The Tales We Tell: Perspectives on the Short Story

By Barbara Lounsberry; Susan Lohafer et al. | Go to book overview

1
How Minimal Is Minimalism?

Ewing Campbell

How minimal is the fiction we call minimalist? If we spend much time and thought on the question we end up, like it or not, with a theory of minimalism. We also need to define our terms if we are to understand one another. A look at contrasting interpretations of minimalism may help to illustrate the difficulty before we attempt to answer the pertinent questions.

Many individuals familiar with art movements identify minimalism with such properties as primary forms, hard edges, precision, and a reaction against the romanticism of abstract expressionism--features, I might add, that we fi hnd in most stories by Raymond Carver. And yet Carver associated the expression with smallness of vision and smallness of execution. He was offended when praised as a minimalist. Here are his thoughts on the topic as he talks with Mona Simpson of the Paris Review:

In a review of the last book, somebody called me a "minimalist" writer. The reviewer meant it as a compliment. But I didn't like it. There's something about that smacks of smallness of vision and execution that I don't like.

That is as clear as you can put it. At the same time, for me, the word suggests a density that encompasses more than is obvious, the evidence of things present but unseen or things seen but not there, the universe in a grain of sand.

In spite of the differences, most people who think about minimalism have a general notion of what it is because of the family resemblances that overlap and crisscross minimalist fiction. If we call the fiction we are reading minimalist, we do so because it resembles other works going by that name. One of the shared features most often encountered is the "truncated plot" consisting of events and empty spaces that require completion for readers who prefer solidity

-15-

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.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Tales We Tell: Perspectives on the Short Story
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
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?

Help
Full screen
/ 236

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.