The Short Story. Basic Literary Elements of The Short Story. 1.1.History of The Development of The Short Story. 1.1.1.Early Forms.Origins. The short story refers to a work of fiction that is usually written in prose, usually in narrative format. This format or medium tends to be more pointed than longer works of fiction, such as novellas (in the 20th and 21st century sense) and novels or books. Short story definitions based upon length differ somewhat even among professional writers, due somewhat in part to the fragmentation of the medium into genres. Since the short story format includes a wide range of genres and styles, the actual length is mitigated somewhere between the individual author's preference (or the story's
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The first examples in the United States are Charles Brockden Brown's "Somnambulism" (1805), Washington Irving's Rip van Winkle (1819) and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1820), Edgar Allan Poe's Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque (1840) and Nathaniel Hawthorne's Twice-Told Tales (1842). In the latter 19th century, the growth of print magazines and journals created a strong demand for short fiction of between 3,000 and 15,000 words. Famous short stories of this period include Bolesław Prus's "A Legend of Old Egypt" (1888) and Anton Chekhov's "Ward No. 6" (1892). At the same time, the first literary theories about the short story appeared. A widely known one is Edgar Allan Poe's "The Philosophy of Composition" (1846). In 1901, Brander Matthews, the first American professor of dramatic literature, published "The Philosophy of the Short-Story." In the first half of the 20th century, a number of high-profile magazines such as The Atlantic Monthly, Scribner's and The Saturday Evening Post published short stories in each issue. The demand for quality short stories was so great and the money paid for such so high that F. Scott Fitzgerald repeatedly turned to short-story writing to pay his numerous debts.
The post-war era The period following World War II saw a great flowering of literary short fiction in the United States. The New Yorker continued to publish the works of the form’s leading mid-century practitioners, including Shirley Jackson,