Form and the Short Story

Pop Lit Fiction

CRAFTING STORIES

In the new year we will begin a project aimed at revamping the short story. A feat which won’t happen overnight and which will consist of much focus on how stories are created and constructed. We’re based in metro Detroit and view the short story the way an automotive engineer looks at a car.

THE QUESTION: How can stories be improved? Changed? Rearranged?

FORM
A large part of the creation of any art is form. The routes taken of theme and plot, be it linear, circular, or other. Where does the tale begin? At which destination does the reader eventually arrive? What conclusion is drawn, revelation made, emotions aroused? When examining the short story, as a reader, writer, or critic, (or editor!) there’s much to think about.

TODAY we present as our feature a brilliant tale set amid the glamorous-but-deadly streets of historic Granada in Spain. A story which is also a model of form. “Ballad of the Virgin Pain” by Justin Fenech.

AN APT way we believe to wrap up our features of 2018– setting the stage (we hope) for an array of glamorous and exciting presentations to come.

When he went back inside the instruments of torture, big and small, seemed to take on a life of their own; the room swirled violently around him, the instruments seemed to be moving, no, he was moving, he caught glimpses of the rack, the torture chair, the executioner’s black hood, the skeleton broken on the wheel. . . .

Joaquín_Sorolla_Alhambra,_hall of the ambassadors(1909)

(Art: “Night Scene from the Inquisition” by Franciso Goya; “Hall of the Ambassadors, Alhambra” by Joaquin Sorolla.)

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New Fiction: “Homecoming”

Pop Lit Fiction

JUST when you’ve had enough of summer and its heat, we come along with great summer reading set in Buffalo, New York, during the winter holidays. Snow! Cold! Blizzards!

The story is “Homecoming” by Michael Howard. It’s about a young woman returning home from sunny California during the Christmas season, encountering all the familiar warm faces and smells, but also something darker, lying wait inside the comfortable house. . . .

Lucy had the sensation that the room was growing smaller. She could feel her pulse thumping in her temples as she forced another smile and told him that it was nice of him to say so, but that they really should go back downstairs now. Her words didn’t seem to penetrate–

at dusk childe hassam

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(Paintings: “Murnau Burggrabenstrasse” by Wassily Kandinsky; “At Dusk” by Childe Hassam.)