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Principles of a story

From Chekhov to James Joyce, the short story defined modern fiction. The form later came to be defined by America. Writing in 1981, one of the great US writers explains why he came to prefer the story to the novel

By Raymond Carver   September 2005

Back in the mid-1960s, I found I was having trouble concentrating my attention on long narrative fiction. For a time I experienced difficulty in trying to read it as well as in attempting to write it. My attention span had gone out on me; I no longer had the patience to try to write novels. It’s an involved story, too tedious to talk about here. But I know it has much to do now with why I write poems and short stories. Get in, get out. Don’t linger. Go on. It could be that I lost any great ambitions at…

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