Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Short Story Month 2017—Part 7: Subjectivity of the Short Story

Short Story Month 2017—Part 7: Subjectivity of the Short Story

Mary Lavin: “I feel that it is in the short story that a writer distills the essence of his thought.  I believe this because the short story shape as well as matter, is determined by the writer’s own character.  Both are one.”

Eudora Welty:  “All of one writer’s stories must take on their quality, carry their signature, because of one characteristic lyrical impulse of his mind—the impulse to praise, love, to call up, to prophesy.  Something in the outside world, some person, place, thing, leads back to the emotions in a specific way, it is the break of the living world upon what is stirring inside the mind, and the answering impulse that in a moment of high consciousness fuses impact and image and fires them off together.”

Elizabeth Bowen:  "The first necessity for the short necessariness. The story, that is to say, must spring from an impression or perception pressing enough, acute enough to have made the writer write.”

Sherwood Anderson: “Having, from a conversation overheard in some other way, got the tone of a tale, I was like a woman who has just become impregnated.  Something was growing inside me.  At night when I lay in my bed I could feel the heels of the tale kicking against the walls of my body.”

Erskine Caldwell:  “To transform a simple incident into a story, You get a kind of fever, I suppose, mentally and emotionally, that lifts you up and carries you away. You have to sustain this energy you’ve gotten to write your story. By the time you’ve finished, all your energy, your passion, is spent. You’ve been drained of everything.”

Lorrie Moore:  “Perhaps, in many ways, it’s a more magical form. Who knows sometimes where stories come from? They are perhaps more attached to the author’s emotional life and come more out of inspiration than slogging. You shouldn’t write without inspiration—at least not very often.”

Clark Blaise:  “With the short story, the beginning is the end, it seems to me.  If you yield to the magic of a beginning, which just seizes you, and you can continue it…if something in that beginning is pushing you, then yes, you won’t give it up, you’ll know that there was a crack in it somewhere that allowed you to see another dimension, so you’ll stick with it.”

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