Monday, April 6, 2009

Brevity's Pull

In Praise of the American Short Story
While I don't always agree with A.O. Scott, movie critic of the N.Y. Times, he always gets me to really reflect upon the subjects he writes up. And in this piece, he's drawn me in to a subject that I haven't given enough due. It's a marvelous piece of writing and praise of the short story. Outside of high school/college, I've haven't always made it a routine of reading them. And if it wasn't for authors like Poe, Stephen King, and Clive Barker, in later life, it would be an even shorter road for me. Thinking about it, I should also give credit to bloggers Jen and Corey for their unwavering reading devotion to the short form. And, to those like Naomi, Gay of Words in Place, and Nordette (aka Vérité Parlant) who practice the laconic art so beautifully. And yes, I'm attempting to get some credit for knowing of talented folks like these ;-).


  1. That is an interesting article, I have to agree. I picked up some magazines last week and after reading through them I found myself bemoaning the fact that they consisted solely of ads and articles that had already been written hundreds of times in magazines (Is Your 401k Working For You?). I was surprised that there was no short story in the Saturday Evening Post because when I was young I remember there were stories, good ones.

    At the same time I'm guilty of pretty much restricting my short story reading to crime fic. Sometimes not, a couple that I read this week on Southern Cross Review zine were not crime fic. But they were hardly all that is fine literature either. Maybe I need to pick up some O'Connor, et al, and see what I'm missing.

  2. Thanks, Michael, for promoting me and my writing! As for crime fiction, Corey, nothing wrong with that. Loving classic (Poe, Bierce) shorts is terrific but loving new ones, well, that's terrific too. And the classic O'Connor? "A Good Man is Hard to Find" IS basically crime fiction.

  3. That's good news, Gay, because that's the book I reserved at the library today. Serendipity strikes again!

  4. Hey! I'm reading PROSECUTION RESTS right now and I'm likin' it. I only finished S.J. Rozan's "Night Court" but it's got a GREAT twist!

    AND Naomi is having a non-crime fiction short published soon online. I'll pass along the details when it's up!