Home Forums Short fiction theory Can we still consider the short story a marginal literary form?

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      Aleix Tura Vecino

      In these first decades of the 21st century, theorists of the short story still largely rely on a conceptualisation of the short story as a marginal genre to elaborate their ideas on the form. Yet, the status of short stories in the cultural landscape might be thought to have changed in recent years. Some of the most important literary magazines such as Granta or The New Yorker have now long privileged the short story over other genres. Alice Munro, who has devoted her entire career to the short story form, won the Nobel Prize for literature in 2013. And short stories such as “Cat Person” have not just been viral phenomena but have been positioned very much at the forefront of contemporaneous cultural debates. In the light of this, can we still consider the short story a marginal literary form? If yes, should our accounts of the short story’s marginality register the changes in the genre’s status? How so? If no, how might theories of short fiction be impacted by the shift from margin to centre of the short story?

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