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Tag Archives: The Dead

“The Dead”: James Joyce on a Roll

photo of James Joyce.

When a meme morphs across intellectual boundaries, the results can be unpredictable and extraordinarily powerful. In my previous post, “How James Joyce Reinvented the Epiphany and Saved the Short Story,” I told how the great Irish modernist borrowed a concept … Read more »

Three Things Your Short Story Must Do

metro assorted passengers

My short story class resumes this week, and once again I’m going to have to fish or cut bait. Some new writer is going to ask me, “What is a short story, anyway?” and I’m going to have to define it. I’ll cite the usual short-story rules, but then—this happens every time—I’ll start to get queasy about it, remembering all the short stories I’ve read that ignored them. So I’ll try to rephrase the question. It’s not a matter of what a short story is, but of what it does. It does three things. Read more »