Essay aus dem Jahr 2012 im Fachbereich Amerikanistik - Literatur, Universität Hassan II. Casablanca, Sprache: Deutsch, Abstract: The American short story has been described as a 'genre' that thrusts itself into attention. It is regarded as a milestone in the American literary tradition. One cannot study American literature while disregarding its short story. According to Frank O'Connor, who is himself a writer of many collections of short stories, the 'Americans have handled the short story so wonderfully that one can say that it is a national art form.' Such a quote by such a prominent writer like Frank O'Connor can only stress the peculiarity of the American short story. It is even claimed that the short story, as it is known in the present days, has literally been invented by the Americans. Although the last claim might receive some criticism, it is almost agreed that the American short story has found in Edgar Allan Poe its first major theorist. Being a writer of many famously acclaimed short stories, Poe is considered to be at the top of a list of other American writers who have done some, if not all, their best works in that medium. Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Stephen Crane, Henry James, Sherwood Anderson and Ernest Hemingway, to cite only a few, are believed to have produced their most complete works of literature in the short story form.. The American short story is indeed a very prominent genre that can only be a centre of attention to anyone interested in the American letters. Yet, there are still some hazy aspects to it, in regard to its origins, its theoretical definition, its focus on certain aspects rather than others but also the role of the social and political context of the previous centuries in its rise.