Friday, October 9, 2009

Regarding Short Fiction

Not much substance, of my own, here but two things I'd like to note:

Back in April, the NY Times ran a piece from A.O. Scott on the value of short fiction in American letters. The things he has to say sync nicely with my ideas in the previous post about the direction in fiction: Brevity's Pull: In Praise of the American Short Story
The quote:
"The new, post-print literary media are certainly amenable to brevity. The blog post and the tweet may be ephemeral rather than lapidary, but the culture in which they thrive is fed by a craving for more narrative and a demand for pith. And just as the iPod has killed the album, so the Kindle might, in time, spur a revival of the short story. If you can buy a single song for a dollar, why wouldn’t you spend that much on a handy, compact package of character, incident and linguistic invention? Why wouldn’t you collect dozens, or hundreds, into a personal anthology, a playlist of humor, pathos, mystery and surprise?

The death of the novel is yesterday’s news. The death of print may be tomorrow’s headline. But the great American short story is still being written, and awaits its readers."

I still say the novels will come. They may be different, but we'll get to them - We need the long immersion in characters, place and narrative ecstasy that novels provide.

Secondly: Nanoism, which I linked previously, is running a contest for fiction that will fit into a Tweet, 140 characters. They're looking for five piece serials, which will form a more complete work. You can learn more here:
A very interesting idea, and proof that even the shortest form can go the distance. I intend to submit, but either way look forward to seeing the end result. The work they have up already as stand-alone stories is all quite impressive.

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