Short is losing out to the long - The New Indian Express

Short is losing out to the long

Published: 04th October 2013 07:48 AM

Last Updated: 04th October 2013 07:48 AM

Both novels and short stories command their own space and have their own charm. But short stories have lost out to the longer versions as novels in the present day, despite being more suited to the contemporary lives.

 “It is intriguing that short stories are not doing well as I think they are perfect for our times. We can take time off our fragmented lives, read one story in one sitting and move on to the next”, questioned poet, writer Tishani Doshi at a session on ‘The charm of the novel versus the short story’.

 The main reason is that short stories have become literally short stories. O Henry kind of stories,  which can bind readers within the limited words, are not found now.

“Further, we do not have a magazine market for them like in the West, where magazines like New Yorker, Aspire, etc. publish at least one or two short stories in their editions”,  writer, journalist Jerry Pinto responded.

 However, short story cannot be considered inferior to novels in any way. The short story is more intense and difficult as it enforces economy, compressing thoughts in a few words. It is in a way more fascinating too, author of Q&A, that inspired the Oscar winning film Slumdog Millionaire, Vikas Swarup, said.

 “In fact, all three of my novels read like a sense of short stories. I always try to impose some kind of super structure into my story covering different aspects that can be assumed as a hybrid of novel and short story”, Swarup said.

The trio, though, contended that India is such a complex story that it cannot be encapsulated in short form.

 Novel writing is also a very intricate and complicated process and each writer has his or her own way of setting the story.

There are writers who start with a structure and there are others who progress on impulse, the writers stated.

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