Thursday, December 04, 2008

Between the Novel and a Poem

A short story can do everything a novel can do – except be long. Conversely, a short story is arguably better suited than a novel to adopt poetic logics such as compression, ellipticism, associativeness, metaphorical charge, etc. In this way, even though short stories are shorter than novels, I like their capaciousness. They can tell a story whilst simultaneously claiming poetry’s prerogative to communicate before it means. I like that everything – including mistakes – is accentuated in short stories; that readers need to be persuaded to fall deeper, even though they know the end is near; all this makes the stakes higher.
Nam Le, winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize is interviewed over at the Times.

1 comment:

dreamer idiot said...

Wow. Based on this alone, I'll buy his short stories. :)