Monday, April 13, 2009

Less time to sleep

One of my favourites holds forth on a few short story collections of note, and rightly laments their relative status.

"You might have thought that in our own attention-deficient age, a narrative art based on speed and brevity would have become the main attraction, but outside the creative writing workshop, where its small scale makes it convenient for study (a dismal basis for survival), that hasn't been the case. Lack of encouragement may be the cause, or it may be something inherently skittish about whichever muse presides over this delicate art: a reluctance to settle anywhere long enough to generate a heavy-duty literary industry. It may be the relative newness of the form (if you accept Turgenev's claim that "we all come out from under Gogol's Overcoat", you can date its birth precisely to 1842), or it may be that people regard it as somehow highbrow or artsy; an insider sport for practitioners and aficionados only. Whatever the case, people still seem to want their blockbusters."

Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned has been widely reviewed, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie can do no wrong, but most short story collections need an advocate to find their mark.
My man Lasdun is a good bet as his work with short fiction is rock solid.

Posted by Dave

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