The Popularity of Short Story
The triumph of Matter over Spirit, two world wars, the postmodern machine society-all these seem to have shut “the door which leads to soul”. Hannah Arendt in The Human Condition aptly criticizes the modern age : “ It is quite inconceivable that the modern age-which began with such an unprecedented and promising outburst of human activity-may end in the deadliest, most sterile passivity history has ever known.”
The problem for the short-story writer in this milieu is how to write stories which have genuine emotional depth, and directness in the presentation of situations.
E. M. Forster had
In spite of this candid observation made by Forster, we find that both novels and short stories are being written in an ever-increasing great number. This is quite evident from the several collections published recently, for example, M. Brooks’ Paradise Café and other Stories (1990), A. Chambers’ Out of Time (1985), Sook Nyul Choi’s Year of Impossible Goodbyes (1991), L. Crew’s Children of the River (1991), D. R. Gallo’s Sixteen (1984), Visions (1987), Connections (1989),Within Reach (1003), Join In (1993), Sherry Garland’s Shadow of a Dragon(1993), B. Girion’s A Very Brief Season ( 1984), A. Schwartz’s Scary Stories 3 (1991), etc. The chief reason for the tremendous popularity of the short story is its brevity, since it is ‘a single-sitting read’, and the readers have enough time to read it.