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Encyclopedia > Short story

The short story is a literary genre. It is usually fictional narrative prose and tends to be more concise and to the point than longer works of fiction, such as novellas (in the modern sense of this term) and novels. Short stories have their origins in oral story-telling traditions and the prose anecdote, a swiftly-sketched situation that comes rapidly to its point. With the rise of the comparatively realistic novel, the short story evolved as a miniature, with some of its first perfectly independent examples in the tales of E.T.A. Hoffmann and Anton Chekhov. A genre [], (French: kind or sort from Greek: γένος (genos)) is a loose set of criteria for a category of literary composition; the term is also used for any other form of art or utterance. ... FicTioNaL is a Gaming Legend. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Prose is writing distinguished from poetry by its greater variety of rhythm and its closer resemblance to the patterns of everyday speech. ... A novella is a narrative work of prose fiction somewhat longer than a short story but shorter than a novel. ... This article is about the literary concept. ... For the 2001 film, see Storytelling (film) Storytelling is the ancient art of conveying events in words, images, and sounds. ... An anecdote is a short tale narrating an interesting or amusing biographical incident. ... For other uses, see Realism (disambiguation). ... ETA Hoffman Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann (January 24, 1776 - June 25, 1822), was a German romantic and fantasy author and composer. ... Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (Russian: , IPA: ) was a Russian short story writer and playwright. ...


Many authors today release compilations of their short stories in short story collections.

Contents

History

Origins

Short stories date back to the oral story-telling traditions which originally produced epics such as the Iliad and Odyssey by Homer. Oral narratives were often told in the form of rhyming or rhythmic poetry, often including recurring sections or, in the case of Homer, Homeric epithets. Such stylistic effects often acted as mnemonic means for easier recall, rendition and adaptation of the story. Short sections of such poems might focus on individual narratives that could be told at one sitting. The overall arc of the story would only emerge through the telling of multiple sections of the tale. title page of the Rihel edition of ca. ... Beginning of the Odyssey For other uses, see Odyssey (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Homer (disambiguation). ... This article is about the poetic technique. ... Epithets in Homer. ... For other uses, see Mnemonic (disambiguation). ...


Fables, which tend to be folk tales with an explicitly expressed moral, were said by the Greek historian Herodotus to have been invented by a Greek slave named Aesop in the 6th century BCE (although other times and nationalities are also given for Aesop). These ancient fables are known today as Aesop's Fables. For other uses of the term, see fable (disambiguation). ... Folklore is the ethnographic concept of the tales, legends, or superstitions current among a particular ethnic population, a part of the oral history of a particular culture. ... Herodotus of Halicarnassus (Greek: Hērodotos Halikarnāsseus) was a Greek historian from Ionia who lived in the 5th century BC (ca. ... Aesop, as conceived by Diego Velázquez Aesop, as depicted in the Nuremberg Chronicle by Hartmann Schedel in 1493. ... Aesop, as depicted in the Nuremberg Chronicle by Hartmann Schedel. ...


The other ancient form of short story, anecdotes, was popular during the years of the Roman Empire. Anecdotes functioned as a sort of parable, a brief realistic narration that embodies a point. Many of the surviving Roman anecdotes were later collected in the Gesta Romanorum in the 13th or 14th century. Anecdotes remained popular in Europe well into the 18th century, when the fictional anecdotal letters of Sir Roger de Coverley were published. For other uses, see Roman Empire (disambiguation). ... // For a comparison of parable with other kinds of stories, see Myth, legend, fairy tale, and fable. ... Gesta Romanorum, a Latin collection of anecdotes and tales, was probably compiled about the end of the 13th century or the beginning of the 14th. ...


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). During the Renaissance, the term novella was used when referring to short stories. Chaucer redirects here. ... Canterbury Tales Woodcut 1484 The Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories written by Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century (two of them in prose, the rest in verse). ... Giovanni Boccaccio (June 16, 1313 – December 21, 1375) was an Italian author and poet, a friend and correspondent of Petrarch, an important Renaissance humanist in his own right and author of a number of notable works including On Famous Women, the Decameron and his poetry in the vernacular. ... The Decameron is a collection of novellas that was finished by Giovanni Boccaccio in 1353. ... A frame story (also frame tale, frame narrative, etc. ... Matteo Bandello (c. ...


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. Madame de La Fayette (baptized March 18, 1634 - May 25, 1693) was a French writer, the alleged author of La Princesse de Clèves, Frances first historical novel and often taken to be one of the earliest European novels of its day. ... A fairy tale is a story, either told to children or as if told to children, concerning the adventures of mythical characters such as fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, giants, and others. ... This article is about the French author. ... Antoine Galland (April 4, 1646 — February 17, 1715) was a French orientalist and archaeologist, and the first European translator of the Arabian Nights. ... The Book of One Thousand and One Nights (كتاب ألف ليلة و ليلة in Arabic or هزار و یک شب in Persian), also known as The book of a Thousand Nights and a Night... For the singer of the same name, see Voltaire (musician). ... Denis Diderot Denis Diderot (October 5, 1713 - July 31, 1784) was a French writer and philosopher. ...


Modern short stories

Modern short stories emerged as their own genre in the early 19th century. Early examples of short stories include the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales (1824–1826) or Nikolai Gogol's Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka (1831-1832). Charles Brockden Brown's "Somnambulism" (1805), Washington Irving's Rip van Winkle (1819) and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1820), Edgar Allan Poe's Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque (1840) and Nathaniel Hawthorne's Twice-Told Tales (1842) are the first examples in the USA. A genre [], (French: kind or sort from Greek: γένος (genos)) is a loose set of criteria for a category of literary composition; the term is also used for any other form of art or utterance. ... For other uses, see Brothers Grimm (disambiguation). ... Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol (Russian: ; IPA: ; Ukrainian: ) (April 1, 1809 — March 4, 1852) was a Russian-language writer of Ukrainian origin. ... Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka is a collection of short stories by Nikolai Gogol, written from 1831-1832. ... Washington Irving (April 3, 1783 – November 28, 1859) was an American author of the early 19th century. ... For the operetta of the same name, see Rip Van Winkle (operetta). ... The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is a short story by Washington Irving contained in his collection The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. ... Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American poet, short story writer, playwright, editor, literary critic, essayist and one of the leaders of the American Romantic Movement. ... Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque is a collection of previously-published short stories by Edgar Allan Poe, first published in 1840. ... Nathaniel Hawthorne (born Nathaniel Hathorne; July 4, 1804 – May 19, 1864) was a 19th century American novelist and short story writer. ... Twice-Told Tales is a short story collection in two volumes by Nathaniel Hawthorne first published in 1826. ...


In the later part of the 19th century, the growth of print magazines and journals created a strong market demand for short fiction between 3,000 and 15,000 words in length. Among the famous short stories to come out of this time period was "Ward No. 6" by Anton Chekhov. Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (Russian: , IPA: ) was a Russian short story writer and playwright. ...


At the same time first literary theories about the short story appeared. The first widely known theory is Edgar Allan Poe's "The Philosophy of Composition" (1846). In 1901 Brander Matthews, first US-American professor of dramatic literature published his "The Philosophy of the Short-Story." Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American poet, short story writer, playwright, editor, literary critic, essayist and one of the leaders of the American Romantic Movement. ... The Philosophy of Composition is an essay written by Edgar Allan Poe that elaborates a theory about how good writers write when they write well. ... James Brander Matthews (born February 21, 1852 in New Orleans; died March 31, 1929 in New York City), was a U.S. writer and educator. ...


In the first half of the 20th century, a number of high-profile magazines, such as The Atlantic Monthly, Scribner's, and The Saturday Evening Post, all published short stories in each issue. The demand for quality short stories was so great, and the money paid for them so high, that F. Scott Fitzgerald repeatedly turned to short story writing to pay off his numerous debts. The Atlantic Monthly (also known as The Atlantic) is an American literary/cultural magazine that was founded in November 1857. ... Scribners Magazine is a magazine. ... A cover of the Saturday Evening Post from 1903 The Saturday Evening Post was a weekly magazine published in the United States from August 4, 1821 to February 8, 1969. ... Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (September 24, 1896 – December 21, 1940) was an American Jazz Age author of novels and short stories. ...


The demand for short stories by print magazines hit its peak in the middle of the 20th century, when in 1952 Life magazine published Ernest Hemingway's long short story (or novella) The Old Man and the Sea. The issue containing this story sold 5,300,000 copies in only two days. Philippe Halsmans famous portrait of Marilyn Monroe Life generally refers to two American magazines: A humor and general interest magazine published from 1883 to 1936; A publication created by Time founder Henry Luce in 1936, with a strong emphasis on photojournalism. ... The Old Man and the Sea is a novella by Ernest Hemingway written in Cuba in 1951 and published in 1952. ...


Since then, the number of commercial magazines that publish short stories has declined, even though several well-known magazines like The New Yorker continue to feature them. Literary magazines also provide a showcase for short stories. In addition, short stories have recently found a new life online, where they can be found in online magazines, in collections organized by author or theme, and on blogs. For other uses, see New Yorker. ... A literary magazine is a periodical devoted to literature in a broad sense. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


Elements and characteristics

Short stories tend to be less complex than novels. Usually, a short story will focus on only one incident, has a single plot, a single setting, a limited number of characters, and covers a short period of time.


In longer forms of fiction, stories tend to contain certain core elements of dramatic structure: exposition (the introduction of setting, situation and main characters); complication (the event of the story that introduces the conflict); rising action, crisis (the decisive moment for the protagonist and their commitment to a course of action); climax (the point of highest interest in terms of the conflict and the point of the story with the most action); resolution (the point of the story when the conflict is resolved); and moral. The term dramatic structure refers to the parts into which a short story, a novel, a play, a screenplay, or a narrative poem can be divided. ...


Because of their short length, short stories may or may not follow this pattern. Some do not follow patterns at all. For example, modern short stories only occasionally have an exposition. More typical, though, is an abrupt beginning, with the story starting in the middle of the action. 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.


Of course, as with any art form, the exact characteristics of a short story will vary by author. This article is about the philosophical concept of Art. ... For other uses, see Author (disambiguation). ...


Length

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 be read it in one sitting, a point most notably made in Edgar Allan Poe's essay "The Philosophy of Composition" (1846). Other definitions place the maximum word length at 7,500 words. In contemporary usage, the term short story most often refers to a work of fiction no longer than 20,000 words and no shorter than 1,000. Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American poet, short story writer, playwright, editor, literary critic, essayist and one of the leaders of the American Romantic Movement. ... For other uses, see Essay (disambiguation). ... The Philosophy of Composition is an essay written by Edgar Allan Poe that elaborates a theory about how good writers write when they write well. ...


A short story is a form of short fictional narrative prose. Short stories tend to be more concise and to the point than longer works of fiction, such as novellas (in the modern sense of this term) and novels. Because of their brevity, successful short stories rely on literary devices such as character, plot, theme, language, and insight to a greater extent than long form fiction. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Prose is writing distinguished from poetry by its greater variety of rhythm and its closer resemblance to the patterns of everyday speech. ... A novella is a narrative work of prose fiction somewhat longer than a short story but shorter than a novel. ... A novel is an extended work of written, narrative, prose fiction, usually in story form; the writer of a novel is a novelist. ... Novels and short stories do not simply come from nowhere. ... Look up plot in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In literature, a theme is a broad idea in a story, or a message or lesson conveyed by a work. ... Look up Insight in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Short stories have their origins in the prose anecdote, a swiftly-sketched situation that comes rapidly to its point, with parallels in oral story-telling traditions. With the rise of the comparatively realistic novel, the short story evolved as a miniature, with some of its first perfectly independent examples in the tales of E.T.A. Hoffmann and Edgar Allan Poe. An anecdote is a short tale narrating an interesting or amusing biographical incident. ... A modern day speaker addressing an audience through microphones Public speaking is the process of speaking to a group of people in a structured, deliberate manner intended to inform, influence, or entertain the listeners. ... For other uses, see Realism (disambiguation). ... ETA Hoffman Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann (January 24, 1776 - June 25, 1822), was a German romantic and fantasy author and composer. ... Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American poet, short story writer, playwright, editor, literary critic, essayist and one of the leaders of the American Romantic Movement. ...


A selection of famous short stories

For the Nutsack Zone An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (sometimes called An Incident at Owl Creek Bridge) is a famous short story by Ambrose Bierce. ... Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce (June 24, 1842 – 1914?) was an American editorialist, journalist, short-story writer and satirist, today best known for his Devils Dictionary. ... Robert Albert Bloch (April 5, 1917, Chicago-September 23, 1994, Los Angeles) was a prolific American writer. ... “A Sound of Thunder” is a science fiction short story by Ray Bradbury, first published in Collier’s magazine in 1952. ... Ray Douglas Bradbury (born August 22, 1920) is an American literary, fantasy, horror, science fiction, and mystery writer best known for The Martian Chronicles, a 1950 book which has been described both as a short story collection and a novel, and his 1953 dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451, is widely considered... Raymond Clevie Carver, Jr. ... For the song The Swimmer by Sleater-Kinney, see All Hands on the Bad One The Swimmer is a short story by American author John Cheever, published in 1964 in the short story collection The Brigadier and the Golf Widow. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... For other uses, see The Bet. ... Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (Russian: , IPA: ) was a Russian short story writer and playwright. ... The Story of an Hour (1894) is a short story by the American writer Kate Chopin. ... Kate Chopin (born Katherine OFlaherty on February 8, 1850 – August 22, 1904) was an American author of short stories and novels, mostly of a Louisiana Creole background. ... Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis (June 21, 1839 - September 29, 1908) was a Brazilian realist novelist, poet and short-story writer born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. ... This article is about the short story by Richard Connell. ... Richard Edward Connell, Jr. ... A Rose for Emily is a short story by the American author William Faulkner first published on April 30, 1930. ... William Cuthbert Faulkner (September 25, 1897 – July 6, 1962) was an American novelist and poet whose works feature his native state of Mississippi. ... We Can Get Them For You Wholesale is a short story by Neil Gaiman written in 1989, included in his collection Angels and Visitations in 1993. ... Neil Richard Gaiman (IPA: ) (born November 10, 1960[2]) is an English author of science fiction and fantasy short stories and novels, graphic novels, comics, and films. ... Cover by Igor Grabar, 1890s For the Russian animated film, see The Overcoat (animated film). ... Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol (Russian: ; IPA: ; Ukrainian: ) (April 1, 1809 — March 4, 1852) was a Russian-language writer of Ukrainian origin. ... Wikisource has original text related to this article: Young Goodman Brown Young Goodman Brown (1835) is a short story by American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne. ... Nathaniel Hawthorne (born Nathaniel Hathorne; July 4, 1804 – May 19, 1864) was a 19th century American novelist and short story writer. ... The Killers is a notable short story by Ernest Hemingway. ... Ernest Miller Hemingway (July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961) was an American novelist, short-story writer, and journalist. ... The Gift of the Magi is a short story written by O. Henry (a pen name for William Sydney Porter), allegedly at Petes Tavern[1][2] on Irving Place in New York City. ... William Sydney Porter in his thirties O. Henry is the pen name of American writer William Sydney Porter (September 11, 1862 – June 5, 1910). ... Edward Dentinger Hoch (born February 22, 1930 in Rochester, New York) is a prolific American writer of detective fiction. ... The Scarlet Ibis is a tragic short story written by novelist James Hurst. ... James Hurst (born 1922) is an American novelist, best known for his 1960 short story, The Scarlet Ibis. Hurst grew up in North Carolina on a farm by the sea. ... The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is a short story by Washington Irving contained in his collection The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. ... Washington Irving (April 3, 1783 – November 28, 1859) was an American author of the early 19th century. ... For the gambling game, see lottery. ... Shirley Jackson (December 14, 1916 [1] – August 8, 1965) was an influential American author. ... The Monkeys Paw is a horror short story by author W. W. Jacobs. ... William Wymark Jacobs (1863–1943) was an English author of macabre short stories. ... The Dead is the final short story in the collection Dubliners by James Joyce. ... This article is about the writer and poet. ... In the Penal Colony (German: In der Strafkolonie) is a short story in German by Franz Kafka. ... Kafka redirects here. ... Cthulhu with the insane city Rlyeh in the background. ... Howard Phillips Lovecraft (August 20, 1890 – March 15, 1937) was an American author of fantasy, horror and science fiction, noted for combining these three genres within single narratives. ... A short story written by H.P. Lovecraft in September of 1922 and published in February of 1924 in Weird Tales Magazine. ... Howard Phillips Lovecraft (August 20, 1890 – March 15, 1937) was an American author of fantasy, horror and science fiction, noted for combining these three genres within single narratives. ... The Fly, a short story witten by Katherine Mansfield in February 1922, was later included in The Garden Party and Other Stories. ... Katherine Mansfield (14 October 1888 – 9 January 1923) was a prominent New Zealand modernist writer of short fiction. ... Bartleby the Scrivener is a short story by Herman Melville. ... Herman Melville (August 1, 1819 – September 28, 1891) was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet. ... Mary Flannery OConnor (March 25, 1925–August 3, 1964) was an American author. ... John Henry OHara (31 January 1905 – 11 April 1970) was an American writer. ... The Tell-Tale Heart is an 1843 short story by Edgar Allan Poe. ... Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American poet, short story writer, playwright, editor, literary critic, essayist and one of the leaders of the American Romantic Movement. ... The Vampyre is a short novel written by John William Polidori and is a progenitor of the romantic vampire genre of fantasy fiction. ... John William Polidori (September 7, 1795 – August 24, 1821) is credited by some as the creator of the vampire genre of fantasy fiction. ... Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (née Godwin) (30 August 1797 – 1 February 1851) was an English romantic/gothic novelist and the author of Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus. ... It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles accessible from a disambiguation page. ... Alan Sillitoe (born March 4, 1928) is an English writer, one of the Angry Young Men of the 1950s. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... For the 1947 film, see The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947 film). ... James Grover Thurber (December 8, 1894–November 2, 1961) was a U.S. humorist and cartoonist. ... Wikisource has original text related to this article: The Death of Ivan Ilych The Death of Ivan Ilyich (Russian: , Smert Ivana Ilyicha), first published in 1886, is a novella by Leo Tolstoy. ... Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy(Lyof, Lyoff) (September 9 [O.S. August 28] 1828 – November 20 [O.S. November 7] 1910) (Russian: , IPA:  ), commonly referred to in English as Leo Tolstoy, was a Russian writer – novelist, essayist, dramatist and philosopher – as well as pacifist Christian anarchist and educational reformer. ... A Martian Odyssey is a science fiction short story by Stanley G. Weinbaum originally published in the July 1934 issue of Wonder Stories. ... Stanley Grauman Weinbaum (1902-December 14, 1935) was an American science fiction author. ... The Red Room is a fictional short story written by H. G. Wells in 1894. ... H. G. Wells at the door of his house at Sandgate Herbert George Wells (September 21, 1866 - August 13, 1946) was an English writer best known for his science fiction novels such as The War of the Worlds and The Time Machine. ... A&P is a short story written by John Updike in 1961 in which the hero and first person narrator seemingly takes a stand for his version of what is right, only to face disappointment. ... John Hoyer Updike (born March 18, 1932 in Shillington, Pennsylvania) is an American writer. ... The references in this article would be clearer with a different and/or consistent style of citation, footnoting or external linking. ... Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. ... For the American writer, see Virginia Euwer Wolff. ...

References

Image File history File links Question_book-3. ...

See also

A slice of life story is a category for a story that portrays a cut-out sequence of events in a characters life. ... Story has several different meaning as outlined below. ... A sketch story, in older usage, is a piece of writing that is generally shorter than a short story, and contains very little, if any, plot. ... For other uses, see Essay (disambiguation). ...

External links


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