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The Postmodern Short Story: Forms and Issues

The Postmodern Short Story: Forms and Issues


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Short stories are usually defined in terms of characteristics of modernism, in which the story begins in the middle, develops according to a truncated plot, and ends with an epiphany. This approach tends to ignore postmodernism, a movement often characterized by a negation of objective reality where plots are seemingly abandoned, surfaces are extraordinary, and symbols turn inward on themselves. This book examines postmodern forms and characteristic themes by analyzing a group of short stories that make use of postmodern narrative strategies, including nonfictional fiction, gender profiling, and death as an image.

The volume begins with a discussion of the blurred lines between fiction and nonfiction in the short story and imaginative personal essay. It then looks at the role of women in works by such authors as Sandra Cisneros, Leslie Marmon Silko, Joyce Carol Oates, and Lorrie Moore. This is followed by a section of chapters on postmodern masculinity and short fiction. The next section focuses on death as an image and theme in works by Richard Ford, Richard Brautigan, and James Joyce. The final set of chapters considers postmodern short fiction from South Africa and Canada.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780313323751
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 12/30/2003
Series: Contributions to the Study of World Literature Series , #124
Pages: 296
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.69(d)

About the Author

FARHAT IFTEKHARRUDIN is Associate Professor of English and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Texas at Brownsville. He is Editor of the literary journal Short Story.

JOSEPH BOYDEN published a collection of short fiction, Born with a Tooth (2001).

MARY ROHRBERGER is Adjunct Professor of English at the University of New Orleans. She is Executive Editor of Short Story.

JAIE CLAUDET is currently working on a novel.

Table of Contents


Introduction by Farhat Iftekharuddin

Fictional Nonfiction And Nonfictional Fiction

Playing It Straight by Making It Up: Imaginative Leaps in the Personal Essay by Marilyn Abildskov

Facts and Fancy: The "Nonfiction Short Story" by Michele Morano

Historiografiction: The Fictionalization of History in the Short Story by Michael Orlofsky

Women's Identity in the Postmodern World

Closure in Sandra Cisneros's "Woman Hollering Creek" by Rose Marie Cutting

The Silence of the Bears: Leslie Marmon Silko's Writerly Act of Spiritual Storytelling by Brewster E. Fitz

The Feminine Consciousness as Nightmare in the Short-Short Stories of Joyce Carol Oates by Wayne Stengel

Postmodernism in Women's Short Story Cycles: Lorrie Moore's Anagrams by Karen Weekes

Contemporary Men and Their Stories

Crippled by the Truth: Oracular Pronouncements, Titillating Titles, and the Postmodern Ethic by Richard Lee

Male Paradigms in Thom Jones and Tom Paine by Paul R. Lilly

Eloquence and Plot in Denis Johnson's Jesus' Son: The Merging of Premodern and Modernist Narrative by J. Scott Farrin

Ardor with a Silent H: Submitting to the Ache of Love in Edmund White's "Skinned Alive" by Raymond Frontain

The Genre Which Is Not One: Hemingway's In Our Time, Difference, and the Short Story Cycle by Peter Donahue

Death As Image And Theme In Short Fiction

Short Stories to Film: Richard Ford's "Great Falls" and "Children" as Bright Angel by Larry D. Griffin

Melancholia and the Death Motif in Richard Brautigan's Short Fiction by Brenda M. Palo

Perhaps She Had Not Told Him All the Story: The Disnarrated in James Joyce's Dubliners by Howard Lindhom

Postmodern Narrative Around The World

Multiple Narrative Frames in R. R. R. Dhlomo's "Juwawa" by Christine Loflin

Beyond Genre: Canadian Surrealist Short Fiction by Allan Weiss

Postmodernism in the American Short Story: Some General Observations and Some Specific Cases by Harold Kaylor

Selected Bibliography


About the Editors and Contributors

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