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The Ordinary and the Short Story

Short Fiction of T.F. Powys and V.S. Pritchett


Miłosz Wojtyna

This formalist-narratological study of T.F. Powys’ and V.S. Pritchett’s short fiction reestablishes both authors as important contributors to the history of the short story form. It also discusses how writers, who did not belong to the modernist avant-garde innovation, address the problems of the short story form in the twentieth century. The study takes a close look at the uses of the ordinary and analyses character, setting, and event presentation, narrators, audiences, narrativity, eventfulness, causality, and narrative rhetoric. It presents two kinds of short fiction and two kinds of the ordinary: the ecstatic one, focused on violations of norm, and the static kind that reassures its patterns.
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Chapter Two V.S. Pritchett: The Static Ordinary


“My dear Tom,

Because the morning is balmy and the wind in the southwest I can come out to the grate and sit at the table and write a letter. Though there is little news”, Samuel Beckett in a letter to Thomas McGreevy (Beckett 2009: 137)

“The ordinary is not always transformed into something else, into something beyond our everyday world; the ordinary indeed may endure in and of itself, as a ‘final good’”, Liesl Olson (2009: 4)

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