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Abstract

For a complex of reasons the short story has been largely excluded from the arena of contemporary critical debate: this collection of essays aims to re-establish the short story as a legitimate subject for discussion. Each of the essays was first presented at a Symposium on the Short Story held at the College of St Paul and St Mary, Cheltenham, in September 1986. The idea for the symposium came from a general feeling of dissatisfaction with the current level of debate on the short story form. Some of the contributors had previously worked on the short story, and all shared a sense that a unique area of literary activity was being neglected in critical terms — and this, paradoxically, at a time when it seemed that the short story would prove a particularly fruitful area of study in the light of recent developments in literary theory. In this introduction I have attempted to chart some of the reasons for this paradoxical situation. It caused mixed feelings of exhilaration and frustration for the contributors to this collection: exhilaration at working on such an untouched area; frustration at seeing a wide communication gap and feeling a need to persuade others of the importance of a field which was becoming almost ghettoised. The publication of these essays is a step towards bridging this gap, making for necessary communication.

Keywords

Short Story Passion Fruit Mixed Feeling Woman Writer Unique Area 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    See, for example, Walter Allen, The Short Story in English (Oxford University Press, 1981);Google Scholar
  2. Clare Hanson, Short Stories and Short Fictions, 1880–1980 (London: Macmillan, 1985);CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Valerie Shaw, The Short Story: A Critical Introduction (London: Longman, 1983).Google Scholar
  4. Since this book went to press, John Bayley has published The Short Story: Henry James to Elizabeth Bowen (Brighton: Harvester, 1988).Google Scholar
  5. 2.
    Nadine Gordimer in ‘The International Symposium on the Short Story’, Kenyon Review, vol. 30 (1968) p. 459.Google Scholar
  6. 3.
    Frank O’Connor, The Lonely Voice: A Study of the Short Story (London: Macmillan, 1963).Google Scholar
  7. 4.
    For an exploration of the implications of such an exile see Andrew Gurr, Writers in Exile (Brighton: Harvester, 1981).Google Scholar
  8. 5.
    Angela Carter (ed.), Wayward Girls and Wicked Women (London: Virago, 1986).Google Scholar
  9. 10.
    Elizabeth Bowen, ‘Preface’ to A Day in the Dark and Other Stories (London: Jonathan Cape, 1965) p. 9.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Clare Hanson 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clare Hanson

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