The Short Story: An Introduction

By Paul March-Russell | Go to book overview
Save to active project

12
Localities: Centres and
Margins

As the previous chapter argued, the short story portrays human identity as a subject in process, so that characterisation tends towards only partial realisation. For the protagonists of short story cycles, such as Julia Alvarez's How the García Girls Lost Their Accents (1991) and Sandra Cisneros' The House on Mango Street (1984), part of this process involves a quest for origins. Although the short story has effectively described the experience of city-life (see the next chapter), it has also had a special role in depicting communities left behind by the movement towards urbanisation and industrialisation. Texts such as Ivan Turgenev's Sketches from a Hunter's Album (1852) and Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio (1919) are iconic in this sense, but this chapter will extend the discussion to include writers that predate these authors as well as contemporary writers working against the backdrop of globalisation. Of particular note is that the search for authenticity implicated in the hunt for origins is always tentative and provisional, since the pursuit of origination is refracted through accumulated experience, historical ties that become more complex in periods of intense economic and cultural change.


Village Voices

The effects of land reform and the early Industrial Revolution encouraged Romantic writers to find a new pastoral style that described the lives and language of working men and women. In poems such as 'Michael' (1800) and 'The Ruined Cottage' (1797–8), William Wordsworth dramatised the depopulation of the English countryside. At the same time, in her posthumous novel Northanger Abbey (1818), Jane Austen evoked a vision of Middle England where 'murder was not tolerated, servants were not slaves, and neither poison nor sleeping

-134-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Short Story: An Introduction
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 294

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?