The Short Story

I’ve been reading so much lately that I haven’t had much time to write about it. (And I’m always watching movies). I’m working through the Maze Runner series in anticipation of the film, I read all the Vampire Academy books, finally got around to Ender’s Game, reread Divergent and finished the trilogy, have been reading theology books by Keller, Stanley, and Chandler when I have the time, read the entire Selection Series, started another John Green novel and countless others that I’ve had to put back on the shelf for now (sorry Jesus Feminist and Cassandra Clare)

But I’m starting to get bored of YA which has dominated the past 6 months for me as I prepared for movie adaptions. I need to inject myself with some fine literature. I’ve decided to read some John Steinbeck novels—the funny ones—and I’ve gotten very into short stories as of late. I was always a fan of short stories ever since I started reading Flannery O’Connor, but I never really pursued them. Now, with less time to read, but wanting to get some high quality literature in, I’m turning to the short story.

Short stories are artful and underrated. And they can give you an appreciation for authors you may not have previously cared for.

I, for example, do not enjoy reading Hemingway. I realize he’s considered a literary genius, and I understand why, but the understated and sparse writing style just isn’t my cup of tea. I prefer the rich details of Faulkner. Both of these authors (both friends and rivals) represent a generation of writers that did it all. Poems, short stories, novels—nothing was out of reach. And I miss that. Modern writers are often pressured to keep to their genres and categories. It’s hard to gain respect in other forms of writing once you’re known for one. But back to Hemingway. I’m not a huge fan of his novels, but I’m finding that I like his short stories. They’re sparse, but contained—and therefore often poignant (or infuriating).

Yes, short stories are something that we need to revive. If I was an English teacher, I might even focus on them since the provide for a quicker and easier read that is still rich enough to teach from.

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