Sometimes, literary magazines fold. It happens all the time because of funding, or manpower, or editorial differences. Usually, print back issues remain for sale and online content is preserved indefinitely, or at least until someone forgets to renew the domain. But this does not seem to be the case with Black Clock, the respected literary magazine out of CalArts that published the likes of David Foster Wallace, Jonathan Lethem, and Aimee Bender, to name only a few of the prominent talents from its pages....more
Posts Tagged: short story
Over at The Story Prize blog, Lynne Stegner, whose new collection, For All the Obvious Reasons, came out with Arcade Publishing in June 2016, has an apt description of narrative compression and the exquisite burden of the short story form:
So everything that has come before this final scene must be already distilled within character, emblematized in a handful of causatively related events, or even left just out of reach and merely glimpsed in the imagination, or metaphorically presumed, the way you can almost feel the muscles of large birds as they fly overhead.
I’m going to eat my breakfast, then I’m going to go write up my murder report on two beefs, and then I’m going to fill out my usual nothing-happened-this-week report and send it to the state of Wyoming to be filed with the rest of such reports.
It would not be so bad to drown, would it?
There is the seal, bloated and rotten.
And her father and mother in their caskets.
And herself, what would she be?
“Ah, Señor Jesus. ¿Qué se queda, Señor? ¿Qué se queda?”
There is no answer but the beating of the water on the shore.
That is not to say that normal books will decline. Of course they won’t. There will always be a place for big, satisfying stories to burrow through. But it seems that the rise of short stories are partly caused by our falling attention spans.
“Kipling,” says a psychiatrist friend of mine, “was always pretending to be something other than he actually was—which was a 10-year-old boy.” His work, the best of it, has a boy’s barbarism and a boy’s conservatism. “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi” succeeds so spectacularly because it is, in a sense, written by that 10-year-old boy—by little Teddy, the quietest character in the story but the one with whose special boyish loves and terrors the narrative is saturated.
On Monday, Gawker held a live-chat interview with Rivka Galchen about her new short story collection, American Innovations....more
Did you know that Mark Twain is one of the best known foreign writers in China? Neither did we. There is a well earned, and unabashed image of Mark Twain as the quintessential American author and for good reason. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn remains in the American cannon and is taught all over the country however it was a lesser known story of his that has him being taught along side of Mao Zedong....more
The next Weekly Rumpus brings you fiction from Sandra Gail Lambert! Here’s an excerpt:
Running didn’t help. It just turned you into prey. Ruth Ann knew the exact moment she learned this. She had started taking a bookbinding class on Wednesday nights.
Not long before his suicide in April 1972, Yasunari Kawabata did something that has perplexed me for years....more
“In line in the cafeteria, at his favorite table in the library, on the last block before the block he lives on, the inside of Boy’s head is one blank notebook page after another.”...more
Greetings, Rumpusers. You might have been relieved to see me go for a bit, but you had to know you couldn’t get rid of me forever. I’m back from a life-alteringly excellent trip to Los Angeles, where I finished school, and a less awesome though somewhat relaxing trip to Orange County, the result of which won’t be discussed here (good things rarely happen in Orange County, for the record)....more
John Barry has a piece up at The Baltimore City Paper in which he argues that too many American short story writers are taught to try to mimic that famous last paragraph in James Joyce’s short story “The Dead.” And this just might be why no one reads short stories anymore....more
A few weeks ago, I argued that the Internet age was uniquely well suited to selling short story collections. A few commenters did not agree with what seemed to be implicit in my argument: the idea that the “short attention span” or “ADD” culture is in fact better for short stories....more
In a post last week titled More Crappy News for Short Story Writers, I lamented what I considered to be a lost opportunity for the big publishing houses. They could, I suggested, use similarities between good short story writing and good web copy to sell short story collections rather than deeming them a lost cause and refusing to publish them at all....more