Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Novel and the Short Story

Marianne Apostolides on the distinction between the novel and the short story:

Or, if I can provide another metaphor: a novel is a long-term relationship while a short story is a one-night stand. With both, you sense the rhythm, the style, the mood; with both you learn about yourself through engagement with another. Of course you can’t have satisfaction with a short story — not in the way you can with a novel — but you can have intensity. And you will always possess those tantalizing possibilities that must remain deliciously unfulfilled.


JCR said...

Great post. I don't think I have ever heard them described in this fashion. :-)

David Hodges said...

As a reader I love both, but as a writer I can only manage the monstrous hybrid I call Very Short Novels. Is there a parallel analogy for these little things? They're very fast and grope toward intimacy without foreplay. Is it too unfair to compare them to a lap dance?