Short: An International Anthology of Five Centuries of Short-Short Stories, Prose Poems, Brief Essays, and Other Short Prose Forms [NOOK Book]

Overview

Short offers the tradition and glorious present of these popular forms that stretch and defy genre. From 1500 to present, hundreds of pieces. Inventive, entertaining, and addictive.

Short offers the tradition and glorious present of these popular forms that stretch and defy genre. From 1500 to present, hundreds of pieces. Inventive, entertaining, and addictive.


Short prose forms are elusive to define--one writer's prose poem is another's flash...

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Short: An International Anthology of Five Centuries of Short-Short Stories, Prose Poems, Brief Essays, and Other Short Prose Forms

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Overview

Short offers the tradition and glorious present of these popular forms that stretch and defy genre. From 1500 to present, hundreds of pieces. Inventive, entertaining, and addictive.

Short offers the tradition and glorious present of these popular forms that stretch and defy genre. From 1500 to present, hundreds of pieces. Inventive, entertaining, and addictive.


Short prose forms are elusive to define--one writer's prose poem is another's flash fiction or brief essay. Rather than quibble, Short opts for inclusiveness. Here is a dazzling array: 100s of pieces (under 1250 words) from 24 Western countries, written over five centuries by more than 200 contributors, including major authors of every era. Fables, histories, aphorisms, anecdotes, faux dictionary entries, a faux job application, hint fiction, lists, tableaus, meditations, chants, rants, and much more. Intensely pleasurable.



Contributors include: Montaigne, von Kleist, Leopardi, Poe, Baudelaire, Bierce, Chopin, Stein, Jacob, Woolf, Kafka, J. Roth, Toomer, Borges, Queneau, Kunitz, Beckett, Milosz, Cortazar, Paz, Barthes, Calvino, O'Hara, Merwin, Lispector, Transtromer, Sanchez, Edson, Simic, Atwood, Valenzuela, Wideman, L. Davis, Komunyakaa, A. Carson, Forche, Harjo, Hempel, Wenderoth, Keret, B. Marcus, A. Bender, Eggers, B. Lerner, T. Brimhall.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
03/31/2014
Ziegler, a professor of writing at Columbia University, collects hundreds of short pieces, all under 1,250 words, in this handy anthology of Western writing. Ziegler's introduction draws attention to a genre-bending phenomenon at play in short form literature, but he actively resists defining its characteristics. Rather, his primary interest is showcasing short form in its many variants for readers to explore. Organized chronologically by author's birth, the selection spans over five centuries. Among the entries, Raymond Queneau offers a choose-your-own-adventure story, while Phillip Lopate's essay recounts an encounter with a kind stranger. Some entries, such as Lydia Davis and Jules Renard, are only a few sentences long. Others riff on mundane forms such as Robert Walser piece that reads like a cover letter. When it comes to author selection, the collection proves much less diverse and at times uneven. The first half offers little variety in terms of gender and race, whereas the second half draws primarily from within the United States. The book will appeal primarily to writing students intrigued by form and eager to learn by example. (Mar.)
Pastiche
“Alan Ziegler's Short delivers the most comprehensive overview of short prose, prose poetry and prose essays to be published in the last ten years. Comprising pieces dating as far back as the year 1500, this collection is perhaps the best introduction to short prose that both experienced and inexperienced readers could wish for.”
San Francisco Book Review
“Short does an incredible amount of research and heavy lifting, presenting a cross-section of short-form prose, collecting the works of different countries and eras in the most comprehensive anthology I’ve yet encountered. ... Short masterfully displays the incredible diversity and creativity engendered by even the shortest works. ... From humor to heartbreak and back again, the stories and short works in Short offer a whirlwind tour exploring what the written word is capable of, the tip of an impossibly valuable iceberg.”
HTMLGiant
“Short is an important and impressive document...Alan Ziegler, editor of Short, is the right man for the job.”
Library Journal
★ 03/01/2014
Ziegler (creative writing, director, pedagogy & teacher training, Columbia Univ.; The Swan Song of Vaudeville: Tales and Takes) has edited a blend of writing that, owing to its brevity, allows readings to blur from one piece to another, as the genre of "short" literature is built upon fuzzy definitions. The collection features authors from many languages, though predominantly from countries defined as Western. However, work from writers as diverse in style as the American Lynn Emmanuel's rumination, "April 18, the 21st Century," where she engages in a niche epistolary discussion both with and about French poet Charles Baudelaire; German-Jewish critic Walter Benjamin's aphoristic comments on uncertainty in "Chinese Curios"; Jorge Luis Borges's self-objectifying "Borges and I"; and Stacey Harwood's playful "Contributor's Notes." Ziegler has not simply collected writings from many nations, he has also anthologized work from five centuries. At 300 plus pages, the book obscures this meaningful fact and nudges the collection from the genre of anthology to reference. In addition, Ziegler includes a complete bibliography of the pieces themselves as well as a short bio of each author. VERDICT The variation and brief nature of these writings are perfect for the busy reader, while the blurry genre types are good for those interested in experimental writing.—Jesse A. Lambertson, Metamedia Management, LLC, Annandale, VA.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780892554331
  • Publisher: Persea Books
  • Publication date: 3/19/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 796 KB

Meet the Author

Alan Ziegler’s books include Love at First Sight and The Writing Workshop Note Book. Professor of Writing at Columbia University, he has taught the short prose form for twenty-five years. He lives in New York.
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