Short Story Criticism

Explore the world of one of the truest literary art forms: the short story. The short story is a work of prose that can typically be read in a single sitting and successfully focuses on a single, self-contained incident (but can occasionally incorporate a series of related episodes that invoke a theme, mood, or utilizes other literary motifs). Typically, more concise and focused than the long-form associated with the novel, the short story tends to be a literary accomplishment in its own right and has been utilized to great effect by some of the most well-known authors in history, including Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde, H.G. Wells, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, O. Henry, William Faulkner, John Updike, Flannery O'Connor, Kate Chopin, Ernest Hemingway, and Edgar Allan Poe, to name just a few.

The short story is a composition that is often crafted to utilize the discipline of longer works of fiction but to a lesser extent. That is, short stories traditionally make use of plot, characters, mood, and other literary techniques one may find in a well-written book. Although the short story writer may often relate their works to a larger body of work, they may bristle at being confined to a single fixed categorization or genre.

Although the art of the short story has been practiced for hundreds of years, there are varying descriptions that allow even some longer utilization of the form, such as novellas, to often be construed as short stories. Generally, short stories sport a word count from 1,000 to 4,000 words. However, some books boast between 10,000 and 20,000 words and are still classified as short stories in some literary circles.

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  • Short Story Criticism: Excerpts from Criticism of the Works of Short Fiction Writers

    Short Story Criticism: Excerpts from Criticism of the Works of Short Fiction Writers

    Gale   |   2021   |   ISBN-13: 9781410397881

    Short Story Criticism assembles critical responses to the writings of the world's most renowned short fiction writers and provides supplementary biographical context and bibliographic material to guide the reader to a greater understanding of the genre and its creators. Each of the more than 250 volumes in this series profiles approximately three to six writers of short fiction from all periods and all parts of the world. Entries provide an introductory biographical essay, a primary bibliography, a selection of full-text or excerpted critical essays reproduced from books, magazines, literary reviews, newspapers and scholarly journals, and sources for additional research; many entries include an author portrait. A full citation and annotation precede each of the approximately 50 essays per volume. The series currently covers more than 500 authors and also includes numerous entries focusing on individual works and topics.

    Although short fiction is also covered in other titles from the Gale Literature Criticism series, Short Story Criticism offers a greater focus on understanding the genre than is possible in the broader, survey-oriented entries in those series. Clear, accessible introductory essays followed by carefully selected critical responses allow end-users to engage with a variety of scholarly views and conversations about writers of short fiction and their works. Students writing papers or class presentations, instructors preparing their syllabi, or anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the genre will find this a highly useful resource.

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  • Short Stories for Students: Presenting Analysis, Context, and Criticism on Commonly Studied Short Stories

    Short Stories for Students: Presenting Analysis, Context, and Criticism on Commonly Studied Short Stories

    Gale   |   2022   |   ISBN-13: 9780028674360

    Each volume of Short Stories for Students contains easily accessible and content-rich discussions of the literary and historical background of 14 works from various cultures and periods. Each story covered in this new resource was specially chosen by an advisory panel of teachers and librarians—experts who have helped us define the information needs of students and ensure the age-appropriateness of this reference's content. Within the pages of Short Stories for Students, young researchers will discover everything they need to complete homework assignments and lead classroom discussions.

    Short Stories for Students contains concise synopses of the story's plot, characters, and themes, along with a brief author biography, a discussion of the story's cultural and historical significance, and excerpted critical review geared specifically toward the high school student. Researchers will also find information on media adaptations of the story, discussion questions, and suggestions on what to read next. Cumulative indexes enable students to access entries via author, title, nationality, and theme.

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