RUDYARD KIPLING AND THE CONTEMPORARY SHORT STORY
THE chronicler of the rise of the short story must enter upon the last two decades of progress with prayer and fasting. The short story has become multitudinous. Every seed has yielded forty-fold. At first glance, it may seem that this chapter should be either a book, or a list like the list of the Homeric ships. The book must be written, but we are too near the stories to do it now. The list has already been attempted in part by various bibliographical workers. Fortunately, the plan of this critical study requires neither alternative.
In truth, an account of the progress of any mode of literary expression must be like a history of art. The historian deals chiefly with two classes, the small beginnings of great developments, and the masterpieces which represent the height of attainment. Of these two, the small beginnings are usually of infinitely less value artistically than the masterpieces. Their historical value, however, is as great, and this makes them far more significant than works, superior in technique, which possess neither virtue of originality, nor distinction of supreme excellence.
The disadvantages of this historical method are evident; too evident in these concluding chapters. Upon earlier