An aesthetic perspective on the short fiction of Chekhov, Joyce, Hemingway, O'Connor, and Carver Taking a distinctively aesthetic approach to the genre of realist short fiction, Kerry McSweeney clusters the work of five masters--Anton Chekhov, James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, Flannery O'Connor, and Raymond Carver--to offer a poetics of the form for students and scholars. At the center of this argument is the notion that the realist short story is a glimpse--powerful and tightly focused--into a world that the writer must precisely craft and in which the reader must fully invest. Selecting writers from different generational, national, and cultural backgrounds, McSweeney chooses writers based on their commitment to the realist representation of experience and their shared belief in the importance and efficacy of the short story form. By considering their efforts in tandem, he develops a means to assess the strategies and claims of realist short fiction. McSweeney demonstrates that when the comments these writers have made about their work are assembled and critically scrutinized, the result is an aesthetic critical model--as opposed to more interpretative models that focus attention on the determination (or indetermination) of meanings. He suggests that a fully adequate reading of a realist short story involves the integration of three components: the enjoyment and contemplation of the story in and of itself; affective receptivity, or a response to the story's emotional content; and cognitive activity, or the reflective consideration of the story's conceptual implications. In individual chapters on Chekov, Joyce, Hemingway, O'Connor, and Carver, this presentational model is applied to widely known and often anthologized readings from each writer. McSweeney brings into sharp focus the distinctive features of each piece, makes qualitative discriminations, and assesses the profitability of other critical models. He concludes with an invitation to test the mettle of his approach in reading other realist short story writers.
The short story is moving from relative neglect to a central position in the curriculum; as a teaching tool, it offers students a route into many complex areas, including critical theory, gender studies, postcolonialism and genre. This book offers a practical guide to the short story in the classroom, covering all these fields and more.
The Visual Poetics of Raymond Carver explores the visual dimensions of literary texts by looking at the rich representations of vision, movement and space in Raymond Carver's short fiction. Ayala Amir analyzes Carver's stories using insights borrowed from the critical discourse of the visual arts to reflect upon and challenge traditional issues of narrative study.
The Holocaust Short Story is the only book devoted entirely to representations of the Holocaust in the short story genre. The book highlights how the explosiveness of the moment captured in each short story is more immediate and more intense, and therefore recreates horrifying emotional reactions for the reader. The main themes confronted in the book deal with the collapse of human relationships, the collapse of the home, and the dying of time in the monotony and angst of surrounding death chambers. The book thoroughly introduces the genres of both the short story and Holocaust writing, explaining the key features and theories in the area. Each chapter then looks at the stories in detail, including work by Ida Fink, Tadeusz Borowski, Rokhl Korn, Frume Halpern, and Cynthia Ozick. This book is essential reading for anyone working on Holocaust literature, trauma studies, Jewish studies, Jewish literature, and the short story genre.
The American Short Story since 1950 offers a reappraisal and contextualisation of a critically underrated genre during a particularly rich period in its history. It offers new readings of important stories by key writers including Flannery O'Connor, John Cheever, Donald Barthelme, Raymond Carver, Lorrie Moore and Grace Paley. These readings are related throughout to the various contexts in which stories are written and published, including creative writing schools, story-writing handbooks, mass market and 'little' magazines.
The American short story has always been characterized by exciting aesthetic innovations and an immense range of topics. This handbook offers students and researchers a comprehensive introduction to the multifaceted genre with a special focus on recent developments due to the rise of new media. Part I provides systematic overviews of significant contexts ranging from historical-political backgrounds, short story theories developed by writers, print and digital culture, to current theoretical approaches and canon formation. Part II consists of 35 paired readings of representative short stories by eminent authors, charting major steps in the evolution of the American short story from its beginnings as an art form in the early nineteenth century up to the digital age. The handbook examines historically, methodologically, and theoretically the coming together of the enduring narrative practice of compression and concision in American literature. It offers fresh and original readings relevant to studying the American short story and shows how the genre performs American culture.
American Literary Minimalism fills a need for a comprehensive study of this twentieth-century literary movement. In it, Robert Clark explores works that are emblematic of the style by best-selling authors Ernest Hemingway, Sandra Cisneros, Raymond Carver, Jay McInerney, Cormac McCarthy, and Susan Minot.
Contrary to the common view that cultural modernism is a broadly anti-mimetic movement, one which turned away from traditional artistic goals of representing the world, Rhythmic Modernism argues that rhythm and mimesis are central to modernist aesthetics. Through detailed close readings of non-fiction and short stories, Helen Rydstrand shows that textual rhythms comprised the substance of modernist mimesis. Rhythmic Modernism demonstrates how many modernist writers, such as D. H. Lawrence, Katherine Mansfield and Virginia Woolf, were profoundly invested in mimicking a substratum of existence that was conceived as rhythmic, each displaying a fascination with rhythm, both as a formal device and as a vital, protean concept that helped to make sense of the complex modern world.
Hailed as the “American Chekhov” by the Times Literary Supplement, Raymond Carver is the most popular and influential American short-story writer since Ernest Hemingway. His works have been adapted to film and translated into more than twenty languages. Yet despite this international appeal, the critical attention to his writing has originated mostly in the US. In an attempt to expand the scope and range of Carver criticism, Not Far From Here: The Paris Symposium on Raymond Carver – based on papers delivered at the International Conference of the Raymond Carver Society at the University of Paris XII on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the author’s death – offers an engaging conversation by both emerging and established international scholars from France, Italy, Spain, Norway, Switzerland, Canada, and the US. Literary studies, biographical studies, film theory, textual editing, intertextual analysis, cultural studies, feminism, semiotics, mythology, existentialism, metafictional analysis, representationalism, symbolism, humanism, and Lacanian criticism all have some presence in this collection of essays. Not Far From Here provides readers and scholars alike with new and multinational insights into Carver’s poetry and fiction.