Email this review


A collection of short stories covering the last 100 years in Europe and the United States, thirty stories which stand on their own merits, irrespective of the reason for their selection. Writers of the ""Impressionist School"" of James' definition- direct impression, illustrative of the focal points of story technique analyzed in the appendix, the authors selected era, for the greater part, familiar names, but in most instances the stories chosen are not those most frequently included in anthologies. This gives a refreshing sense of discovery, and makes the volume first rate reading for anyone who likes short stories for their own particular dramatic values, and anyone who is interested in writing for its own sake. A number of commentaries, inserted at irregular intervals, specifically concern themselves with stories which, in greater or lesser degree illustrate the techniques involved. Two main channels of exploration are used:- the techniques of authority (is the story told by the author in the first person, or as a roving narrator, or as an all knowing author?); the techniques of view, the close view or the long view, or an alternation of the two; dramatic compression, dimension, tonal unity, symbolism, etc. Valuable this for the student of the short story or the aspiring writer. Perhaps less so for the average reader, though study should intensify one's sense of appreciation. The contributors number among them Elaubert, de Maupassant, Chekhov, Gogol, Tolstoy, Hawthorne, Melville, Crane, Henry James, Hemingway, Lardner, Elizabeth Bowen, James Joyce, Kafka, Colette, O'Faolain, Robert Penn Warren, Eudora Welty, and as many more. An important book for the long range.

Publisher: Scribner