Short narrative texts have a long and ancient lineage in the Western literary tradition: from ancient folk tales and myths over fables and novellas to short stories and flash fiction in recent times. Over the course of the centuries, short fictional texts have formed genres and traditions with a remarkable stability, yet at the same time they frequently have been the locus of experimentation, border crossings and generic hybridity, often in tandem with the spread of media and the development of new contexts of publication and dissemination. In modern literature, it suffices to think of the importance of short fiction for the development of fantastic literature, the illustrated prose poems of the Decadents, the short fiction experiments in early 20th-century avant-garde periodicals, or the short stories dramatized for radio in the mid-twentieth century. In recent years, the arrival of new media – websites, blogs, twitter and facebook – have similarly given rise to new experiments in short fiction. Hyper fiction, twitter fiction, microfiction, and nanofiction are only some of the forms that have been developed in response to these new media. Continue reading “CFP: Special Issue of ILLI: “Experiments in short fiction: between genre and media/La brièveté et l’expériment: entre genre et media”, eds Elke D’hoker and Bart Van den Bossche”
This essay collection aims to bring together and represent the growing body of research into the close ties between the modern short story and magazine culture in the period 1880-1950 in Britain and Ireland.
Since the turn of the twentieth-century, Irish fiction has seen innovation and experimentation on many different fronts. Many novelists have pushed the boundaries of the novel form and also the Irish short story is being rewritten along new lines. It is in this respect telling that the Goldsmiths Prize for innovative fiction has, since its inception in 2013, already been awarded to three Irish novelists and that many other Irish writers have won major prizes such as the Booker Prize, the Costa Award, and the BBC short story award. To get a sense of the variety of innovation and experimentation that is going on in Irish fiction at the moment, think of the re-kindling of (post)modernist experiment by Eimer McBride, Mike McCormack and Caitriona Lally; the extraordinary take of ordinary life by Sara Baume, Colm Tóibín, Donal Ryan, and Claire-Louise Bennett; the play with genre conventions in the work of Claire Kilroy, John Banville, and Anne Enright; the powerful re-invention of the historical novel by Lia Mills, Sebastian Barry, and Mary Morrissy; or the darkly comic tales of Irish life on the part of Kevin Barry, Lisa McInerney, Keith Ridgway and Paul Murray. In the short story too, formal experimentation and innovation can be found in the work of a new generation of Irish writers: Danielle McLoughlin, Lucy Caldwell, Mary Costello, and Colin Barrett have exploited the conventions of the traditional Irish realist story to suit their own thematic ends, while writers like Jan Carson, Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, Roisin O’Donnell and June Caldwell combine the realist story with magical, folkloric or fantastic elements to tell tales about contemporary Dublin and Belfast life.