Postmodern Approaches to the Short Story

By Farhat Iftekharrudin; Joseph Boyden et al. | Go to book overview

Part II
Exploring the World of the Short Story

The cultures discussed in the upcoming section share similar concerns over preserving and defining identity within their respective environments, frequently in opposition to outside influences. The short stories discussed here seek to impose their own sense of identity on the lives and surroundings of their subjects.

Doñald Petesch's chapter examines how incongruity, a staple technique of postmodern literature, informs Jean Toomer's presentation of the conflicting worlds of the American North and South in Cane.

In [The Virtuous Complaint,] Rivanne Sandier discusses a generation of Iranian short-story writers bent on stripping down prose [overdressed in multiple adjectives and long, convoluted sentences] into something more like [everyday speech.] Sandier further appraises how these writers, working in prerevolutionary Iran of the 1960s and 1970s and [devoted to social change,] utilize [suggestion, symbolism, [and] irony] in order to effect an [affable] exploration of the [gap between the ideal and the possible.]

For Donna Davis, in her chapter on Janette Turner Hospital, it is the nature of the land itself that exerts a far more dominant influence than humankind on the development of her characters, Australian Aborigines and European colonizers alike. This focus on nature, according to Davis, allows Hospital to address a stew of [overlapping postmodern issues, including diversity, ecofeminism, and postcolonial concerns.]

The themes of postcolonialism return in Catherine Ramsdell's chapter dealing with the theories of Homi K. Bhabha, and a strong case is made for the in

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