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Why many authors like short stories and many readers do not

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Drawing on the comments of over 100 short story writers, this article argues that many authors like short stories largely for the same reasons that many readers do not – primarily because what constitutes the ‘life’ of the short story is not merely reflected by its content, but created by its pattern and form. Most writers agree that the short story’s poem-like emphasis on language and form and its concern with basic human mystery rather than time-bound social issues makes different demands on readers than the novel does.
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Keywords: authorship; creative reading; creative writing; lyrical story; myth; poetry and story; short story

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: California State University, Long Beach

Publication date: December 1, 2012

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  • Short Fiction in Theory and Practice is an interdisciplinary journal celebrating the current resurgence in short-story writing and research. Looking at short fiction from a practice-based perspective, it explores the poetics of short-story writing, adaptation, translation and the place of the short story in global culture.
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