your consciousness, like a short story that never worked after the opening lines. ~ Hilary Mantel,
324:EVEN THOUGH I KNEW it was going to be what she would ask me, Graciela McCaleb’s request gave me pause. Terry McCaleb had died on his boat a month earlier. I had read about it in the Las Vegas Sun. It had made the papers because of the movie. FBI agent gets heart transplant and then tracks down his donor’s killer. It was a story that had Hollywood written all over it and Clint Eastwood played the part, even though he had a couple decades on Terry. The film was a modest success at best, but it still gave Terry the kind of notoriety that guaranteed an obituary notice in papers across the country. I had just gotten back to my apartment near the strip one morning and picked up the Sun. Terry’s death was a short story in the back of the A section. ~ Michael Connelly,
325:One more nice thing about short stories is that you can create a story out of the smallest details -an idea that springs up in your mind, a word, an image, whatever. In most cases it's like jazz improvisation, with the story taking me where it wants to. And another good point is that with short stories you don't have to worry about failing. If the idea doesn't work out the way you hoped it would, you just shrug your shoulders and tell yourself that they can't all be winners. Even with masters of the genre like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Raymond Carver -even Anton Chekhov- not every short story is a masterpiece. I find this a great comfort. You can learn from your mistakes (in other words, those you can't call complete success) and use that in the next story you write. ~ Haruki Murakami,
326:When, during the course of an interview for The New Yorker, I told the interviewer (Mark Singer) that I believed stories are found things, like fossils in the ground, he said that he didn't believe me. I replied that that was fine, as long as he believed that I believe it. And I do. Stories aren't souvenir tee-shirts or GameBoys. Stories are relics, part of an undiscovered pre-existing world. The writer's job is to use the tools in his or her toolbox to get as much of each one out of the ground intact as possible. Sometimes the fossil you uncover is small; a seashell. Sometimes it's enormous, a Tyrannosaurus Rex with all those gigantic ribs and grinning teeth. Either way, short story or thousand-page whopper of a novel, the techniques of excavation remain basically the same. ~ Stephen King,
327:This short story was originally published in 1831 in Balzac’s collection Contes Bruns. The tale begins at the same dinner party as Another Study of Woman, with Dr Bianchon agreeing to tell one of his ‘appalling’ stories to entertain the other guests. The evening has grown late and it seems an apt time, he says, for this particular story. In contrast to Another Study of Woman Bianchon is the only narrator, and he is uninterrupted throughout the tale. It begins in a ruined château outside Vendome, where Bianchon was staying while attending a rich patient. He portrays himself as a rather romantic person, who liked to enter the estate through gaps in the walls and remain there in contemplation. But it is his discovery of a secret garden which provides the mystery of this tale. ~ Honor de Balzac,
328:Evan Connell said once that he knew he was finished with a short story when he found himself going through it and taking out commas and then going through the story again and putting the commas back in the same places. I like that way of working on something. I respect that kind of care for what is being done. That's all we have, finally, the words, and they had better be the right ones, with the punctuation in the right places so that they an best say what they are meant to say. If the words are heavy with the writer's own unbridled emotions, or if they are imprecise and inaccurate for some other reason -- if the worlds are in any way blurred -- the reader's eyes will slide right over them and nothing will be achieved. Henry James called this sort of hapless writing 'weak specification'. ~ Raymond Carver,
329:You hold in your hands a very special book. It contains one hundred carnival rides of terror. You must remember: horror can come from any direction. It can be as subtle as a spider web's caress, or as vicious as the drop of an axe blade. It can be grim as the reaper, or as sardonic as, well, Sardonicous. It can wear the garments of science or superstition; can be dressed in the trappings of fantasy or the fancy-free. But always it will terrify. And one of the bluntest of its instruments is the short-short story, one of the most difficult of literary devices to master. Not only must each word be perfect-but each comma and period. Nothing can be wasted. In the hands of master executioners, like the authors who fill this book-it can be deadly. So... Die-and die again- one hundred times... ~ Martin H Greenberg,
330:A group of grandmothers is a tapestry. A group of toddlers, a jubilance (see also: a bewailing). A group of librarians is an enlightenment. A group of visual artists is a bioluminescence. A group of short story writers is a Flannery. A group of musicians is--a band.

A resplendence of poets.
A beacon of scientists.
A raft of social workers.

A group of first responders is a valiance. A group of peaceful protestors is a dream. A group of special education teachers is a transcendence. A group of neonatal ICU nurses is a divinity. A group of hospice workers, a grace.

Humans in the wild, gathered and feeling good, previously an exhilaration, now: a target.

A target of concert-goers.
A target of movie-goers.
A target of dancers.

A group of schoolchildren is a target. ~ Kathy Fish,
331:She said that sometimes she uses a formula when writing a short story, which goes ABDCE, for Action, Background, Development, Climax, and Ending. You begin with action that is compelling enough to draw us in, make us want to know more. Background is where you let us see and know who these people are, how they’ve come to be together, what was going on before the opening of the story. Then you develop these people, so that we learn what they care most about. The plot—the drama, the actions, the tension—will grow out of that. You move them along until everything comes together in the climax, after which things are different for the main characters, different in some real way. And then there is the ending: what is our sense of who these people are now, what are they left with, what happened, and what did it mean? ~ Anne Lamott,
332:In 1976, Stephen King published a short story, “I Know What You Need,” about the courting of a young woman. Her suitor was a young man who could read her mind but did not tell her so. He simply appeared with what she wanted at the moment, beginning with strawberry ice cream for a study break. Step by step he changed her life, making her dependent upon him by giving her what she thought she wanted at a certain moment, before she herself had a chance to reflect. Her best friend realized that something disconcerting was happening, investigated, and learned the truth: “That is not love,” she warned. “That’s rape.” The internet is a bit like this. It knows much about us, but interacts with us without revealing that this is so. It makes us unfree by arousing our worst tribal impulses and placing them at the service of unseen others. ~ Timothy Snyder,
333:I have heard people say that the short story was one of the most difficult literary forms, and I've always tried to decide why people feel this way about what seems to me to be one of the most natural and fundamental ways of human expression. After all, you begin to hear and tell stories when you're a child, and there doesn't seem to be anything very complicated about it. I suspect that most of you have been telling stories all your lives, and yet here you sit - come to find out how to do it.
Then last week, after I had written down some of these serene thoughts to use here today, my calm was shattered when I was sent seven of your manuscripts to read.
After this experience, I found myself ready to admit, if not that the short story is one of the most difficult literary forms, at least that it is more difficult for some than for others. ~ Flannery O Connor,
334:Since I was about ten years younger than this crew of alcoholics, I just listened and filled their cups with cheap wine. After they’d had enough, I’d tell them of my escapades in Riverbank and in Panama where I’d worked with the Southern Baptist Convention and Jesus Christ to save the black souls of niggers, spics and Indians. I used to keep my eye on Harris when I told my stories. He had this nasty habit of pulling out a little notebook in the middle of a conversation and jotting down, as he said, “story ideas.” Later on, after I’d transferred to S.F. State and taken his writing course, he asked me if I wanted to read his first draft of Wake Up, Stupid! I kept it for a week and returned it to him at the next short story seminar. I only read the first paragraph. After that, I was no longer afraid of the intellectuals. I knew I could tell a better story. ~ Oscar Zeta Acosta,
335:What the young writer needs to develop, to achieve his goal of becoming a great artist, is not a set of aesthetic laws but artistic mastery. He cannot hope to develop mastery all at once; it involves too much. But if he pursues his goal in the proper way, he can approach it much more rapidly than he would if he went at it hit-or-miss, and the more successful he is at each stage along the way, the swifter his progress is likely to be. Invariably when the beginning writer hands in a short story to his writing teacher, the story has many things about it that mark it as amateur. But almost as invariably, when the beginning writer deals with some particular, small problem, such as description of a setting, description of a character, or brief dialogue that has some definite purpose, the quality of the work approaches the professional. Having written some small thing very well, he begins to learn confidence. ~ John Gardner,
336:The writer Lee Smith, who once had a New York copy editor query in the margin of her manuscript “Double-wide what?” tells a perfectly marvelous, spot-on story about Eudora Welty when she came to Hollins College, where Smith was a student. Welty read a short story in which one female character presents another with a marble cake. In the back of the audience Smith noted a group of leather-elbowed, goatee-sporting PhD candidates, all of whom were getting pretty excited. One started waving his hand as soon as she stopped reading and said, “Miz Welty, how did you come up with that powerful symbol of the marble cake, with the feminine and masculine, the yin and the yang, the Freudian and the Jungian all mixed together like that?” Smith reported that Welty looked at him from the lectern without saying anything for a while. Finally she replied mildly, “Well, you see, it’s a recipe that’s been in my family for some time. ~ Sally Mann,
337:A Short Story of Falling

It is the story of the falling rain
to turn into a leaf and fall again

it is the secret of a summer shower
to steal the light and hide it in a flower

and every flower a tiny tributary
that from the ground flows green and momentary

is one of water's wishes and this tale
hangs in a seed-head smaller than my thumbnail

if only I a passerby could pass
as clear as water through a plume of grass

to find the sunlight hidden at the tip
turning to seed a kind of lifting rain drip

then I might know like water how to balance
the weight of hope against the light of patience

water which is so raw so earthy-strong
and lurks in cast-iron tanks and leaks along

drawn under gravity towards my tongue
to cool and fill the pipe-work of this song

which is the story of the falling rain
that rises to the light and falls again ~ Alice Oswald,
338:Read poetry every day of your life. Poetry is good because it flexes muscles you don’t use often enough. Poetry expands the senses and keeps them in prime condition. It keeps you aware of your nose, your eye, your ear, your tongue, your hand.
And, above all, poetry is compacted metaphor or simile. Such metaphors, like Japanese paper flowers, may expand outward into gigantic shapes. Ideas lie everywhere through the poetry books, yet how rarely have I heard short story teachers recommending them for browsing.

What poetry? Any poetry that makes your hair stand up along your arms. Don’t force yourself too hard. Take it easy. Over the years you may catch up to, move even with, and pass T. S. Eliot on your way to other pastures. You say you don’t understand Dylan Thomas? Yes, but your ganglion does, and your secret wits, and all your unborn children. Read him, as you can read a horse with your eyes, set free and charging over an endless green meadow on a windy day. ~ Ray Bradbury,
339:A novel is like a mountain. Like Mount Rainier. You ever seen Mount Rainier? It's like you're looking at God. It's so gorgeous and dynamic and powerful and meaningful. Then as you walk toward it, Things change. At one point, it's not even a mountain anymore. There's an incline, but you don't see the whole thing. There are different levels. When you get to the top, you look out from the mountain and it's just as majestic because now you're looking from God's point of view. So the novel is a mountain. Now, the short story is an island --- some trees and a beach and a little creature running around. You go on the island, but then you realize that underneath it is a mountain, but it's just underwater, so you never see it. You have to describe the whole mountain, but only from the point of view of that island. Whatever detritus gets washed up, whatever the weather is there, whatever is happening underneath, you have to somehow give that to the reader without making it explicit. ~ Walter Mosley,
340:But even more than her diary, Shimamura was surprised at her statement that she had carefully cataloged every novel and short story she had read since she was fifteen or sixteen. The record already filled ten notebooks.
"You write down your criticisms, do you?"
"I could never do anything like that. I just write down the author and the characters and how they are related to each other. That is about all."
"But what good does it do?"
"None at all."
"A waste of effort."
"A complete waste of effort," she answered brightly, as though the admission meant little to her. She gazed solemnly at Shimamura, however.
A complete waste of effort. For some reason Shimamura wanted to stress the point. But, drawn to her at that moment, he felt a quiet like the voice of the rain flow over him. He knew well enough that for her it was in fact no waste of effort, but somehow the final determination that it had the effect of distilling and purifying the woman's existence. ~ Yasunari Kawabata,
341:NOVEL, n. A short story padded. A species of composition bearing the same relation to literature that the panorama bears to art. As it is too long to be read at a sitting the impressions made by its successive parts are successively effaced, as in the panorama. Unity, totality of effect, is impossible; for besides the few pages last read all that is carried in mind is the mere plot of what has gone before. To the romance the novel is what photography is to painting. Its distinguishing principle, probability, corresponds to the literal actuality of the photograph and puts it distinctly into the category of reporting; whereas the free wing of the romancer enables him to mount to such altitudes of imagination as he may be fitted to attain; and the first three essentials of the literary art are imagination, imagination and imagination. The art of writing novels, such as it was, is long dead everywhere except in Russia, where it is new. Peace to its ashes — some of which have a large sale. ~ Ambrose Bierce,
342:I'll call any length of fiction a story, whether it be a novel or a shorter piece, and I'll call anything a story in which specific characters and events influence each other to form a meaningful narrative. I find that most people know what a story is until they sit down to write one. Then they find themselves writing a sketch with an essay woven through it, or an essay with a sketch woven through it, or an editorial with a character in it, or a case history with a moral, or some other mongrel thing. When they realize that they aren't writing stories, they decide that the remedy for this is to learn something that they refer to as "the technique of the short story" or "the technique of the novel." Technique in the minds of many is something rigid, something like a formula that you impose on the material; but in the best stories it is something organic, something that grows out of the material, and this being the case, it is different for every story of any account that has ever been written. ~ Flannery O Connor,
343:V.S. Pritchett's definition of a short story is 'something glimpsed from the corner of the eye, in passing.' Notice the 'glimpse' part of this. First the glimpse. Then the glimpse gives life, turned into something that illuminates the moment and may, if we're lucky -- that word again -- have even further ranging consequences and meaning. The short story writer's task is to invest the glimpse with all that is in his power. He'll bring his intelligence and literary skill to bear (his talent), his sense of proportion and sense of the fitness of things: of how things out there really are and how he sees those things -- like no one else sees them. And this is done through the use of clear and specific language, language used so as to bring to life the details that will light up the story for the reader. For the details to be concrete and convey meaning, the language must be accurate and precisely given. The words can be so precise they may even sound flat, but they can still carry; if used right they can hit all the notes. ~ Raymond Carver,
344:A DINNER AT POPLAR WALK This is the first published work of Charles Dickens, which appeared in the Monthly Magazine in December 1833. It was later retitled Mr. Minns and His Cousin and can also be found in Sketches by Boz. However, since it is the beginning of the great writer’s oeuvre, it is presented at the very front of this collection. In reading this short story, we can at once detect the inimitable nature of Dickensian writing: varied characters, telling human and social understanding and, of course, hilarious comedy. Here is an account by Dickens, explaining how he felt when first publishing this story: “ first copy of the Magazine in which my first effusion - dropped stealthily one evening at twilight, with fear and trembling, into a dark letter-box, in a dark office, up a dark court in Fleet Street - appeared in all the glory of print; on which memorable occasion - how well I recollect it! - I walked down to Westminster Hall, and turned into it for half-an-hour, because my eyes were so dimmed with joy and pride, that they could not ~ Charles Dickens,
345:I have underlined words and sentences in one of the Bibles that has always been my study Bible, but when I look at those words and sentences now, I can’t remember why they were underlined. One day I was rereading a short story by Joanne Greenberg, and I came across a long passage that I had marked off, but as I looked at it, I couldn't remember why. Perhaps I had meant to ask her about it the next time we talked on the phone, but now I have no idea what it could be that I wanted to ask her. My Revised Standard version of the Bible is filled with markings, for I have gone through it word for word with study groups at least four times, and of course, I have used it on various occasions to begin speeches. I know that the underlined passages served some purpose, but here and there are verses that have no special meaning to me. It is almost as if a friend had secretly opened the book and made some markings just to tease me. What was the spirit trying to say to me then that I no longer need to hear? Or, what was I listening for then that I no longer care about? ~ Charles M Schulz,
346:We must be careful to make a distinction between the intellectual and the person of intellectual achievement. The two are very, very different animals. There are people of intellectual achievement who increase the sum of human knowledge, the powers of human insight, and analysis. And then there are the intellectuals. An intellectual is a person knowledgeable in one field who speaks out only in others. Starting in the early twentieth century, for the first time an ordinary storyteller, a novelist, a short story writer, a poet, a playwright, in certain cases a composer, an artist, or even an opera singer could achieve a tremendous eminence by becoming morally indignant about some public issue. It required no intellectual effort whatsoever. Suddenly he was elevated to a plane from which he could look down upon ordinary people. Conversely — this fascinates me — conversely, if you are merely a brilliant scholar, merely someone who has added immeasurably to the sum of human knowledge and the powers of human insight, that does not qualify you for the eminence of being an intellectual. ~ Tom Wolfe,
347:The Two Towers especially, and the first part of The Return of the King, have a structure reminiscent on a large scale of ‘The Council of Elrond’ on a small one. The word that describes the structure is ‘interlace’. Tolkien certainly knew the word, for it has become a commonplace of Beowulf-criticism, but he may not have liked it much: it is associated also with the structure of French prose romance, in which he took little interest. However, Tolkien certainly also knew that the Icelandic word for a short story is a Þáttr, literally a thread. One could say that several Þættir, or threads, twisted round each other, make up a saga; and Gandalf comes close to saying something like that when he says to Théoden, ‘There are children in your land who, out of the twisted threads of story, could pick the answer to your question’ (my emphasis). Tolkien may have felt that there had been all along a native version of the French technique of entrelacement, even if we no longer know the native word for it. But word, or no word, he was going to do it. ~ Tom Shippey,
348:I continued working without a break, but in the middle of the third story...I felt myself tiring more than if I had been working on a novel. The same thing happened with the fourth. In fact, I did not have the energy to finish them. Now I know why: The effort involved in writing a short story is as intense as beginning a novel, where everything must be defined in the first paragraph: structure, tone, style, rhythm, length, and sometimes even the personality of a character. All the rest is the pleasure of writing, the most intimate, solitary pleasure one can imagine, and if the rest of one's life is not spent correcting the novel, it is because the same iron rigor needed to begin the book is required to end it. But a story has no beginning, no end: Either it works or it doesn't. And if it doesn't, my own experience, and the experience of others, shows that most of the time it is better for one's health to start again in another direction, or toss the story in the wastebasket. Someone, I don't remember who, made the point with this comforting phrase: "Good writers are appreciated more for what they tear up than for what they publish. ~ Gabriel Garc a M rquez,
349:Suppose you and Pa were gone, and we were lost. Suppose we were inside of Lord of the Flies What would happen then?

I wonder what my sister, who understand books better than life, would say if she were confronted with a question like this one. She's so good at explaining books and their meanings, beyond the obvious. Maybe she'd say that all those books and stories devoted to adult-less children – books like Peter Pan, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, that short story by García Márquez, "Light is Like Water," and of course Lord of the Flies – are nothing but desperate attempts by adults to come to terms with childhood. That although they may seem to be stories about children's worlds – worlds without adults – they are in fact stories about children's worlds – worlds without adults – they are in fact stores about an adult's world when there are children in it, about the way that children's imaginations destabilize our adult sense of reality and force us to question the very grounds of that reality. The more time one spends surrounded by children, disconnected by other adults, the more their imaginations leak through the cracks of our own fragile structures. ~ Valeria Luiselli,
350:Now lend me your ears. Here is Creative Writing 101:

1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
4. Every sentence must do one of two things—reveal character or advance the action.
5. Start as close to the end as possible.
6. Be a sadist. No matter sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them—in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

The greatest American short story writer of my generation was Flannery O'Connor (1925-1964). She broke practically every one of my rules but the first. Great writers tend to do that. ~ Kurt Vonnegut,
351:Dear Lucas,

I never met a boy with manners as good as yours. You ought to have a British accent. At homecoming, you wore a cravat and it suited you so well I think you could wear one all the time and get away with it.

Oh, Lucas! I wish I knew what kind of girls you liked. As far as I can tell, you haven’t dated anyone…unless you have a girlfriend at another school. You’re just so mysterious. I hardly know a thing about you. The things I know are so unsubstanial, so unsatisfying, like that you eat a chicken sandwich every day at lunch, and you’re on the golf team. I guess the one remotely real thing I know about you is you’re a good writer, which must mean you have deep reserves of emotion. Like that short story you wrote in creative writing about the poisoned well, and it was from a six-year-old boy’s perspective. It was so sensitive, so keen!

That story made me feel like I knew you at least a little bit. But I don’t know you, and I wish I did.

I think you’re very special. I think you are probably one of the most special people at our school, and I wish more people knew that about you. Or maybe I don’t, because sometimes it’s nice to be the only one who knows something.

Love, Lara Jean
~ Jenny Han,
352:Two very young soldiers in flak jackets stood at the checkpoint, daintily dangling their Kalashnikovs. They asked us to walk. We walked. A hundred metres and a soldier shouted, ‘Stop.’ We stopped. Nobody was frisked. No bags were searched. We boarded the bus and moved towards the
village. I wondered at the absurdity of these instructions. They served no purpose, even looking at things from a soldier’s perspective. It felt like a video game. The soldier moves his finger; buses stop, people form queues, walk, stop, board and leave. Another vehicle reaches the checkpoint and the game repeats itself at every checkpoint across Kashmir. The absurd exercise reminded me of ‘The New Disease’, a short story by Kashmiri writer Akhter Mohiuddin, who died in
2001 .In ‘The New Disease’, a man waits for a long time, as if in a queue, before entering his own house. And then turns away and leaves in another direction. His family takes him to a doctor. The doctor says, ‘Ever since frisking has been introduced, a new disease has come up. Some people
need to be frisked every time they see a gate; others frisk themselves.’ He prescribes a ‘body search’ every time he reaches a gate. The family follows the prescription and the man’s
condition improves. ~ Basharat Peer,
353:Passionate. Compulsive. Emotional. I find myself laughing and crying like crazy, and angry at the characters because they do things that I don’t want them to and sometimes I hate them. They betray me all the time. I started Daughter of Fortune with two characters that I thought were great. This young man who was tormented, he was the devil lover, he was dark and handsome and he goes to find gold and then I couldn’t find him again. I looked for him all over California. I couldn’t find him. He just betrayed me and disappeared and became like a ghost—faint, blurred. And the Chinese guy who was supposed to appear for a few lines during a trip on a ship started to grow and grow and became the protagonist. That’s the wonder of writing, that you don’t know what’s going to happen. I never work with an outline. I start adding words and ideas. It’s like embroidery. I always say that a short story is like an arrow that has one shot and it has to get there and you need direction, precision, speed, the eye, the wrist to do it in one shot, while a novel is like embroidering a tapestry and you do not know the design. You work from the other side and you put threads and colors together, and then one day you turn it over and you see that there is a design and there is something there that you didn’t know was there. ~ Isabel Allende,
354:Nonfiction at its best is like fashioning a cabinet. It can be elegant and very beautiful but it can never be sculpture. Captive to facts—or predetermined forms—it cannot fly. Excepting those masters who transcend their craft—great medieval and Renaissance artisans, for example, or nameless artisans of traditional cultures as far back as the caves who were also spontaneous unselfconscious artists.

As in fiction, the nonfiction writer is telling a story, and when that story is well-made, the placement of details and events is never random. The parts are not strung out in a line but come around full circle, like a necklace, to set off the others. They resonate, rekindle one another, stirring the reader with a cumulative effect. A good essay or article can and should have all the attributes of a good short story, including structure and design, pacing and effective placement of its parts—almost all the attributes of fiction except the creative imagination, which can never be permitted to enliven fact. The writer of nonfiction is stuck with objective reality, or should be; how his facts are arranged and presented is where his craft appears, and it can be dazzling when the writer is a good one. The best nonfiction has many, many virtues, among which simple truthfulness is perhaps foremost, yet its fidelity to the known facts is its fatal constraint. ~ Peter Matthiessen,
355:The soldiers had been entrenched in their positions for several weeks but there was little, if any fighting, except for the dozen rounds they ritually exchanged every day. The weather was extremely pleasant. The air was heavy with the scent of wildflowers and nature seem to be following its course, quite unmindful of the soldiers hiding behind rocks and camouflaged by mountain shrubbery. The birds sang as they always had and the flowers were in bloom. Bees buzzed about lazily.
Only when a shot rang out, the birds got startled and took flight, as if a musician had struck a jarring note on his instrument. It was almost the end of September, neither hot nor cold. It seemed as if summer and winter had made their peace. In the blue skies, cotton clouds floated all day like barges on a lake.
The soldiers seemed to be getting tired of this indecisive war where nothing much ever happened. Their positions were quite impregnable. The two hills on which they were placed faced each other and were about the same height, so no one side had an advantage. Down below in the valley, a stream zigzagged furiously on its stony bed like a snake.
The air force was not involved in the combat and neither of the adversaries had heavy guns or mortars. At night, they would light huge fires and hear each other's voices echoing through the hills.
From The Dog of Titwal, a short story. ~ Saadat Hasan Manto,
356:As usual, Junko thought about Jack London's 'To Build a Fire.' It was the story of a man traveling alone through the snowy Alaskan interior and his attempts to light a fire. He would freeze to death unless he could make it catch. The sun was going down. Junko hadn't read much fiction, but that one short story she had read again and again, ever since her teacher had assigned it as an essay topic during summer vacation of her first year in high school. The scene of the story would always come vividly to mind as she read. She could feel the man's fear and hope and despair as if they were her own; she could sense the very pounding of his heart as he hovered on the brink of death. Most important of all, though, was the fact that the man was fundamentally longing for death. She knew that for sure. She couldn't explain how she knew, but she knew it from the start. Death was really what he wanted. He knew that it was the right ending for him. And yet he had to go on fighting with all his might. He had to fight against an overwhelming adversary in order to survive. What most shook Junko was this deep-rooted contradiction.
The teacher ridiculed her view. 'Death is really what he wanted? That's a new one for me! And strange! Quite 'original,' I'd have to say.' He read her conclusion aloud before the class, and everybody laughed.
But Junko knew. All of them were wrong. Otherwise how could the ending of the story be so quiet and beautiful? ~ Haruki Murakami,
357:so often I get optimistic and explain the best method of learning to write to students. I don’t believe any of them has ever tried it, but I will explain it to you now. After all, you may be the exception. When I read about this method, it was attributed to Benjamin Franklin, who invented and discovered so much. Certainly I did not invent it. But I did it, and it worked. That is more than can be said for most creative writing classes. Find a very short story by a writer you admire. Read it over and over until you understand everything in it. Then read it over a lot more. Here’s the key part. You must do this. Put it away where you cannot get at it. You will have to find a way to do it that works for you. Mail the story to a friend and ask him to keep it for you, or whatever. I left the story I had studied in my desk on Friday. Having no weekend access to the building in which I worked, I could not get to it until Monday morning. When you cannot see it again, write it yourself. You know who the characters are. You know what happens. You write it. Make it as good as you can. Compare your story to the original, when you have access to the original again. Is your version longer? Shorter? Why? Read both versions out loud. There will be places where you had trouble. Now you can see how the author handled those problems. If you want to learn to write fiction, and are among those rare people willing to work at it, you might want to use the little story you have just finished as one of your models. It’s about the right length.     P ~ Gene Wolfe,
358:My old man

16 years old
during the depression
I’d come home drunk
and all my clothing–
shorts, shirts, stockings–
suitcase, and pages of
short stories
would be thrown out on the
front lawn and about the

my mother would be
waiting behind a tree:
“Henry, Henry, don’t
go in . . .he’ll
kill you, he’s read
your stories . . .”
“I can whip his
ass . . .”

“Henry, please take
this . . .and
find yourself a room.”

but it worried him
that I might not
finish high school
so I’d be back

one evening he walked in
with the pages of
one of my short stories
(which I had never submitted
to him)
and he said, “this is
a great short story.”
I said, “o.k.,”
and he handed it to me
and I read it.
it was a story about
a rich man
who had a fight with
his wife and had
gone out into the night
for a cup of coffee
and had observed
the waitress and the spoons
and forks and the
salt and pepper shakers
and the neon sign
in the window
and then had gone back
to his stable
to see and touch his
favorite horse
who then
kicked him in the head
and killed him.

the story held
meaning for him
when I had written it
I had no idea
of what I was
writing about.

so I told him,
“o.k., old man, you can
have it.”

and he took it
and walked out
and closed the door.
I guess that’s
as close
as we ever got. ~ Charles Bukowski,
359:NOBEL PRIZE–WINNER, British poet laureate, essayist, novelist, journalist, and short story writer Rudyard Kipling wrote for both children and adults, with many of his stories and poems focusing on British imperialism in India. His works were popular during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, even though many deemed his political views too conservative. Born on December 30, 1865, in Bombay, India, Kipling had a happy early childhood, but in 1871 he and his sister were sent to a boarding house called Lorne Lodge in Southsea, where he spent many disappointing years. He was accepted in 1877 to United Services College in the west of England. In 1882, he returned to his family in India, working as a journalist, associate editor, and correspondent for many publications, including Civil and Military Gazette, a publication in Lahore, Pakistan. He also wrote poetry. He found great success in writing after his 1889 return to England, where he was eventually appointed poet laureate. Some of his most famous writings, including The Jungle Book, Kim, Puck of Pook’s Hill, and Rewards and Fairies, saw publication in the 1890s and 1900s. It was during this period that he married Caroline Balestier, the sister of an American friend and publishing colleague. The couple settled in Vermont, where their two daughters were born. After a quarrel with his brother-in-law and grumblings from his American neighbors about his controversial political views, Kipling and his family returned to England. There, Caroline gave birth to a son in 1896. Tragically, their eldest daughter died in 1899. Later, Kipling’s son perished in battle during World War I. In 1907 Kipling was awarded the Nobel Prize. He died on January 18, 1936, and his ashes are buried in Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey. ~ Jonathan Swift,
360:The meanness that first bothered me, though, when I encountered it a decade ago, long before I was married, was in a short story in Pigeon Feathers in which a young husband returns with hamburgers and eats them happily with his family in front of the fire, and thinks lovingly of his wife’s Joyceanly “smackwarm” thighs, and then, in the next paragraph, says as narrator (the “you” directed at the narrator’s wife), “In the morning, to my relief, you are ugly.… The skin between your breasts is a sad yellow.” And a little later, “Seven years have worn this woman.” This hit me as inexcusably brutal when I read it. I couldn’t imagine Updike’s real, nonfictional wife reading that paragraph and not being made very unhappy. You never know, though; the internal mechanics of marriages are shielded from us, and maybe in the months after that story came out the two of them enjoyed a wry private joke whenever they went to a party and she wore a dress with a high neckline and they noticed some interlocutor’s gaze drop to her breasts and they saw together the little knowing look cross his unpleasantly salacious features as he thought to himself, Ho ho: high neckline to cover up all that canary-yellow, eh? Updike knows that people are going to assume that the fictional wife of an Updike-like male character corresponds closely with Updike’s own real-life wife — after all, Updike himself angered Nabokov by suggesting that Ada was Vera. How can Updike have the whatever, the disempathy, I used frequently to ask myself, and ask myself right now, to put in print that his wife appeared ugly to him that morning, especially in so vivid a way? It just oughtn’t to be done! It makes us readers imagine her speculating as she read it: “Which morning was he thinking that? He sat at the kitchen table eating breakfast and thinking I was ugly and worn! And I had no idea. ~ Nicholson Baker,
361:The first time I read ‘Guts’, nobody fainted. My goal was just to write some new form of horror story, something based on the ordinary world. Without supernatural monster or magic. The would be a book you wouldn’t want to keep next to your bed. A book that would be a trapdoor down into some place dark. A place only you could go, alone, when you opened the cover.

Because only books have that power.

A motion picture, or music, or television, they have to maintain a certain decorum in order to be broadcast to a vast audience. Other forms of mass media cost too much to product to risk reaching only a limited audience. Only one person. But a book… A book is cheap to print and bind. A book is as private and consensual as sex. A book takes time and effort to consume - something that gives a reader every chance to walk away. Actually, so few people make the effort to read that it’s difficult to call books a ‘mass medium’. No one really gives a damn about books. No one has bothered to ban a book in decades.

But with that disregard comes the freedom that only books have. And if a storytelling is going to write novels instead of screenplays, that’s a freedom you need to exploit. Otherwise, write a movie. That’s where the big money’s at. Write for television.

But, if you want the freedom to anywhere, talk about anything, then write books. That’s why I wrote ‘Guts’. Just a three-act short story based on true-life anecdotes.

People write to say this story is the funniest they’ve ever heard.

People write to say it’s the saddest they’ve ever heard.

And ‘Guts’ is by no means the darkest or funniest or most upsetting story from the novel Haunted. Some, I didn’t dare read in public.

These are the places that only books can go.

This is the advantage that books still have. This is why I write.

Thank you for reading my work. ~ Chuck Palahniuk,
362:I stood on the street corner. I thought about chasing after her, but she was churning swiftly through the neighborhood -- she was already almost a block away -- so instead I entered a coffee shop. This is why I was on the street. I was going to a coffee shop, and I was buying a coffee, and then I was walking to class, and then I would teach, and then during office hours I would reassure the students who needed reassuring, and I would be tough on the students who could take it, and if someone cried in my office for reasons unrelated but maybe sort of related to the imperfect short story they'd written, I would tell them that fiction makes you cry, the fiction you read though more often it's the shitty fiction you write that makes you cry, and I would also be thinking, You poor person, you have no idea what awaits you. A life awaits you, like a serious fucking life. This is what I would want to say. And then I would go home to my serious fucking life, and it would be so ridiculously unserious; it would involve soup spills and dirty dishes and lengthy logic proofs meant to coerce tired, inarticulate people to bed, and I would think how lucky I was to have this unserious life, i.e., to be forced to do somewhat or even thoroughly banal things every day. Because what awaits you if you don't? What kind of life awaits you then? A life where you don't calmly think, as you're scraping up the crystallized juice rings before showering before getting dressed before buying coffee before teaching class before reassuring people their hard lives would only get harder, Fuck this whole existence. You're running down the street and you're screaming at a university to which you no longer belong, you're wearing a sweatshirt not even branded with the insignia of the university on which you blame your breakdown, the university to which you are no longer affiliated, because you are so deeply unaffiliated that you are barely even affiliated with your own face. ~ Heidi Julavits,
363:At some point in this course, perhaps even tonight, you will read something difficult, something you only partially understand, and your verdict will be this is stupid. Will I argue when you advance that opinion in class the next day? Why would I do such a useless ting? My time with you in short, only thirty-four weeks of classes, and I will not waste it arguing about the merits of this short story or that poem. Why would I, when all such opinions are subjective, and no final resolution can ever be reached?'

Some of the kids - Gloria was one of them - now looked lost, but Pete understood exactly what Mr. Ricker, aka Ricky the Hippie, was talking about...

'Time is the answer," Mr Ricker said on the first day of Pete's sophomore year. He strode back and forth, antique bellbottoms swishing, occasionally waving his arms. "Yes! Time mercilessly culls away the is-stupid from the not-stupid."
"It will occur for you, young ladies and gentlemen, although I will be in your rear-view mirror by the time it happens. Shall I tell you how it happens? You will read something - perhaps 'Dulce et Decorum Est,' by Wilfred Owen. Shall we use that as an example? Why not?'

Then, in a deeper voice that sent chills up Pete's back and tightened his throat, Mr. Ricker cried, " 'Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge...' And son on. Cetra-cetra. Some of you will say, This is stupid."

'And yet!" Up went the finger.

"Time will pass! Tempus will fugit! Owen's poem may fall away from your mind, in which case your verdict of is-stupid will have turned out to be correct. For you, at least. But for some of you, it will recur. And recur. Each time it does, the steady march of your maturity will deepen its resonance. Each time that poem sneaks back into your mind, it will seem a little less stupid and a little more vital. A little more important. Until it shines, young ladies and gentlemen. Until it shines. ~ Stephen King,
364:To My Children,
I'm dedicating my little story to you; doubtless you will be among the very few who will ever read it. It seems war stories aren't very well received at this point. I'm told they're out-dated, untimely and as might be expected - make some unpleasant reading. And, as you have no doubt already perceived, human beings don't like to remember unpleasant things. They gird themselves with the armor of wishful thinking, protect themselves with a shield of impenetrable optimism, and, with a few exceptions, seem to accomplish their "forgetting" quite admirably.
But you, my children, I don't want you to be among those who choose to forget. I want you to read my stories and a lot of others like them. I want you to fill your heads with Remarque and Tolstoy and Ernie Pyle. I want you to know what shrapnel, and "88's" and mortar shells and mustard gas mean. I want you to feel, no matter how vicariously, a semblance of the feeling of a torn limb, a burnt patch of flesh, the crippling, numbing sensation of fear, the hopeless emptiness of fatigue. All these things are complimentary to the province of War and they should be taught and demonstrated in classrooms along with the more heroic aspects of uniforms, and flags, and honor and patriotism. I have no idea what your generation will be like. In mine we were to enjoy "Peace in our time". A very well meaning gentleman waved his umbrella and shouted those very words...less than a year before the whole world went to war. But this gentleman was suffering the worldly disease of insufferable optimism. He and his fellow humans kept polishing the rose colored glasses when actually they should have taken them off. They were sacrificing reason and reality for a brief and temporal peace of mind, the same peace of mind that many of my contemporaries derive by steadfastly refraining from remembering the War that came before.
[excerpt from a dedication to an unpublished short story, "First Squad, First Platoon"; from Serling to his as yet unborn children] ~ Rod Serling,
365:The traditional illustration of the direct rule-based approach is the “three laws of robotics” concept, formulated by science fiction author Isaac Asimov in a short story published in 1942.22 The three laws were: (1) A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm; (2) A robot must obey any orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law; (3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law. Embarrassingly for our species, Asimov’s laws remained state-of-the-art for over half a century: this despite obvious problems with the approach, some of which are explored in Asimov’s own writings (Asimov probably having formulated the laws in the first place precisely so that they would fail in interesting ways, providing fertile plot complications for his stories).23 Bertrand Russell, who spent many years working on the foundations of mathematics, once remarked that “everything is vague to a degree you do not realize till you have tried to make it precise.”24 Russell’s dictum applies in spades to the direct specification approach. Consider, for example, how one might explicate Asimov’s first law. Does it mean that the robot should minimize the probability of any human being coming to harm? In that case the other laws become otiose since it is always possible for the AI to take some action that would have at least some microscopic effect on the probability of a human being coming to harm. How is the robot to balance a large risk of a few humans coming to harm versus a small risk of many humans being harmed? How do we define “harm” anyway? How should the harm of physical pain be weighed against the harm of architectural ugliness or social injustice? Is a sadist harmed if he is prevented from tormenting his victim? How do we define “human being”? Why is no consideration given to other morally considerable beings, such as sentient nonhuman animals and digital minds? The more one ponders, the more the questions proliferate. Perhaps ~ Nick Bostrom,
366:She stood on the willow bank. It was bright as mid-afternoon in the openness of the water, quiet and peaceful. She took off her clothes and let herself into the river. She saw her waist disappear into reflection less water; it was like walking into sky, some impurity of skies. All seemed one weight, one matter -- until she put down her head and closed her eyes and the light slipped under her lids, she felt this matter a translucent one, the river, herself, the sky all vessels which the sun filled. She began to swim in the river, forcing it gently, as she would wish for gentleness to her body. Her breasts around which she felt the water curving were as sensitive at that moment as the tips of wings must feel to birds, or antennae to insects. She felt the sand, grains intricate as little cogged wheels, minute shells of old seas, and the many dark ribbons of grass and mud touch her and leave her, like suggestions and withdrawals of some bondage that might have been dear, now dismembering and losing itself. She moved but like a cloud in skies, aware but only of the nebulous edges of her feeling and the vanishing opacity of her will, the carelessness for the water of the river through which her body had already passed as well as for what was ahead. The bank was all one, where out of the faded September world the little ripening plums started. Memory dappled her like no more than a paler light, which in slight agitations came through leaves, not darkening her for more than an instant. the iron taste of the old river was sweet to her, though. If she opened her eyes she looked at blue bottles, the skating waterbugs. If she trembled, it was at the smoothness of a fish or a snake that crossed her knees. In the middle of the river, whose downstream or upstream could not be told by a current, she lay on her stretched arm, not breathing, floating. Virgie had reached the point where in the next moment she might turn into something without feeling it shock her. She hung suspended in the Big Black River as she would know how to hang suspended in felicity. Far to the west, a cloud running fingerlike over the sun made her splash the water. She stood, walked along the soft mud of the bottom, and pulled herself out of the water by a willow branch, which like a warm rain brushed her back with its leaves. The moon, while she looked into the high sky, took its own light between one moment and the next. A wood thrush, which had begun to sing, hushed its long moment and began again. Virgie put her clothes back on. She would have given much for a cigarette, always wishing for a little more of what had just been.

(from the short story The Wanderers) ~ Eudora Welty,
367:This was no coincidence. The best short stories and the most successful jokes have a lot in common. Each form relies on suggestion and economy. Characters have to be drawn in a few deft strokes. There's generally a setup, a reveal, a reversal, and a release. The structure is delicate. If one element fails, the edifice crumbles. In a novel you might get away with a loose line or two, a saggy paragraph, even a limp chapter. But in the joke and in the short story, the beginning and end are precisely anchored tent poles, and what lies between must pull so taut it twangs. I'm not sure if there is any pattern to these selections. I did not spend a lot of time with those that seemed afraid to tell stories, that handled plot as if it were a hair in the soup, unwelcome and embarrassing. I also tended not to revisit stories that seemed bleak without having earned it, where the emotional notes were false, or where the writing was tricked out or primped up with fashionable devices stressing form over content. I do know that the easiest and the first choices were the stories to which I had a physical response. I read Jennifer Egan's "Out of Body" clenched from head to toe by tension as her suicidal, drug-addled protagonist moves through the Manhattan night toward an unforgivable betrayal. I shed tears over two stories of childhood shadowed by unbearable memory: "The Hare's Mask," by Mark Slouka, with its piercing ending, and Claire Keegan's Irishinflected tale of neglect and rescue, "Foster." Elizabeth McCracken's "Property" also moved me, with its sudden perception shift along the wavering sightlines of loss and grief. Nathan Englander's "Free Fruit for Young Widows" opened with a gasp-inducing act of unexpected violence and evolved into an ethical Rubik's cube. A couple of stories made me laugh: Tom Bissell's "A Bridge Under Water," even as it foreshadows the dissolution of a marriage and probes what religion does for us, and to us; and Richard Powers's "To the Measures Fall," a deftly comic meditation on the uses of literature in the course of a life, and a lifetime. Some stories didn't call forth such a strong immediate response but had instead a lingering resonance. Of these, many dealt with love and its costs, leaving behind indelible images. In Megan Mayhew Bergman's "Housewifely Arts," a bereaved daughter drives miles to visit her dead mother's parrot because she yearns to hear the bird mimic her mother's voice. In Allegra Goodman's "La Vita Nuova," a jilted fiancée lets her art class paint all over her wedding dress. In Ehud Havazelet's spare and tender story, "Gurov in Manhattan," an ailing man and his aging dog must confront life's necessary losses. A complicated, only partly welcome romance blossoms between a Korean woman and her demented ~ Geraldine Brooks,
368:write animal stories. This one was called Dialogues Between a Cow and a Filly; a meditation on ethics, you might say; it had been inspired by a short business trip to Brittany. Here’s a key passage from it: ‘Let us first consider the Breton cow: all year round she thinks of nothing but grazing, her glossy muzzle ascends and descends with impressive regularity, and no shudder of anguish comes to trouble the wistful gaze of her light-brown eyes. All that is as it ought to be, and even appears to indicate a profound existential oneness, a decidedly enviable identity between her being-in-the-world and her being-in-itself. Alas, in this instance the philosopher is found wanting, and his conclusions, while based on a correct and profound intuition, will be rendered invalid if he has not previously taken the trouble of gathering documentary evidence from the naturalist. In fact the Breton cow’s nature is duplicitous. At certain times of the year (precisely determined by the inexorable functioning of genetic programming) an astonishing revolution takes place in her being. Her mooing becomes more strident, prolonged, its very harmonic texture modified to the point of recalling at times, and astonishingly so, certain groans which escape the sons of men. Her movements become more rapid, more nervous, from time to time she breaks into a trot. It is not simply her muzzle, though it seems, in its glossy regularity, conceived for reflecting the abiding presence of a mineral passivity, which contracts and twitches under the painful effect of an assuredly powerful desire. ‘The key to the riddle is extremely simple, and it is that what the Breton cow desires (thus demonstrating, and she must be given credit here, her life’s one desire) is, as the breeders say in their cynical parlance, “to get stuffed”. And stuff her they do, more or less directly; the artificial insemination syringe can in effect, whatever the cost in certain emotional complications, take the place of the bull’s penis in performing this function. In both cases the cow calms down and returns to her original state of earnest meditation, except that a few months later she will give birth to an adorable little calf. Which, let it be said in passing, means profit for the breeder.’ * The breeder, of course, symbolized God. Moved by an irrational sympathy for the filly, he promised her, starting from the next chapter, the everlasting delight of numerous stallions, while the cow, guilty of the sin of pride, was to be gradually condemned to the dismal pleasures of artificial fertilization. The pathetic mooing of the ruminant would prove incapable of swaying the judgment of the Great Architect. A delegation of sheep, formed in solidarity, had no better luck. The God presented in this short story was not, one observes, a merciful God. ~ Michel Houellebecq,
369:The usual short story cannot have a complex plot, but it often has a simple one resembling a chain with two or three links. The short short, however, doesn't as a rule have even that much - you don't speak of a chain when there's only one link. ...

Sometimes ... the short short appears to rest on nothing more than a fragile anecdote which the writer has managed to drape with a quantity of suggestion. A single incident, a mere anecdote - these form the spine of the short short.

Everything depends on intensity, one sweeping blow of perception. In the short short the writer gets no second chance. Either he strikes through at once or he's lost. And because it depends so heavily on this one sweeping blow, the short short often approaches the condition of a fable. When you read the two pieces by Tolstoy in this book, or I.L. Peretz's 'If Not Higher,' or Franz Kafka's 'The Hunter Gracchus,' you feel these writers are intent upon 'making a point' - but obliquely, not through mere statement. What they project is not the sort of impression of life we expect in most fiction, but something else: an impression of an idea of life. Or: a flicker in darkness, a slight cut of being. The shorter the piece of writing, the more abstract it may seem to us. In reading Paz's brilliant short short we feel we have brushed dangerously against the sheer arbitrariness of existence; in reading Peretz's, that we have been brought up against a moral reflection on the nature of goodness, though a reflection hard merely to state.

Could we say that the short short is to other kinds of fiction somewhat as the lyric is to other kinds of poetry? The lyric does not seek meaning through extension, it accepts the enigmas of confinement. It strives for a rapid unity of impression, an experience rendered in its wink of immediacy. And so too with the short short. ...

Writers who do short shorts need to be especially bold. They stake everything on a stroke of inventiveness. Sometimes they have to be prepared to speak out directly, not so much in order to state a theme as to provide a jarring or complicating commentary. The voice of the writer brushes, so to say, against his flash of invention. And then, almost before it begins, the fiction is brought to a stark conclusion - abrupt, bleeding, exhausting. This conclusion need not complete the action; it has only to break it off decisively.

Here are a few examples of the writer speaking out directly. Paz: 'The universe is a vast system of signs.' Kafka in 'First Sorrow': The trapeze artist's 'social life was somewhat limited.' Paula Fox: 'We are starving here in our village. At last, we are at the center.' Babel's cossack cries out, 'You guys in specs have about as much pity for chaps like us as a cat for a mouse.' Such sentences serve as devices of economy, oblique cues. Cryptic and enigmatic, they sometimes replace action, dialogue and commentary, for none of which, as it happens, the short short has much room.

There's often a brilliant overfocussing.

("Introduction") ~ Irving Howe,

--- IN CHAPTERS (in Dictionaries, in Quotes, in Chapters)


   2 Occultism
   1 Integral Yoga

   8 Jorge Luis Borges
   2 The Mother
   2 Jorge Luis Borges
   2 H. P. Lovecraft
   2 Aleister Crowley

   2 Selected Fictions
   2 Magick Without Tears

1.03_-_A_Sapphire_Tale, #Words Of Long Ago, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
  class:short story
  author class:The Mother

1.17_-_The_Transformation, #Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness, #Satprem, #Integral Yoga
  Conversations of the Dead, 1909-1910 1st ed. 1951
  The Phantom Hour (a short story), 1910-1912 1st ed. 1951
  Kalidasa, 2 volumes, 1893-1905 (Baroda) 1st ed. 1929

1.31_-_Is_Thelema_a_.New_Religion.?, #Magick Without Tears, #Aleister Crowley, #Occultism
  Religion, he says, Latin: religio, piety. Collection or paying attention to: religens as opposed to negligens, neglecting; the attitude of Gallio. But it also implies a binding together i.e. of ideas; in fact, a "body of doctrine." Not a bad expression. A religion then, is a more or less coherent and consistent set of beliefs, with precepts and prohibitions therefrom deducible. But then there is the sense in which Frazer (and I) often use the word: as in opposition to "Science" or "Magic." Here the point is that religious people attribute phenomena to the will of some postulated Being or Beings, placable and moveable by virtue of sacrifice, devotion, or appeal. Against such, the scientific or magical mind believes in the Laws of Nature, asserts "If A, then B" if you do so-and-so, the result will be so-and-so, aloof from arbitrary interference. Joshua, it is alleged, made the sun stand still by supplication, and Hezekiah in the same way cause it to "go back upon the dial of Ahaz;" Willett did it by putting the clock back, and getting an Act of Parliament to confirm his lunacy. Petruchio, too "It shall be what o'clock I say it is!" The two last came close to the magical method; at least, to that branch of it which consists of "fooling all the people all the time." But such an operation, if true Magick were employed, would be beyond the power of any magician of my acquaintance; for it would mess up the solar system completely. (You remember how this happened, and what came of it, in a rather clever short story by H.G. Wells.) For true Magick means "to employ one set of natural forces at a mechanical advantage as against another set" I quote, as closely as memory serves, Thomas Henry Huxley, when he explains that when he lifts his water-jug or his elbow he does not "defy the Law of Gravitation." On the contrary, he uses that Law; its equations form part of the system by which he lifts the jug without spilling the water.

1.80_-_Life_a_Gamble, #Magick Without Tears, #Aleister Crowley, #Occultism
  (I wish I had a copy of a short story of mine called "Every Precaution." The gallant young Uplift Expert, the one hundred per cent red-blooded, clean-living, heir of the Eternities, takes his young fiance and female counterpart to the "Old Absinthe House" in New Orleans to show her the terrible results of Wrong-Doing. They are going to avoid all that; their child is going to be the Quintessence of Americanism.

3.02_-_The_Great_Secret, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  class:short story

class, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
           46 class:media
             22 class:short story
             16 class:videogames
     24 Sri Aurobindo
     24 short story
     23 time
     5 Storytelling
     5 short story
     5 poems

Ex_Oblivione, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  object:Ex Oblivione
  class:short story

For_a_Breath_I_Tarry, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  object:For a Breath I Tarry
  class:short story

Talks_With_Sri_Aurobindo_2, #Talks With Sri Aurobindo, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  suggestive, but it is not a mature work. That is true, I think; her whole concentration was on style and the plot is a sort of mysticism.
  SRI AUROBINDO: Mysticism in a novel? That is good in a short story.
  PURANI: And there is plenty of talk and discussion.

The_Aleph, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  object:The Aleph
  class:short story

The_Book_of_Sand, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  object:The Book of Sand
  class:short story

The_Book_(short_story), #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  object:The Book (short story)
  class:short story

The_Circular_Ruins, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  object:The Circular Ruins
  class:short story

The_Dream_of_a_Ridiculous_Man, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  object:The Dream of a Ridiculous Man
  class:short story

The_Egg, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  object:The Egg
  class:short story

The_Garden_of_Forking_Paths_1, #Selected Fictions, #Jorge Luis Borges , #unset
  author class:Jorge Luis Borges
  class:short story

The_Garden_of_Forking_Paths_2, #Selected Fictions, #Jorge Luis Borges , #unset
  author class:Jorge Luis Borges
  class:short story

The_Gold_Bug, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  author:Edgar Allan Poe
  class:short story

The_House_of_Asterion, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  object:The House of Asterion
  class:short story

The_Immortal, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  class book:Collected Fictions
  class:short story

The_Last_Question, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  object:The Last Question
  class:short story

The_Library_Of_Babel_2, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  object:The Library Of Babel 2
  class:short story

The_Library_of_Babel, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  object:The Library of Babel
  class:short story

The_Lottery_in_Babylon, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  object:The Lottery in Babylon
  class:short story

The_One_Who_Walks_Away, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  object:The One Who Walks Away
  class:short story

The_Pilgrims_Progress, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  object:The Pilgrim's Progress
  class:short story

The_Shadow_Out_Of_Time, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  object:The Shadow Out Of Time
  class:short story

The_Zahir, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  object:The Zahir
  class:short story

change font "color":
change "background-color":
change "font-family": 48021 site hits