The Short Story
Hone your reading skills. Sample ten masters of world literature. Explore what is distinctive about short-story forms.
A close reading of ten works by masters of the short story will illuminate some key features and particular strengths of the form. An attempt will be made to articulate the centre of interest in each story; to consider the extent to which it achieves, or resists, closure; and to assess how far, despite the brevity of the form, it achieves resonance and intensity.
Works for exploration: Evelyn Waugh’s An Englishman’s Home, Thomas Hardy’s On the Western Circuit, Penelope Fitzgerald’s The Means of Escape, Ernest Hemingway’s Hills Like White Elephants, Elizabeth Bowen’s Mysterious Kor, D H Lawrence’s The Odour of Chrysanthemums, Rudyard Kipling’s Mrs Bathurst, Raymond Carver’s What we speak about when we speak about love, Anton Chekhov’s Lady with a Little Dog, James Joyce’s The Dead.
Resources for this course