Studies in Short Fiction

Scholarly journal covers American and British fiction, short stories, and narrative poems through critical essays and book reviews.

Articles from Vol. 30, No. 1, Winter

A Barbarous Eden: Joyce Carol Oates's First Collection
The sheer abundance of Joyce Carol Oates's fiction has tended to forestall careful critical analysis of individual works, especially of her books published before her 1969 novel, them, which won the National Book Award in 1970 and remains her most-discussed...
'A Christmas Carol' and the Masque
In his Preface to the First Cheap Edition of A Christmas Carol, Dickens wrote of his intention in writing his Christmas books of awakening some "loving and forbearing thoughts" by means of "a whimsical kind of masque" (xiv).(1) Commentators have not...
Albert Camus's "The Guest": A New Look at the Prisoner
Interpretations of Albert Camus's short story "The Guest" so far have had a tendency to make rather little of the prisoner, typically treating him as a primitive, brutalized, somewhat dull or even dim-witted character. In an influential early reading,...
'Le Torero' and "The Undefeated": Hemingway's Foray into Analytical Cubism
Ernest Hemingway's affinity for Cezanne has been well documented. Yet, when he arrived in Paris in December of 1921, Cubist influences were far more prevalent. Cezanne, 14 years deceased, was being hailed as "Cubist in his construction" by Pablo Picasso...
Looking for the Arab: Reading the Readings of Camus's "The Guest."
Albert Camus is no longer quite the cultural hero in the Western world that he was both before and, for a time, after his death, but at least one of his stories seems to have achieved a kind of canonical permanence, if 35 years of constant anthologizing...
Sacrificial Rituals and Anguish in the Victim's Heart in "Red Leaves."
Traditions, customs, rituals, and myths are patterns derived from ancient times beyond memory and history. Their focal point often is a person pleased or trapped by the activities and the ceremonies. William Faulkner was a master of choosing a figure...
"The Journey to Panama": One of Trollope's Best "Tarts" - or, Why You Should Read "The Journey to Panama" to Develop Your Taste for Trollope
Today's literary appetites don't care much for Trollope's short stories. although his place, for now, in the canon is firm, his reputation rests solely upon his novels. Trollope-hungry Victorians, however, enjoyed his short stories, which were published...
The Narrative Discourse of Thomas Wolfe's "I Have a Thing to Tell You."
Writing to Dixon Wecter of the imminent publication of "I Have a Thing to Tell You," Thomas Wolfe said: It cost me a good deal of time and worry to make up my mind whether I should allow publication of the story because I am well known in...
The Tardy Evolution of the British Short Story
One of the more curious anomalies of literary history is why the short story was so late to blossom in Britain. By the 1840s the genre was already established in America, and within two decades it had taken root in Germany, Russia, and France. I am...
"What's Your Title?" - 'The Turn of the Screw.'
Henry James's ghosts," Virginia Woolf once observed, "have nothing in common with the violent old ghosts--the blood-stained sea captains, the white horses, the headless ladies of dark lanes and windy commons" (179). Indeed, when the governess of The...