The short story has nothing to lose

I’ve long been looking forward to this year’s Best American Short Stories, edited by Lorrie Moore. Now Nathalie has found this tantalizing excerpt from Moore’s introduction to the anthology in Madison’s The Capital Times:

A story’s very shortness ensures its largeness of accomplishment, its selfhood and purity. Having long lost its ability to pay an author’s rent (in that golden blip between Henry James and television, F. Scott Fitzgerald, for one, wrote stories to fund his novels), the short story has been freed of its commercial life to became serious art, by virtually its every practitioner. As a result, short or long, a story lies less. It sings and informs and blurts. It has nothing to lose.

That last bit sounds like a drunk guy in a casino — a short drunk guy, who’s just lost his last dollar. (Short drunks with no money are more poignant.)

Anyway. Insert corny “I want Moore!” joke here. I think I’ll preorder the thing right now.


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