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A Brief History of the Short Story. Forerunners of the Short Story. Parables Fables Folk Tales Ballads. Development of the Modern Short Story. Carefully contrived literary form Dates from the 19th century Closely related to the rise of these and other popular periodicals.

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forerunners of the short story
Forerunners of the Short Story
  • Parables
  • Fables
  • Folk Tales
  • Ballads
development of the modern short story
Development of the Modern Short Story
  • Carefully contrived literary form
  • Dates from the 19th century
  • Closely related to the rise of these and other popular periodicals
washington irving 1783 1849
Washington Irving (1783-1849)
  • 1st important American short story writer
  • Laid the foundation for the development of the short story
nathaniel hawthorne 1804 1864
Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)
  • Influential in the development of the short story
  • One of America’s most important writers
  • Wrote more than 100 short stories and sketches
edgar allan poe 1809 1849
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)
  • Gave 1st definition of short story
  • Clearly laid the basic principle of all art – the principle of artistic unity
  • Click these links to hear Christopher Walken read “The Raven” and other audio choices

http://www.milkandcookies.com/links/27247/details

poe and artistic unity
Poe and Artistic Unity
  • Poe’s essential characteristics of the short story:
    • brevity
    • unity
    • intensity

Poe’s definition of artistic unity:

That condition of a successful literary work whereby all its elements work together for the achievement of its central purpose.

In an artistically unified work nothing is included that is irrelevant to the

central purpose, nothing is omitted that is essential to it, and the parts are arranged in the most effective order for the achievement of that purpose.

equation of literary elements
Equation of Literary Elements

ARTISTIC

UNITY

  • Plot +
  • Setting +
  • Characterization +
  • Title +
  • Point of view +
  • Symbol =

____________

THEME

ARTISTIC

UNITY

ARTISTIC

UNITY

ARTISTIC

UNITY

common themes of modern short stories 19 th 20 th century
Anxiety

Doubt

Frustration

Restlessness

Modern war

Space exploration

Computer technology

Social Criticism

Psychological Maladjustment

Breakdown of human relationships

Philosophical searching

Unhappy people - lost guideposts of conduct and morality

Common Themes of Modern Short Stories (19th -20th Century)
main theme of modern american short stories
Main Theme of Modern American Short Stories
  • The impact of harried American society on inner lives of its people
main theme of postmodern short stories 1960 1980 s
Main theme of postmodern short stories (1960-1980’s)
  • Deconstruction
    • Overturning of accepted definitions of and values about existing systems of education, religion, legislation, economy, or any other aspect of life and society.
  • Two stories with postmodern themes
    • Graham Greene’s “The Destructors”
    • Eudora Welty’s “Everyday Use”

Deconstruction by R. Skoracki