This course will examine the form of the short story. Focusing on modernist and contemporary examples, the course will explore the principles that have shaped the development of this form. We may consider, for instance, the influence of Chekhov and his advocacy of the story as a "slice of life", Edgar Allen Poe's aesthetic theories, the development of stream of consciousness in relation to the short story, the use of epiphany and anti-epiphany and the function of compression. In addition we will examine techniques and strategies crucial to the success of the form and useful to your development as writers, including point of view, narrative design, the development of voice and the use of economy and symbolism. In the later part of the course we will examine the influence of new technology on the short story, including the relationship between the short story and the blog and the transmission of the short story through twitter. Writing exercises will be provided and everyone will have the chance to workshop their writing and participate in online discussion.
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