Monday, May 27, 2013

Lilliputian, diminutive, teensy-weensy

Illustration by Tom Gauld (via DoobyBrain)

Ernest Hemingway, as a young newspaperman in the 1920s, bet his colleagues $10 that he could write a complete story in juts six words. He won the cash with this: 'For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.'
     As an example of brevity this is unsurpassed, but is it actually a story? Does it fulfill all the rules of drama which I tend to harp on about?
     Admittedly there is no plot, no structure, no protagonist or antagonist, but this is a story because it evokes an emotional response in the reader, and that is the prime aim in creative writing."
— Gurmeet Mattu, Ezine Articles

From: criggo
"... At nine pages, 'Glenn Gould,' a monologue by Lydia Davis, is longer than most of her work, which are typically between three and four; many are as brief as a paragraph, or a sentence. Most of them are not conventional 'stories'—they usually feature people who are unnamed, are often set in unnamed towns or states, and lack the formal comportment of a story that opens, rises, and closes. There is no gratuitous bulk, no 'realistic' wadding. Davis’s pieces, often narrated by a woman, sometimes apparently by the writer, are closer to soliloquy than to the story; they are essayist poems—small curiosity boxes rather than large canvasses."
— James Wood, The New Yorker

For another post about Lydia Davis, go here...

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