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The British and Irish Short Story Handbook

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The British and Irish Short Story Handbook guides readers through the development of the short story and the unique critical issues involved in discussions of short fiction. It includes a wide-ranging analysis of non-canonical and non-realist writers as well as the major authors and their works, providing a comprehensive and much-needed appraisal of this area.

  • Guides readers through the development of the short story and critical issues involved in discussions of short fiction
  • Offers a detailed discussion of the range of genres in the British and Irish short story
  • Includes extensive analysis of non-canonical writers, such as Hubert Crackanthorpe, Ella D’Arcy, T.F. Powys, A.E. Coppard, Julian Maclaren-Ross, Mollie Panter-Downes, Denton Welch, and Sylvia Townsend Warner
  • Provide a wide-ranging discussion of non-realist and experimental short stories
  • Includes a large section on the British short story in the Second World War


David Malcolm is Professor of English Literature at the University of Gdañsk. He is co-author (with Cheryl Alexander Malcolm) of Jean Rhys: A Study of the Short Fiction (1996), and author of Understanding Ian McEwan (2002), Understanding Graham Swift (2003) and Understanding John McGahern (2007). He is co-editor (with Cheryl Alexander Malcolm) of British and Irish Short-Fiction Writers, 1945-2000, Dictionary of Literary Biography Vol. 319 (2006) and A Companion to the British and Irish Short Story (Wiley-Blackwell, 2008).


The British and Irish Short Story Handbook guides readers through the development of the short story and the critical issues involved in discussions of short fiction. By including in-depth analysis of non-canonical writers and non-realist writers alongside that of major authors and their works, the handbook offers a comprehensive and much-needed appraisal of this area of literary study.

The guide contains a brief history of the development of the form since the 1880s, with discussions of central texts by, amongst others, Rudyard Kipling, H. G. Wells, Jean Rhys, V. S. Pritchett, James Sheridan Le Fanu, and Samuel Beckett. There follows an examination of some central issues in contemporary short-story criticism: definition of the short story; its status as a genre; the collection as an interpretive context; the importance of the motif of marginality; canonicity; and the role of institutions in the form's development. It continues with a discussion on the range of genres in the twentieth and twenty-first century short story, with particular attention to the interplay of realist and non-realist genres.

The book also examines the work of selected major short-story writers. Irish authors considered throughout the book include George Moore, Seán O'Faoláin, John McGahern, William Trevor, and Mary Dorcey; discussion of writers active in mainland Britain includes Robert Louis Stevenson, Henry James, Katherine Mansfield, Elizabeth Bowen, Somerset Maugham, J. G. Ballard, and Angela Carter.

Acknowledgments xi

Preface xiii

Part 1 A Brief History of the British and Irish Short Story 1

Part 2 Issues in Short Story Criticism 33

Definitions 35

Genre? 40

Collections 42

Marginality 48

Canonicity 51

Institutions 54

Part 3 Genres 57

The Ghost Short Story, the Supernatural Short Story, and the Gothic Short Story 61

The Science Fiction Short Story and the Fantasy Short Story 63

The Fable 66

The Short Story of Exotic Adventure 68

The Detective and Crime Short Story 70

The Historical Short Story 72

The Realist Social-Psychological Short Story 74

The Metafictional/Experimental Short Story 77

Part 4 Key Authors 81

Richard Aldington (1892-1962) 83

J. G. Ballard (1930-2009) 84

Samuel Beckett (1906-1989) 86

Frances Bellerby (1899-1975) 88

John Berger (born 1926) 89

Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973) 91

Angela Carter (1940-1992) 93

Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) 95

Joseph Conrad (1857-1924) 97

A. E. Coppard (1878-1957) 99

Hubert Crackanthorpe (1870-1896) 101

Walter de la Mare (1873-1956) 103

Hugh Fleetwood (born 1944) 104

Graham Greene (1904-1991) 106

Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) 108

Henry James (1843-1916) 110

Gabriel Josipovici (born 1940) 112

James Joyce (1882-1941) 114

James Kelman (born 1946) 116

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) 118

Hanif Kureishi (born 1954) 120

James Lasdun (born 1958) 122

Mary Lavin (1912-1996) 124

D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930) 126

Doris Lessing (born 1919) 128

George Mackay Brown (1921-1996) 130

Julian Maclaren-Ross (1912-1964) 132

Bernard MacLaverty (born 1942) 134

Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923) 136

E. A. Markham (1939-2008) 138

W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) 140

Ian McEwan (born 1948) 142

John McGahern (1934-2006) 144

Michael Moorcock (born 1939) 146

H. H. Munro ("Saki") (1870-1916) 148

Frank O'Connor (1903-1966) 150

Sean O'Faolain (1900-1991) 152

Mollie Panter-Downes (1906-1997) 154

T. F. Powys (1875-1953) 156

V. S. Pritchett (1900-1997) 158

Jean Rhys (1890-1979) 161

Alan Sillitoe (1928-2010) 163

Muriel Spark (1918-2006) 165

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) 167

Sylvia Townsend Warner (1893-1978) 169

William Trevor (born 1928) 171

H. G. Wells (1866-1946) 173

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) 175

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) 176

Part 5 Key Works 177

Robert Louis Stevenson, "Markheim" (1885) 179

Oscar Wilde, "The Canterville Ghost: A Hylo-Idealistic Romance" (1887) 182

Oscar Wilde, "The Selfish Giant" (1888) 186

Arthur Conan Doyle, "The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb" (1892) 188

Hubert Crackanthorpe, "Modern Melodrama" (1895) 191

Henry James, "The Altar of the Dead" (1895) 194

Joseph Conrad, "Amy Foster" (1901) 199

George Moore, "Home Sickness" (1903) 203

H. G. Wells, "The Valley of Spiders" (1903) 206

M. R. James, "Canon Alberic's Scrap-Book" (1904) 209

H. H. Munro ("Saki"), "Sredni Vashtar" (1911) 212

James Joyce, "An Encounter" (1914) 214

D. H. Lawrence, "Tickets, Please" (1919) 217

Virginia Woolf, "Kew Gardens" (1919) 221

Katherine Mansfield, "The Stranger" (1921) 224

A. E. Coppard, "The Higgler" (1925) 228

Rudyard Kipling, "The Gardener" (1926) 232

Jean Rhys, "Mannequin" (1927) 236

W. Somerset Maugham, "Footprints in the Jungle" (1927) 239

T. F. Powys, "John Pardy and the Waves" (1929) 242

Sean O'Faolain, "Midsummer Night Madness" (1932) 245

V. S. Pritchett, "Handsome Is As Handsome Does" (1938) 249

Mollie Panter-Downes, "Goodbye, My Love" (1941) 254

Alun Lewis, "The Last Inspection" (1942) 257

Mary Lavin, "At Sallygap" (1943) 261

Elizabeth Bowen, "Mysterious Kor" (1944) 265

Julian Maclaren-Ross, "The Tape" (1944) 268

Denton Welch, "Narcissus Bay" (1948) 271

Frank O'Connor, "Eternal Triangle" (1954) 274

J. G. Ballard, "The Terminal Beach" (1964) 277

Samuel Beckett, "Lessness" (1970) 282

Gabriel Josipovici, "Mobius the Stripper: A Topological Exercise" (1974) 285

Michael Moorcock, "Waiting for the End of Time. . ."(1976) 289

Sylvia Townsend Warner, "The King of Orkney's Leonardo" (1976) 292

William Trevor, "Another Christmas" (1978) 295

Angela Carter, "The Erl-King" (1979) 298

Clive Sinclair, "The Evolution of the Jews" (1979) 302

John McGahern, "The Conversion of William Kirkwood" (1985) 305

James Kelman, "Forgetting to Mention Allende" (1987) 309

Mary Dorcey, "A Noise from the Woodshed" (1989) 312

James Lasdun, "Ate...


Titel: The British and Irish Short Story Handbook
EAN: 9781444355208
ISBN: 978-1-4443-5520-8
Digitaler Kopierschutz: Adobe-DRM
Format: E-Book (pdf)
Herausgeber: Wiley-Blackwell
Genre: Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft
Anzahl Seiten: 288
Veröffentlichung: 27.12.2011
Jahr: 2011
Untertitel: Englisch
Dateigrösse: 1.7 MB