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Maupassant and the American short story : the influence of form at the turn of the century

Author: Richard Fusco
Publisher: University Park, Pa. : Pennsylvania State University Press, ©1994.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Maupassant and the American Short Story isolates and develops more fully than any previous study the impact of Maupassant's work on the writing of Ambrose Bierce, O. Henry, Kate Chopin, and Henry James. It introduces a new perspective to assess their canons, reviving the importance of many often-ignored stories and, in the cases of Maupassant and O. Henry, reasserting the necessity of studying such writers to  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
History
Named Person: Guy de Maupassant; Guy de Maupassant; Guy de Maupassant; Guy de Maupassant; Guy de Maupassant
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Richard Fusco
ISBN: 0271010819 9780271010816
OCLC Number: 27726674
Description: viii, 230 pages ; 24 cm
Contents: A Theory on Conte and Structure --
Maupassant and Short-Story Structure --
1. Maupassant and the Simpler Structures of the Short Story --
The Linear Short Story --
The Ironic Coda --
The Surprise-Inversion Story --
The Loop --
2. Maupassant and the More Complex Structures of the Short Story --
The Descending Helical --
The Contrast Story --
The Sinusoidal Story --
3. Maupassant and the American Mainstream --
Maupassant and Bierce --
Maupassant and O. Henry --
4. Maupassant and Chopin --
The Early Stories --
The Translations --
Descending Helicals and the Later Stories --
Sinusoidals and the Later Stories --
5. Maupassant and James --
The Reluctant Disciple --
James and the Contrast Story --
James and the Descending Helical.
Responsibility: Richard Fusco.

Abstract:

Maupassant and the American Short Story isolates and develops more fully than any previous study the impact of Maupassant's work on the writing of Ambrose Bierce, O. Henry, Kate Chopin, and Henry James. It introduces a new perspective to assess their canons, reviving the importance of many often-ignored stories and, in the cases of Maupassant and O. Henry, reasserting the necessity of studying such writers to understand the history of the genre. An important moment in the history of the short story occurred with the American misreading of Maupassant's use of story structure. Before the turn of the century, Jonathan Sturges and others published mostly surprise-inversion tales in translation. Especially inspiring Bierce and O. Henry, this skewed sample implied to American writers that Maupassant constructed such plots exclusively. Only a few writers, such as James and Chopin, both of whom read Maupassant in French, appreciated his deft handling of form more fully. Their vision and the impact of Maupassant upon their fiction was largely ignored by later generations of writers who preferred to associate Maupassant and O. Henry with the "trick ending" story. This book details the origins and consequences of this misperception. The book further contributes to the study of the short-story genre. Through an adaptation of Aristotelian concepts, Richard Fusco proposes an original approach to short-story structure, defining and developing seven categories of textual formulas: linear, ironic coda, surprise-inversion, loop, descending helical, contrast, and sinusoidal. As a practitioner of all these forms, Maupassant established his mastery of the genre. By studying his use of form, the book asserts a major reason for his pivotal importance in the historical development of the short story.

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