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Length[ edit ] Determining what exactly separates a short story from longer fictional formats is problematic. Short stories have no set length. In terms of word count there is no official demarcation between an anecdotea short story, and a novel. Rather, the form's parameters are given by the rhetorical and practical context in which a given story is produced and considered, so that what constitutes a short story may differ between genres, countries, eras, and commentators.
Sometimes, authors who do not have the time or money to write a novella or novel decide to write short stories instead, working out a deal with a popular website or magazine to publish them for profit. History[ edit ] Emerging from earlier oral storytelling traditions in the 17th century, the short story has grown to encompass a body of work so diverse as to defy easy characterization.
With the rise of the realistic novel, the short story evolved in a parallel tradition, with some of its first distinctive examples in the tales of E.
The character of the form developed particularly with authors known for their short fiction, either by choice they wrote nothing else or by critical regard, which acknowledged the focus and craft required in the short form.
Another example is O. Henry author of " Gift of the Magi "for whom the O. Henry Award is named. Other of his most popular, inventive and most often reprinted stories among over include: Jack LondonAmbrose BierceF.
Science fiction short story with a special poetic touch was a genre developed with great popular success by Ray Bradbury. The genre of the short story was often neglected until the second half of the 19th century. The evolution of printing technologies and periodical editions were among the factors contributing to the increasing importance of short story publications.
An important theoretical example for storytelling analysis is provided by Walter Benjamin in his illuminated essay The Storyteller where he argues about the decline of storytelling art and the incommunicability of experiences in the modern world.
Predecessors[ edit ] Short stories date back to oral storytelling traditions which originally produced epics such as Homer 's Iliad and Odyssey. Oral narratives were often told in the form of rhyming or rhythmic verseoften including recurring sections or, in the case of Homer, Homeric epithets.
Such stylistic devices often acted as mnemonics for easier recall, rendition and adaptation of the story. Short sections of verse might focus on individual narratives that could be told at one sitting. The overall arc of the tale would emerge only through the telling of multiple such sections.
The other ancient form of short story, the anecdotewas popular under the Roman Empire. Anecdotes functioned as a sort of parablea brief realistic narrative that embodies a point. Many surviving Roman anecdotes were collected in the 13th or 14th century as the Gesta Romanorum.
Anecdotes remained popular in Europe well into the 18th century, when the fictional anecdotal letters of Sir Roger de Coverley were published.
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 storyalthough 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. 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 s, 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 ; another translation appeared in —12 would have an enormous influence on the 18th-century European short stories of VoltaireDiderot and others.
In Germany, the first collection of short stories was by Heinrich von Kleist in and The Brothers Grimm published their first volume of collected fairy tales in Hoffmann followed with his own original fantasy tales, of which " The Nutcracker and the Mouse King " is the most famous.
Rudyard Kipling published short story collections for grown-ups, e. Plain Tales from the Hillsas well as for children, e. The Jungle Book Wells wrote his first science fiction stories in the s. One of his best known is " The Country of the Blind " At that same year, Matthews was the first one to name the emerging genre "short story".
Another theorist of narrative fiction was Henry James. In the s Kate Chopin published short stories in several magazines. The most prolific French author of short stories was Guy de Maupassant.Memory and the City: Urban Renewal and Literary Memoirs in Contemporary Dublin Andrew Kincaid College Literature, , Spring , pp.
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“Your writer of. Summary. Ender Wiggin, the third in a family of child geniuses, is selected by international military forces to save the world from destruction.
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