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The Ordinary and the Short Story

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

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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 Three Narration, Rhetoric and the Ordinary

Extract



“Narrative concerns itself with what is happening all the time, history concerns itself with what happens from time to time. And that is perhaps what is the matter with history and that is what is perhaps the matter with narrative”, Gertrude Stein (2010: 30)

“Read slowly, read all of a novel by Zola, and the book will drop from yours hands”, Roland Barthes (1998: 12)

“Sequence goes nowhere without his doppelganger or shadow, causality”, Frank Kermode (1980: 84)

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