Maybe I should have named my blog Potpourri or Pastiche or simply a Savory Stew because I aim to throw a lot of different things into the pot, mostly about reading, writing and art, but many other things, too, because I’ve lived a long time and have a lot of interests. I also will include here thoughts of others I come upon who share my loves. Including those of you who care to share your thoughts and impressions.
On Short Stories
posted by Ed Farber on February 3, 2013

When I began to write fiction in earnest (I’d written some that were printed in The Harris Quarterly, a literary journal produced by my junior college) I chose to write short stories. A novel just seemed way beyond me at that time. This was at a time when zombies and vampires were not the most popular book characters around (although they have always been around ever since Count Dracula and Frankenstein became famous and probably way before that.)

Anyhow, I was influenced by a professor at the University of Missouri, Professor William H. Peden who taught a course in the writing of short stories. While pulp fiction was plentiful in the magazines of the 1930s, 40’s and 50s, and I was an avid reader, Peden was an advocate of what he called literary short stories, insisting correctly that the best short stories were on a par with the best novels. He made us read Chekov, Guy de Maupassant, Poe (of course), Hemingway, Katherine Anne Porter, Katherine Mansfield, and William Faulkner, among others. This was in place of the plot-driven westerns, detective stories and romance tales so prevalent in the pulp mags of the day which I also read without discrimination (well, not the romance mags.)

After college, writing became a function of my career and non-fiction replaced fiction. I came back to it when I retired (much too late I now know) and began to write short stories once again. A pile of rejection slips attested to my learning period and I did learn. And when my first story was accepted by a literary magazine, I was elated, even though no money was exchanged. I was a published author!!

That first story, Sins of the Fathers, will appear in my collection of short stories which I intend to publish soon, called Echoes of Clara Avenue. (See some info in my Book and Stories section on this site.

More about that to come.


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