Origins of the American Short Story (Paperback)
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Origins of the American Short Story is an anthology of prose texts that first appeared in various American magazines in the latter half of the 18th century. These magazines, most of them short lived, represented a struggling literary culture that began to flourish only later in the next century. In selecting the stories included here, the editors concentrated on three key features: the use of American topics, settings, and characters; the evidence of artistic form in shaping the narrative; and the potential for multiple, even ambiguous readings. In addition to these features, the anthology reveals how various types of short prose, such as the tale, sketch, historiette, and anecdote, were crucial in the formation of the American short story, especially as it was later developed in the works of Irving, Poe, Hawthorne, and Melville.