Short Story Praise

Just in case some of us needed a warm note of encouragement to write short stories…

I’m not really buying the “novel vs. short story” opposition. I’m no Cassandra crying for the end of the novel because it would be too long for us ADHD 21C readers (I get confirmation of this every morning in the metro where many young women are reading Twilight these days, even if the thick paperback ruins the shape of their handbags). I’m not a strong believer of binary choices. For me, it’s not “either” novel “or” short story, but a healthy combination of both, depending on the circumstances and the mood of the day.

Leaving this remark aside, I’m joining the chorus to praise the American short story. I can’t really prove the point but I feel that short stories have a special aura in North America, whereas the genre is quite minor in Europe. The cause is simply literary magazines. Here in France, they all concentrate on reviewing books (that is, novels) and are not a medium to publish new fiction. Only small local press do that, they don’t publish big names and you have to dig deep to find them. So “the golden age of American magazines [may] long [be] gone”, but to me it looks like a heaven for short story lovers.

And this reminds me that I should soon renew my subscriptions to ZoeTrope AllStory and to Glimmer Train!

4 thoughts on “Short Story Praise

  1. It is curious that the short story never seemed to take off in France – I wonder why that is. I agree that now there simply aren’t venues for publishing them, but there must be some historical reason as well…

  2. Pingback: a short story for today « Incurable Logophilia

  3. I agree it’s not an either/or position. While admittedly I do enjoy novels more than I enjoy short stories, I really do LOVE a good short story and think it can be equally effective in terms of satisfaction!

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