In the compiling of this volume, two purposes have been kept in mind. First, the aim of the editor has been to provide, for the general reader and for college students in particular, a group of modern short- stories of intrinsic value, to be studied for their content and for their significance in relation to modern art. In other words, the book is intended to supply material for an academic or literary study of the shortstory. Secondly, and perhaps more directly, the volume is planned to furnish examples for analysis by classes in short-story writing. In the broad sense, it is a collection of models that may be used as a basis for college courses in narration.
A word may be said as to the general character of the selections. No one who reads widely in the field of the short-story can fail to note the preponderance of serious, not to say tragic, tales; on the whole, in the short-story as in the novel, the masterpieces are concerned with the darker aspects of life. For this reason it is more difficult than would at first appear to select from the stories at command a suitable number that are not over-serious or gloomy. The editor of the present volume has been at some pains to include a reasonable . . .