AT ITS BEST flash fiction gives you real life in short bursts. Could one say the effect, from an artistic standpoint, is cubist? Sample two new flash pieces by Andrew Sacks to see. One story’s about a marriage. The other, about a job interview. Fast-but-sharp reading.
Miles had always tried to compensate by a self-confidence bordering on bluster. Certainly not a bully, he did in fact seem to intimidate many people, or at least put them on their heels a bit, by his overriding assertiveness and swagger. His belief in himself was absolute. . . .
We’ve also tweaked our “Young Writers” essay, including the fourth profile, of Jess Mize. Are these four writers the future of literature? Do they point a way forward for the literary art– bringing new imagination, charisma, and talent? Read the essay. We’ll be spotlighting other young writers in coming months.
(Painting by Juan Gris.)
WE RETURN TO FICTION! Short fiction that is, with two tales by Israeli writer Yoav Fisher.
Last week we encountered the mass output of NaNoWriMo authors. One individual at our discussion has written a 330,000-word(!) work. (He’s since sent us excerpts– we’ll be interested to look at what he’s doing.) The other side of the coin of exciting new literary happenings is the flash fiction movement.
Fisher’s two tales exemplify what flash fiction is about. Yoav Fisher has a Hemingway-like ability to convey more with less– to give the reader the minimum information possible yet create a strong, even devastating emotional impact. We look for writing that hits us between the eyes. Yoav Fisher has done that.
The helmet landed squarely above the ear with an audible thud. Edward surprised himself from the speed and severity. At five foot eight and doughy since middle school, agility and strength were never Edward’s strong points.
The world is changing, and the worlds of fiction and poetry are changing with it.
With scores of other kinds of media now in existence, other options for the individual, reading needs to be quickly accessible. Upon being read, the story or poem should give the reader a quick high or kick. It’s the only way the literary art can compete.
Among the innovations coming from new writers and websites are short shorts and flash fiction. Stories shorter than the traditional story. Instead of 5,000 words, 500. Or 150. When done well, the new works become more compressed, more powerful, more impactful– ending at times with modernist abruptness.
Today we present two such works by Andrew Sacks, who’s as adept at the form as any writer out there. We hope you enjoy them.
Now a more “serious” engagement presented itself, in the mutual celebration of her birthday. David knew something special had to be done. There would have to be a gift, and a meaningful one. Chosen wisely. Chosen for a woman of taste and a certain obvious refinement.
Literary change is coming!
New genres, new styles, and most important, a wave of newly-prominent writers pumping talent, energy, and emotion into a previously moribund art form.
Among the best of them is Anne Leigh Parrish, who’s published terrific work with us and with other upstart literary outfits. As well as penned one novel and two short story collections. Read our Interview with her, also linked at our “Hype” page. (Anne also participated in our recent can’t miss Hemingway discussion.)
Motivation is something I’m very curious about. I’m also fascinated with the stories people tell themselves to get themselves off the hook, or to process a traumatic event.
The world is changing swiftly, faster than we can keep up with.
This applies to literature.
Technological change leads inevitably to artistic change. For instance, in the 1950’s the introduction of 45 rpm discs and of cheap portable record players led to the creation of rock n’ roll– fast-paced, short songs appealing to teenagers. Soon appealing to everybody.
Over the past ten years the way people receive their literature– the way they read– has changed. As often as not it’s done on electronic devices, with various-sized screens. Some quite small.
Which means that long, dense text is obsolete.
Note that Wikipedia now offers entries in “simple English.” It’s not that people are becoming more stupid. (Some would argue that case!) It’s that most young people read on small devices. Most people today period lead busier lives than previously.
The literary art HAS to change, or die.
Does this account for the popularity of flash fiction?
Here at New Pop Lit we push fiction that’s simple but packed with emotion and meaning. We seek the best of the new fiction creators. One of them without question is Anne Leigh Parrish, who’s appeared here before. Today she gives us two flash fiction pieces. Each different. Each powerful in its own way. New literary art. We hope you enjoy them.
Let us know what you think!
Your big sister hates you, because she’s only five foot four. On those three inches – the ones you have and she lacks – is written the twisted history of your relationship.